If you have never read part one – please request it. All of these are in a series of messages and they all are “woven” together in pre-determined ways. Part one was introductory and talked some about “Giving” as we probably will see it in Heaven and as it compares to our brand of giving down here.
In the Bible we read about Jesus making a statement that has been widely used by many over the centuries yet with much variation as well. Even if you took a survey of some kind in Heaven, to ask everyone what they thought about a particular aspect of “Life” there, you would get that many unique variations even though everyone is all “looking-at” the same “Heaven”. That is not necessarily a crime for us all to have different “takes” and/or personal private views on things. It’s actually quite unavoidable. Even when a person here does get to Heaven after they leave this mortal existence, they will have their own slightly different unique “take” and POV on what they are seeing and experiencing. God has made things that way.
The statement Jesus made was found in the classic “Sermon-on-the-Mount” where he said in Matthew ch.5: vs. 6 “Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness, for they shall be filled” The word there for “hunger” is a word used in those days as we would say to “pine away” or desperately crave. The word for “thirst” simply as a strong thirst. The word for “righteousness” is what we would say to have a “just-character”. And lastly the word for “filled” is a word to be as one “gorged” and stuffed with it.
We all live in a world that is simply loaded with things, events, places, people, etc. and so on that we say we “love”. Now I know that it goes without saying that we of the race of man who are dysfunctional, malfunctioning, and incompetent, “As Compared to Heaven” and God’s original design and specifications, not only can’t-do quite like they can-do in Heaven, but we don’t even really comprehend just how different and how much more attractive and wonderful Heaven’s brand of “righteousness” is. It doesn’t matter as much as we might think. The whole idea is to “Hunger and Thirst” for it as you would if you were alone on a deserted desert island and “lusted-after”, and even fantasized about food and water.
And the Lord Jesus I believe purposely used the words hunger and thirst for two reasons. First, because hunger and thirst are so important for survival and existence to be the basic primary needs of a person here in this life, and to show us that the basic cravings and desires, etc. of Heaven and the Kingdom of God is for righteousness, and all that is connected to it. Not real food or real water or real whatever here, but even-more-important-than-life-itself is the passion and driving force to “see-and-be” righteous, “as it is in Heaven”.
Jesus also said that “wherever someone’s treasure is, that is where their heart really is”. So then whatever you see as your most important “values” in your life, that is where your heart will be dreaming and concocting to make it all happen for you. We also all know what it is like to “lust” after something or even someone. And that kind of lust is basically a very strong passionate craving for what can be done for you the individual, and not for someone else. It doesn’t matter what the object of the lust is, the “Prime-Directive” will still always be for you first. Most men and women have experienced at some time in their life the temptation to “Lust” after a member of the opposite sex. Whether they gave in to the temptation is not the issue, but if you have, and maybe it led to an affair, or some form of adulterous, lascivious, immoral thoughts, desires, and acts, then you know just how powerful that can be. Especially once the “fires” have been ignited.
Can you honestly say that you have the same kind of burning passion to see and live in a place where-in dwelleth “only” righteousness and all that goes with it. Not many have. Not quite like Jesus did when he was here. And it wasn’t just simply because he had been in Heaven before he was born here. It’s because he so loves the very nature and essence of His Father and all of Heaven and would rather “die” than to be found wanting anything but the purest form and amount of true righteousness, “as it is in Heaven”. Do you “hunger and thirst”, much as a dying man would, for true righteousness, as Jesus demonstrated for us, or do you simply think it would be a great idea and you certainly wouldn’t complain about it being an experience everyday. I wonder if you wouldn’t complain if you were in Heaven and saw their level of righteousness. Maybe you would be one of the first to say, “Hey, aren’t you guys like, overdoing it a little”??
The person that has the kind of hunger and thirst for righteousness that Jesus talked about
Will be so greatly grieved in their heart, soul, and spirit, when they see the opposite of it either in themselves or in anyone else. The kind of grieving that can make a person “pine-away” and “swoon” for the chance to not have to even see or hear it let alone experience it. I remember the story of Lot and his wife and daughters living in the land of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Bible says that Lot was a righteous man and was being sorely “vexed” in his soul, heart, mind, and spirit. When you hate all forms of un-righteousness, almost as much as Jesus and His Apostles and Prophets did, and you are forced to watch it and hear it and even somehow experience parts of it, you will be sorely “vexed”. You will feel like “grieving” as one who lost a loved one, or saw unimaginable horror be done to someone you care about. You will grieve and mourn as though you have at that moment in your life no desire whatsoever to do anything else, even anything that might ordinarily please you. You also won’t find it very easy even to enjoy yourself as much as you could if you are acutely aware of the un-righteousness and un-holiness, and un-godliness all around you.
Folks, do you hate and despise and get thoroughly disgusted with any and all forms of “Un-Righteousness” in your life and in all the world?? Are you sure you can even identify it, as they might in Heaven? If so then you will just love it in Heaven, if not, you won’t like it there at all. If you want-to-want this kind of hunger and thirst for righteousness, yet you know honestly that you don’t have it right now, then seek out the Lord Jesus, call out his name in a sincere prayer and request to be given a Heart like his, a Soul like his, and a Spirit like His, and he will hear you and answer you and provide you with that request because he was already hungering and thirsting that you would want to have what he has in that way. But, give him time to “work-his-stuff out in your heart and life. It’s not an overnight completion, only an instant start. [whjr]
Over the years of being a Christian and a Minister I have almost never come across someone who didn’t want to go to “Heaven”, even people who said they didn’t believe in God, especially the Judaeo/Christian God. It almost goes without saying though that there are just as many versions of what people say that Heaven is like as there are those who want to go there when they die, or even visit before they die. And of course there are different religions that actually do say there is a Heaven but again, they have their own “take” on what it’s like. And everybody’s Heaven seems to be primarily a place where everything will be to their liking and set up just for them.
Well I’m giving a “take” from the point of view of the Christian Faith, as it is described in the Holy Bible. Of course there are a couple of difficulties with this “expose”. The Christian Bible, which is a collection of writings over a period of hundreds of generations, not only doesn’t give us a lot of specifics, but we are told and understand that we are not likely to fully comprehend what we are told. But there is enough in there, including from Jesus the Christ, the Lord, in his own words when he was here the first time, and also from him through the hearts and minds and pens of his devotees.