Colossians 1:5 – “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel…”
The hope of heaven is an indispensable element of the true gospel. We live in the dispensation of God’s grace as He patiently waits on mankind to receive the sacrifice of His one and only Son that they may be reconciled to Him. This is the highest calling of believers and the primary focus of God at this time… reaching the lost while there is still time. As John Wesley said, “we have nothing to do but save souls.”
However, this divine purpose exists only for a time and a season. For soon, this dispensation will come to an end, and the eternity of all men and women will be sealed. The glorious hope of heaven gives us great purpose to convert souls, and great strength to endure hardship for the gospel’s sake during this “vapor” of a lifetime. As a matter of personal experience, I have found no better way to encourage myself in the Lord in a time of weakness than to set my mind on things eternal… the hope of heaven, and the horror of hell. The hope of heaven causes me to overflow with thankfulness unto God, strengthens me to endure hardship that Paul called “light and momentary affliction” compared to the eternal glory of heaven, and produces a zeal for evangelism when I imagine the great, glorious, eternal future God has for my friends and loved ones who have yet to imagine it and receive it.
Heavenly Father, by the Power of Your Spirit, make real to us the glories of heaven. Make real to us eternity. In doing so, may You so radically change what is quite often our near-sighted perspective in such a way that our focus and desires in this life would line up with what is truly and eternally important in Your eyes. Amen.