• Jack Selcher

Heaven on Earth

I have a friend named Homer who will be 101 years old in January. His mental sharpness is far above the typical male his age. I’ve heard him say that one reason he believes the teachings of Jesus are true is that if everyone lived according to them, we would be experiencing heaven on earth. Well, human existence is anything but heaven on earth. So, what’s clogging up the pipes that would deliver living water to everyone in an environment where love, joy, peace, and truth are universal?

The clogging agent is a greasy, sticky accumulation of billions of “I am” particles seeking to dethrone the One who identified himself as I AM (Exodus 3:14). In other words, most of the problems in every generation stem from dependent human beings living their own way as if they were not accountable to the One who created them. It’s as much a problem in the church as outside it.

We can usually get away with short-term self-interest without apparent consequences. We can thumb our nose at the God of the Universe, and He seems not to notice. No immediate lightning strike from heaven zaps us. God could have created a world where immediate justice is meted out for disobedience, but He didn’t. He wants us to obey Him because we love Him (John 14:15), not because we fear immediate punishment. This freedom to love Him, however, has pipe clogging possibilities. “When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people's hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong (Ecclesiastes 8:11, NIV).

That’s what happened in the southern kingdom of Judah more than 2,500 years ago. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, ‘Obey me.’ But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep’” (Jeremiah 11:7-8, NIV). Long term, following the whims and stubbornness of our evil hearts will bring painful consequences all out of proportion to the joys of our imagined independence. Heaven on earth requires us to do something. A down payment of what will someday be universal love, joy, peace, and truth depend on living God’s way, not our own. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freechristianleadershipresources #freeevangelismresources

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Photo: The New York Public Library | Unsplash

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