ILLUMINATION
Published in

ILLUMINATION

Image by Alexander Lesnitsky from Pixabay

Heaven is not the Destination #34

If you hear a religious person (of any religion) talking about heaven, you will have the impression that we are wasting our time here on earth. You will even wonder why we were sent here on earth when all the joy is in heaven. I’m not against heaven being a dream place — that’s why it’s called heaven :-) — but I’d just like us to ask ourselves if going to heaven is the purpose of our life on earth.

In this blog we talked about what it means to be born again, remember? By the way, the purpose of that topic was to help us understand that just as a vehicle is created to help people move, a guitar is created to allow people to produce and listen to good sound, the cell phone is created to allow people to communicate at a distance, we are also created to accomplish a mission and that mission, is our destination (I have rhymed here :-).

To better illustrate this concept, let’s use another article we published on this page. In the article, we explained that man is an ambassador. When an ambassador is sent to a foreign country to represent his nation, do you think his primary concern would be to return home? I do not think so. By the way, he is aware that his country sent him to the foreign land for a reason, and it is that reason that consumes all his attention. In other words, he doesn’t even want to think about returning to his country without having accomplished this mission, because for him it would be a failure. It’s a bit like soldiers who go to defend their country in a foreign land and lose the battle. Do you think they will be happy to go back home? I don’t think so. However, that is what many religious people do: they dream of returning to heaven, without worrying about why they were sent to earth. The reason I talk about heaven as where you come from is because it has already been mentioned in the articles about where I come from, so I think you already understand this concept.

Going back to our article on what it means to be born again, we illustrated there that an ambassador can go to the country where his nation sent him, but when he gets there, he is deceived and he completely forgets the mission of his nation, and then he even begins to serve the interests of the nation where he is. This has the effect of cutting off the bridges with his own nation, which consequently no longer supplies him with money, security, and whatever he needs. But one day the ambassador realizes his mistake and decides to return to serving his country, because that is why he was sent to this foreign land. And this is what we call being born again. By the way, it is when you realize that you are not accomplishing what you were sent here on earth for, and you want to return to serving your nation. So you reconnect. Paul met many people like this who have been lost here on earth and have forgotten why they are here, and so he said the following words: Do not be conformed to this world (1).

(1) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, pleasing, and perfect.

Some people say, “But I am a good person, I do no harm to anyone, etc.’’ When you go to your workplace every morning, why do you work? Why don’t you limit yourself to being a good person to your co-workers and wait until 5:00 p.m. to go home? If you do nothing else but be a good person at work, when you come home, will you say that your day was a success? I doubt. Do you think your employer will be happy with you? I doubt. And if you are the employer, will you be happy to have an employee who is nice but not doing what you hired him for? I doubt. So why are we doing this to God? Why do we believe that it is enough to be a good person, and go back to heaven (I am talking about going back instead of going, because as we have seen, we come from heaven) to be pleasing to Him ?

Our destination, the purpose of our life here on earth is not to return to heaven, but to fulfill the mission for which we were sent here. One day after offering the sacrifices in the city of Jerusalem, Jesus remained in the synagogue, reading the scriptures. When his parents, who were looking for him everywhere, finally saw him, they asked him what he was doing there, and he answered, “Don’t you know that I have to do my father’s work? (2). In other words, he was telling them that he was aware that he was on earth for a reason, and he intended to fulfill that reason before returning to heaven. He was also aware that he was not from here, and so one day he said, “I am here, but my kingdom is not of this world.’’ (3)

(2) And he said unto them, Why seek ye me? Did you not know that I must take care of my Father’s business?

(3) Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have fought for me, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from this world.

The purpose here is that we understand that heaven is not our destination, our vision is.

Thus, even in the prayer our Father, Jesus does not advise us to ask to go to heaven, but to ask for heaven to come to earth, saying: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If heaven was the destination, don’t you think that God would take us away from earth the day we are born again and accept Him as our savior? Why then would He let us live after that? It is because it is after the new birth that we begin (or begin again, if we had already begun but got lost) to live the life for which He sent us here.

How can I identify the vision of my life?

Before starting to build a house, an architect already knows exactly what the end result will be — he has a vision of what he wants to build. Before starting to paint, a painter already knows what he wants to have as a final result before his eyes — he has a vision of what he wants to paint. Before sitting down to start writing a book, an author already has in mind what he wants to communicate to his audience as a message — he has a vision of what he wants to write. Before creating a man, the Creator already knows what that man is going to accomplish on earth — he has a vision of that person’s end.

The human being is the only creature who can communicate with his Creator to the point of receiving the vision of his life. Like any maker, the Creator of man first finishes in his head what He wants to do and why He wants to do it, and then He begins creation. That is why He says “I finish, then I begin” (4). In other words, in order to know what your life vision is, you just have to go to the person who gave you that vision.

(4) Declaring the end from the beginning,

And from ancient times things that are not yet done,

Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,

And I will do all My pleasure,

You may well have a vision, a dream in your head where you see yourself accomplishing great things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it comes from God. Some of our dreams are just things we envy in others, so we want to have them out of lust. Remember what we said: “Success is not a competition with others, but with yourself. So the question is not “have I accomplished more than others ?”, but “have I accomplished what I had to accomplish on earth ?”. If you have a vision in which you accomplish things for your own good, it is surely just an ambition, not a mission (another rhyme :-). You may well accomplish your own ambitions, but unfortunately, you will never have that sense of accomplishment. The reason you feel frustrated in your work or even your studies is because you feel inside, that you are called to do something else than what you are doing in life, but you don’t know what.

As we said at the beginning, the easiest way to know your vision is to communicate with your Creator. In this blog, we will also answer the question what is prayer, in order to equip you to better communicate with your Creator. And since one of the places where you can find principles to help you identify your vision is the Bible, we will also answer the question what is the Bible (in a next story), so you will be even better equipped.

However, let me give you some guidelines here to help you identify your vision:

  • If you feel that you can fulfill your vision alone, it is surely not from God. The visions coming from God are so great that you will find it hard to believe that you can even realize them.
  • If accomplishing what you see will benefit only you and your family, it is not a vision from God. One of the key words in the Kingdom of God is service. We even have a whole answer I am a Servant in this blog, to answer the question Who am I? A vision from God will never serve your own interests, but the interests of the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • The vision will be tested. If you give up at the first obstacles that stand against you in the accomplishment of your mission, it was surely not from God. God will not let you give up so easily; He will encourage you to continue.

If you know someone who might be helped by reading this story, feel free to share it with them. You can also follow my account, to not miss my next stories on the subject.

Thank you for reading me :-)

Resources

(1) Romans 12:2

(2) Luke 2:49

(3) John 18: 36

(4) Genesis 1: 25- 26

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Christian B. Mbayabu

I write engaging articles on human psychology, philosophy and business.