Saturday, April 9, 2011

Am I Seated in Heaven?

When I was at Bible college, there was an evangelistic tract we used quite extensively that was titled, “Am I Going to Heaven?” It was about what happens to us when we die. We thought of heaven as someday and out there.

Today, if I were to write a tract, I think I would call it, “Am I seated in Heaven?” Heaven is not just about when we die; we begin to participate in the life of heaven here and now. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:7). The Greek word for “again” can just as well mean “from above,” that is, from heaven.

Paul tells us that our citizenship is now in heaven (Philippians 3:20). In another place, he tells us that we have made alive together with Christ, raised together with Christ and seated together with Christ in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:5-6). This is not a future promise but a done deal and a present reality. We are meant to live from now on out of that reality.

The answer to both questions is the same and comes about the same way. In John 3, where Jesus speaks of being born “from above,” it says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (v. 16).

In Ephesians 2, where Paul talks about being made alive, raised up and seated together with Christ, he says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (vv. 8-10).

In other words, it is by faith, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son. That is how we enter into the kingdom of God, which is here and now as well as there and then.

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