Living in Light of Heaven

Excerpted and Adapted from Preparing for Heaven: A Guide for Going Home to God, by Steve Swartz

June 8, 2020

Heaven: Our Glorious New Home, Part 3

Living in Light of Heaven

In Philippians 3, Paul shows a very clear contrast between the believer, who should be heavenly-minded, and the unbeliever who is by nature earthly-minded.

Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (Phil 3:15–19)

The Heavenly-Minded

Paul begins in verse 15, “Let those of us who are mature think this way.” What way? Verse 14 gives the answer: “If in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that to you as well.” If you have trouble focusing on heaven—on being excited about the reality of heaven—God will help you. He may lead you to learn more, or more likely, He may place you in circumstances that make this world seem less attractive to you. He may even take physical comforts from you. God’s goal is to create heavenly-mindedness in you. His plan is to chip away from you all the things you are tempted to love more than Him with the end result that He alone is worshiped.

Paul said that those who are mature in their faith are heavenly-minded. This is the opposite of those who are not heavenly-minded and still immature in their faith. The church settings in which I was brought up essentially taught that God’s primary concern was to answer all my prayers for all the things I wanted, and that God has the power to accomplish my will for my life. This is categorically wrong and unbiblical. God has already revealed His will for my life: to be conformed to the image of His Son, to think and act like a kingdom citizen, to be an alien and stranger in the world, and to be a slave to my Lord and King.

"Preparing for Heaven: A Guide to Going Home to God"

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Steve Swartz, D.Min

Dr. Swartz serves as Senior Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Bakersfield, California and is a guest instructor at John MacArthur’s Grace Advance Academy, a church-planting training program. Dr. Swartz is the author of numerous books, including Strength in the River, Joyful Generosity, Shattered Shepherds, and The Essential Church.

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