Foster hope for heaven (Introduction)

Just like many of you, I haven’t thought much of heaven.  The Trinity, the Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints reside in that blissful realm to which all Christians are invited to enter after death.  (Interestingly, PragerU offers a video arguing on the existence of an afterlife.)

What did they do up there?  Dennis Prager and I would shrug our shoulders.  Many pastors in homilies have urged us to think beyond such limited notions we had concocted as grandma playing pinochle and the dead living on in our memories.  But what else could there be?

John Eldredge offered a refreshing take at the end of his book “Desire.”  Using Scriptures, he argued that God would fulfill the deep desires in our heart after our deaths.  We would participate in creating and ruling the world with God.  Eldredge expanded on that idea in his book “All Things New.”

all things new cover

A reason behind the anger and frustration in this world is people’s misplaced hopes on this world and their inevitable frustration because people’s desires point to a larger reality.  Eldredge argues that the true hope we should have in Jesus’ Second Coming and the Restoration of All Things.  That restoration is crucial.  Reflecting on Matthew and Revelation, he writes that Jesus will make all things new, healed from brokenness and death.  People and things we had to say goodbye to in this life will be restored to us healed, integrated, complete and filled with God’s glory.  Nothing is lost.  This hope helps us to survive the bruises, failures, scraps, grief and loss in this world.

Toward the end of the book, Eldredge offers questions for people to secure this hope in their lives.  In this occasional series, I will share the answers to those questions from my prayers.  Hopefully, you’ll find it inspiring and helpful.

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