The late Lewis Smedes used to ask his students a question: "Who wants to go to Heaven?" Everyone would raise their hand. Then he would say, "Be honest, now: Who wants to go to Heaven today?" Most hands would drop. A few students, cautiously, would keep their hands in the air, wondering if that was the "right" answer, looking around to see if they were the only ones. They were.
I think most Christians feel the same way. Of course, I've met Christians who were nearing the end of a long, painful battle with terminal disease who couldn't wait to go to Heaven. I've heard testimonies of martyrs who rejoiced at the prospect of leaving this world. But most of us are far too comfortable in this world to yearn for another one. Especially one we've never seen, and know little about. Yet according to Colossians 3, we're supposed to "set our minds on things above." In other words, we ought to think about Heaven all the time. It should be our favorite place in the world, the uppermost goal in our lives, the inspiration and motivation for everything we do. The hope of Heaven should empower us to overcome every obstacle. As the old Baptist preacher Vance Havner put it, "It's the thought of dying that makes life worth living."
But how can we set our minds on a place we've never been? Can we even comprehend such a place? And isn't there a danger that we'll become "so heavenly minded we're no earthly good?
As we begin this series called "The Truth About Heaven" this Sunday, we'll consider all of those objections. We'll talk about what it really means to set our minds on things above. And maybe, just maybe, we'll walk out of church on Sunday with a new, living hope...a hope that doesn't depend on the stock market, that doesn't require a bailout, that won't depreciate over time. That hope--true Hope--doesn't disappoint. I hope to see you Sunday, along with many, many guests.