Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” (ESV)
So often when confronted with the certainty of death we seek to know the reality of heaven. Even Christians tend to offer heaven mainly as a place where all of our suffering will be over. We describe heaven as a place of perfection where we reap the benefits of our union with Christ. When we do this we put ourselves at the center of our happiness in heaven. We need to remember that heaven is actually more than that! Heaven is where Christ our Lord is!
Although it is true that we will not suffer anymore, although it is true that heaven is a place of perfection, if Christ were not there it would not be heaven. This is the first message that a person needs to hear about heaven! And this actually gives us an avenue to reveal God’s goodness here on earth.
Like our tendency to forget the centrality of Christ IS heaven we can also forget the centrality of Christ here on earth. Ephesians 1:3 states God has “blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”. Paul goes on to name these spiritual blessings. They are: election, adoption, redemption, forgiveness of sins, the revelation of God’s purpose in history, sealing by the Holy Spirit, and an inheritance.
God “chose us in Him before the foundations of the world” and not only chose us but chose to adopt us as children. We have been (past tense) brought into the household of God. This is where we are spiritually speaking even now. We have our sins completely and perfectly forgiven. We know, even now, even while living in this fallen world, what the eternal purpose of God is. This knowledge, forgiveness, redemption and election cannot be taken away from us because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
One day we will receive our full inheritance. We will live in the presence of Christ. We will live without suffering in a place where there is only perfection. As wonderful as that will be, our election, our adoption, our redemption, the forgiveness we have already received, and our knowledge of God’s purpose in history will be the same. Heaven will be different, but it will have aspects that are still the same. I pray we can rejoice in what we eagerly wait for, while also rejoicing just as much in what we currently have.