Heaven Centered?

By Larry Ray Hafley

It is possible for one to forsake the assembly even when he is “in church.” It is done by various means – sleeping, daydreaming, playing with babies, trimming one’s nails, etc. Likewise, it is possible to be worldly-minded even while doing good works. Let me explain.

Perhaps I am judging others by myself, but so little thought is given to the coming of the Lord and of going to heaven, even among Christians. The Thessalonians had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Is that all? No, they were not only saved to serve but also “to wait for his Son from heaven” (1 Thess. 1:9,10). Is there that sense of waiting “for his Son from heaven” while we “serve the living and true God”? Many faithful saints serve, but how many serve and wait?

Observe Peter’s constant emphasis on the “revelation of Jesus Christ” and our consequent redemption (1 Pet. 1:3-13). Brethren today serve and suffer but are silent about “salvation ready to be revealed in the last time,” about “the appearing of Jesus Christ,” or about “the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” In 2 Peter 3, the child of God is assumed to be “looking for . . . (cf. “waited for,” Lk. 1:21) the coming of the day of God” (v. 12). Peter says “we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth” (cf. 1 Pet. 1:4), but do “we”‘? “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent” (v. 14). Do we look for such things at his coming?

Christians, elders, preachers and teachers can get so busy in day to day service in the kingdom that they lose sight of his appearance, his coming, his revelation from heaven. When we fail to think about it, we fail to talk about it. How many of our children hear talk about his coming and about the redemption and retribution that he will bring? We may stress class lessons, attendance and godly living, and we should, but do we fill their mind with the concept of “waiting for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come”? If our children are not taught in these areas, they will become oblivious to them and lose their faith.

Truly, all our works of faith, labors of love and patience of hope should be engaged in with the constant awareness of his coming.

Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 12, p. 362
June 21, 1990