FOOT IN HEAVEN: How can that be?
In difficult times, we wish we were in heaven. We imagine that in heaven all things shall be set right. Perhaps we may even believe that in that eternal life Jesus promised, we shall fare much better than we did on earth? I am apprehensive for not having listened to Jesus’ explanation of life in heaven.
Regarding the resurrection, Jesus concluded that the believers would be like angels (Mt.22: 30). And regarding when a believer can set a foot in heaven, Jesus stated, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mt.22: 32). What was Jesus saying to his listeners? If they wanted to be in heaven, then they must begin serving God while they are alive and not after they have died. To get to heaven, we must set our foot on holy ground in this life.
If the above is not clear to us then read this, “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel” (Mk.1: 15). It can also be rendered, “The time has come, God’s reign has begun; to get in you must believe and repent.” Also, heaven has come down, low enough for man to step in. For that reason Jesus came down from the Father to prepare man for that life in heaven (Jn.3: 13). And all the preparation takes place in this life on earth and not in heaven. This is where we believe and repent. The aim is to become angelic; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor.15: 50).
When do we enter heaven? It is when we enter into living a life with Christ that we are, like our Lord, no longer of this world (Jn.17: 16-18). We have become co-heirs of the kingdom (Ro.8: 17; Ja.2: 5) and fellow citizens of the household of God (Eph.2: 19). Our mission is to encourage others to set their feet in heaven (Mt.28: 19-20). That is why God is the God of the living and not of the dead. The dead rest from their labors and no longer compete for entering heaven (Rev.14: 13).