“When I consider the heavens, the work of Thy fingers….what is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
The greatest proof of Heaven is Earth.
From all our scientists are learning every day, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the vast distances of space, the intricate and specific requirements necessary to produce and sustain life on any planet, and the mind-blowing odds that such a place as Earth could exist anywhere in the universe.
And yet, here we are, calmly discussing football playoffs, whose turn it is to buy the next King cake, and repeating the amazing things our grandchildren have said.
Friend, if Earth can exist, Heaven is a cinch. A lay-up. A gimme. A no-brainer.
Think of what is required in order to have life on this small planet. A scientist would smile at my small list and no doubt could add a dozen more elements to it, but some of the requirements for life to exist on Earth (or any other planet) must include:
–Light from the sun.
–Just the right distance from the sun, so there is not too much nor too little light.
–Rotation of the earth, in order to expose all sides to the warmth and light. Just the right speed, and the ideal tilt on the axis.
–A breathable atmosphere.
–Gravity, to keep the atmosphere from floating off into space (as may well have occurred with our moon).
–Climate to sustain life.
–Water. This is every bit as vital to life on earth as is light of the sun and oxygen.
–Balance of nature. Everything has to be “just so.” In this case, plants give off oxygen which we require and animal life gives off carbon dioxide, necessary for plant life.
–The earth’s orbit around the sun.
–Earth is warm at its core. It contains elements useful to mankind, such as oil, coal, copper, and gold, and those elements are attainable.
–Weather must be variable. Volcanoes and earthquakes allow the planet a pressure relief value from internal stress, and tornadoes and hurricanes relief from surface stress.
–Topsoil. Earth is not paved, like a rock, but tillable and varied, and lifegiving.
–Honeybees. (In googling this subject, I came across numerous articles touting the pollinating effect of these little creatures. If they die out, we’re told, life on earth is in trouble.)
That’s 13 requirements in order to have life on this earth. And here they all are, in place, working just fine. And, may we add, at no point has the Almighty put you and me in charge and informed us that unless we go out every morning with our tool kit and maintain the gravitational forces or the rotation of the earth, life would fail.
God sustains it.
Put another way, the forces of “Nature” (big word, huh?) put these elements into place and keep them operating. We humans are simply the benefactors, the inheritors of such incredible life-giving blessings.
The writer of Hebrews said, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). Pretty good analysis, if you ask me, particularly for one living 2,000 years ago who had never heard of atoms, molecules, and quarks.
Earth is the wonder of the universe, far more amazing than anything we have ever seen through the Hubble Telescope.
So far, there is nothing remotely like it out there. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Earth is so amazing, the wonder is that humanity does not wander around in a daze muttering over and over, “I can’t believe it. I can’t get over it. Look at this plant. Look at this rock. Look at this child. Look at me.”
The wonder is that we have not produced a skeptical society of humanists (I’m trying not to smile here) who refuse to believe in something so far-fetched as earth. Those of us who insisted to them that “there has to be an Earth because here we are” would be answered with laughter and derision.
To believe in Heaven may be the simplest decision you and I will ever make.
The first and biggest step is to believe in Earth; the rest is simple.
So, why don’t people believe?
1) Most don’t stop to think about this. Living in the most amazing spot in the entire universe, they take it all for granted, assume this is just the way it is, and never pause to look up and consider that Heaven is no more unlikely than Earth is. And yet, here it is and here we are.
If He can do this, doing “that” seems the most logical thing in the world.
People ask our twin granddaughters, “What’s it like being a twin?” Abby or Erin will answer, “I don’t know. I’ve never not been one.” In the same way, mankind exists on this planet as though it is all there is, the most logical place to be in the universe to be, and somehow is our right to do. We don’t know any other life, and so we do not ask the most basic questions about life on this small planet, questions like “How did this happen? Why this planet, of all the places in the universe? Why me, Lord?”
Earth is the biggest miracle in the universe. At least, so far.
Repeat: Heaven is no more unlikely than is Earth.
2) They have never been told of the living God of love and glory and Jesus and the cross, but have been told only of gods of cruelty and ugliness, littleness and spite. The Bible asks, “How shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14)
They don’t know.
Let’s go tell them.
Jesus said, “No one has been to Heaven except the One who came from there, even the Son of Man” (His name for Himself) (John 3:13). He is a native of Heaven!
Jesus Christ is the only One who knows. He is uniquely qualified to reveal Heaven to us and introduce us to God the Father. He said so Himself in Matthew 11:27.
3) Many choose not to believe even though their heart cries out that Jesus Christ alone is indeed “The Way, the Truth, the Life” (John 14:6).
To believe in God–in Jesus Christ, in Heaven, in the revelation of Holy Scripture–has all kinds of ramifications and implications which the carnal, stubborn, independent and willful mind rebels at accepting.
–Jesus: To accept Him as the incarnate Son of the living God, the only One who knows the Father and the only way to the Father, the only One who has come from Heaven and thus able to reveal it to us, to accept that means to yield to Him as the Authority on everything else.
Jesus is Lord.
–Gospel: To accept that this message of salvation in Jesus Christ is the truth of the ages is to agree it deserves priority in everything.
People need the Lord.
–Church: To agree that the redeemed people of God make up the earthly “body of Christ,” and to them has been given this “Word of reconciliation” to take to the ends of the earth would automatically make the church the most important collection of people on earth which deserves my full devotion and commitment and participation.
Christ-followers need the Church.
Choosing to disbelieve in spite of the overwhelming proof all around us that God is alive and Heaven is a certainty, the disbelievers ramp up their protests.
They increase the volume of their criticism, double down to finding flaws and inconsistencies in the lives and preachings of God’s people (and calling attention to them as publically as possible!), and turn up the tempo of their stridency in the hope that doing so will sufficiently camouflage their fears and draw attention away from their knocking knees.
It will not.
Nothing will satisfy the human heart that wants so much to believe in a living God except faith in Jesus Christ through whom we know God.
If we can believe in Earth, then believing in Heaven is a short step.
It’s the turning loose of idolatry-of-oneself that we do not want to give up.
Doing that takes an act of the will in which we say, “Help me, Father. I want to believe, but my rebellious heart refuses to go quietly.”
He’s not offended. He’s heard it all before, a few zillion times in fact. So go ahead and say it.
Say it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.