I Am Only Visiting This Planet
For a long time, the idea of heaven wasn’t very appealing to me. It’s not that I didn’t believe it was real, it had just been explained to me in such a strange way. I would be in a church service, and the pastor would say, “You’d better get used to this because this is what we are going to be doing for eternity.”
I’d think to myself, “Heaven is going to be an endless church service? That sounds depressing!”
Fortunately, heaven will not be like that.
Despite all the brokenness we encounter here, there is still breathtaking beauty left in the world. A few years ago, on a family vacation, I went to a Cirque du Soleil performance in Las Vegas called KA at the MGM Grand. It was so spectacular and creative, I was stunned. I felt emotional as I watched it.
I am often on tour in Europe with No Longer Music, and we get to play in some of the most astounding, old cities on the planet. We set up our stage on a beautiful, city square surrounded by breathtaking art. Other times, I will be on a speaking tour in New Zealand, or in the Swiss Alps, and I will feel overwhelmed by all that God created.
The world is broken, but there are still places left with incredible beauty.
There is beauty in relationships. The love I feel for my wife, Jodi, or my sons, Aaron and Ben, and their wives and children, is so strong, it’s painful. Then there are the hundreds of incredible men and women I get to work with all over the world, who are, in a real sense, my international family.
Frankly, the love I feel for the people in my life is so intense, I can hardly take it sometimes. And when I get a fresh revelation of how much God loves the world, and how much He loves me - it's so profound, it almost burns. It is nearly unbearable.
Yet, all the beauty that remains in this broken world is only a shadow of what is to come. This life is just a speck of dust - a meager reflection of what is waiting for me.
In Corinthians 13:12, Paul says, “Now we see things imperfectly, as a puzzling reflection in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.” Any beauty that still exists on the earth is NOTHING compared to what God has prepared for those who love him. It’s a poor, corrupted version of what is waiting for us.
As a follower of Jesus, I am only visiting this planet, and this earth is not my home. Jesus says in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Then he tells us that when we give our lives to him, we NO LONGER belong to this world, either. We are foreigners.
John 15:19 says, “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer of the world.”
As a follower of Jesus, I am no longer a citizen here, and this planet is not my final destination. I am just passing through. Jesus, the creator of the universe, the one who holds everything together with His power, is preparing another place for me.
Jesus says in John 14:2, “In my father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? I will come back and welcome you into my presence, so that you also may be where I am.”
My real home is a place where there is no senseless violence, disease, cancer, broken hearts, loneliness, fear, suffering, and war. My home is where the creator God lives, from which He gave his son Jesus to rescue me from the world that is passing away. And because I am a not a citizen of this earth but a foreigner, I can take risks for Jesus!! I can go to dangerous places, endure hardship, pour myself out, work hard for the Gospel.
Every follower of Jesus is called to come out of the world. Why? Because when you give your life to Jesus, you are promised eternity with Him forever!
John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that whoever believes in him, has eternal life!
Every year, I spend many months in crowded vans, driving thousands of kilometers, sometimes with little sleep, and often afraid. I have been so lonely that I’ve felt it would have been easier to no longer be alive. And yet, I have never been so grateful or fulfilled. I can pour myself out because this world is not my home.
I am only visiting this planet.