For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth . . . yet for us there is but one God. (1 Cor. 8:5–6)
Admiral Horatio Nelson, victor in the Battle of Trafalgar and England’s naval hero in the Napoleonic Wars, inspired not only confidence but also affection among his men. In a letter home, one of his commanders noted the hardships and adversity of war, “but,” he concluded, “our reward is—we are with Nelson!”
Heaven is not heaven because of golden streets, jewel-encrusted gates, harps, or crowns. Let me apologize in advance if “A Mansion Over the Hilltop” is your favorite gospel song, but its promise of “a gold one that’s silver-lined” makes heaven sound like a worthy goal simply because we’ll be able to cash in on all the worldly benefits we missed out on down here on earth. Those who focus on heaven’s “things” are not aiming too high but too low.
Infinitely more rewarding will be the prospect of eternity with the One who loved us so much that he died so that we could be with him forever. Our reward in heaven will be, above all else, that we are with Christ!
This world has nothing to offer that would even begin to compete with that promise, including the countless “so-called gods,” in Paul’s phrase, who fill the pages of our textbooks on
world religions. A “so-called god” is not good enough (or god enough) for the people of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Make the Alpha and Omega your alpha and omega too.
Bob Black is an emeritus professor of religion at Southern Wesleyan University. Along with Keith Drury, he coauthored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.