Oh what a wonderful picture of Heaven we get today! You’ve heard of the streets of gold haven’t you? That description comes from today’s passage. This is where we get to see the hope we have. We get to see the reason we can persevere through this present darkness. You know, I have facilitated a number of Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace” seminars at my church. Dave encourages people to save for the things they want to buy. He decries the prevailing tendency of people to borrow money in order to have the things they want right now rather than saving. These folks are surrendering their future for the sake of right now. He tells folks he wants them to live like no one else today, meaning save for what they want, forgoing immediate, materialistic self-gratification, so they can live like no one else later, meaning living a financially secure future.
Well, I think this is the same principle for Christians; we are to live like no one else today, so we can live like no one else for eternity. Heaven is for those who conquer their self-centeredness through the power of Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ we deny ourselves today. This means that we will have a much better future than those who seek their pleasure today. In terms of eternity, the time we spend denying ourselves is virtually nothing compared to the time we will enjoy New Jerusalem with its streets of Gold.
Brothers, as you read today’s passage, understand that this is what it is all for. When you see the Lost succeeding and enjoying the best this world has to offer, remember that they are taking the short straw. They want their reward now and they are getting it. Your reward is coming later and it is infinitely greater than anything you can hope for in this life. Don’t envy the Lost; the day is coming when they will envy you.