We don’t see this life as a mere preface to an eternity with God.
Throughout Philippians, Paul is always pointing the readers to something in the future- Something beyond the immediate.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6)
In the Last Battle, CS Lewis beautifully states it this way: “All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
Culture says to get all you can out of life now because this is all you have. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you die. Now, certainly, there is much to enjoy in this life, and we must not live with pessimism that looks past God’s good gifts of this life; but, we must remember that all the joys of today are a mere foreshadowing of joys infinitely greater. Don’t let the taste of today’s joys be your fill; let them merely whet your appetite for that which is “far better.”
“My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Phil 1:23)
We forget our citizenship.
Those who glory in Christ’s death on the cross actually have hope because of the resurrection that follows. They look forward to a future resurrection- new life- a new world. They are citizens of God’s kingdom. Those who reject Christ’s death on the cross ironically only incur death. To be earthly minded is ultimately death.
“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven.” (Phil 3:20)
We’re waiting for the wrong thing.
It is Christ himself for whom we are to be waiting. While heaven will certainly be earthy and tangible, a New Eden- a new world, the thing that will make this all new and beautiful is God Himself. Don’t just anticipate God’s gifts and miss the God behind them for whom we wait.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…”