For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
As Paul continues to pray for the Ephesian believers he focusses on what is to come – the riches of Christ’s glorious inheritance in the saints.
Having something to look forward to, a hope that is steadfast and certain, is a great antidote to the many pressures and challenges that face us, living in a fallen world, and it would be hard to imagine a greater hope than sharing with the saints, such a glorious inheritance.
Clearly this inheritance has many aspects for it is part of the ‘manifold wisdom’ of God (Ephesians 3.10) but there can be no doubt that Heaven is part of it.
Heaven awaits the believer and as we have noted previously it is an absolute certainty, for the Holy Spirit is the guarantee. But what is heaven? What is this inheritance that awaits us?
Being earth bound mortals heaven is difficult to visualise and the best description is contained in the final two chapters of the Book of Revelation and, if you can work through some of the most difficult images in the Bible, Ezekiel chapters 40-48. These in comparison with Revelation 21-22 seem obscure in the extreme but the final four words in one sense say it all
The LORD is there
and that is, in much more understandable language and visual images, one of the central truths in the Revelation vision of heaven.
As believers we know God is with us but the glorious inheritance that awaits is this, that we, having shed our earthly bodies at death and been clothed in our heavenly bodies (1 Corinthians 15), will be in his very presence!
The magnitude of this transformation is so great, that as earth and time-bound, people we are always in danger of forgetting where our focus should be and the glorious inheritance that God has prepared for us.
So let us fix our eyes on Jesus and keep in view what awaits us. Not that we should in some way try to escape the hardships of this world but rather that we may live in this world with a calmness and a confidence that will challenge those who, without Christ, are burdened by the way things are and have no hope.
May our way of living, loving and speaking be such that others are drawn to the Saviour for
‘there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4.12