How Heaven Motivates Missions

I am so thankful for my Dad.  I have never met anyone who believes with as much assurance and zeal that Christ could return tomorrow than him.  Heaven and the return of Christ comes up in almost every one of our conversations. 
I can remember as a young girl that my Dad told me that if he were to die, he would want his funeral to be a party with lots of balloons and that he would want me to wear bright, cheery clothes–all because he would want me to celebrate the fact that he was in Heaven.
And these days my Dad is releasing me, Dave and the grandkids to Africa because, “We are going to have so much fun together in Heaven.” 
Heaven to my Dad is the place he really belongs, his true home, his destiny.  And he does not just say this on Sunday at church, but he believes it in the depth of his being. This truth motivates him every day and it changes the way that he lives.
As we get closer and closer to leaving behind all we have known as home, the promise of Heaven continues to calm our anxious hearts. This promise continues to remind us of the comforts to come, and continues to free us up to be zealous warriors for Christ as long as he gives us breath.  In short,
Heaven motivates us towards missions because… 

Sufferings Here Do not Compare to Glory There

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”
I believe this.  I believe that any sufferings that we encounter on the field will not compare to the coming glory that is to be revealed to us.  So, if the coming glory is so much better, why not take on harder lives here for the sake of the unreached?
When we were adopting Kaden and Makyra, the process seemed like it was taking FOREVER.  We had friends that had adopted who told us, “It seems like it is taking a long time, but when you get them, you just forget about all the waiting and frustration.”  And their experience has proved true.  Now that we have them, we almost cannot remember the waiting at all.  In the same way, any pain that is endured here will simply be an afterthought as we feast, fellowship and worship in Heaven forever.
The Warmth of Eternal Fellowship is Secure
Christian fellowship has got to be one of the greatest treasures that we know on this earth. It is so amazing to have people pray for you, help you move, forgive you when you sin against them, encourage you in their faith, and even remember your birthday.  And yet, Christian fellowship is not earthly, it is heavenly.  It will be more real in Heaven.  Only Christians will be in Heaven and there will not be sin or the sorrows of goodbyes or death to separate us from one another.  Oh how exciting it will be to catch up with our friends on how the spent their lives when we get to Heaven.  Although it will likely be a lifetime of separation, really is only a moment.  So why not leave for a second for the sake of the Gospel when you know you will be together again soon?
Beauty, Strength, and Immortality are for Later
1 Corinthians 15:53-55    “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

These earthly bodies that the Lord has given us are disposable, temporary, vulnerable to pain, sickness and ultimately death.  BUT, imperishable, immortal bodies are promised to us forever.  So bring on the multiple vaccinations, the malaria prevention medication, the baking sun, the mosquitoes, the bug spray, and so on because this body is already sentenced to death and my perfect body is coming. 

I had a missions professor in college that had scars from the mission field and he shared with us that he was honored to bear marks on his body due to his devotion and service to Jesus.  These bodies are not meant to be preserved, but instead are to be used to transport and speak the Good News of Jesus all over the world.  So why not be subjected to heat, disease, possible persecution, and very different foods in this temporary body so that others can be spared from Hell?  A new body is coming very soon.

It is such an honor to be a Christian.  The Christian God is so warm.  He does not “just” tell us to go into all the world and make disciplines but he also gives us so much motivation to do so.  He gives us reason upon reason to let go of what is so temporary, to take hold of what is sure, and to be spent for the Gospel.
Can you think of any ways that the promise of Heaven can serve as a motivation to go into missions?

Author: Stacey Hare

Stacey is a servant of Jesus Christ as well as a wife, mom, linguist, and Bible translator. Right now she is working creating literacy materials so the Kwakum people can learn to read and write in their language. She is also working on translating Old Testament stories into Kwakum with her husband and local Kwakum colleagues.