Yesterday, we discovered the eternal truth that all things are possible with God… even the rich can enter Heaven. This perpetual precept was offered after the disciples asked a pointed question to Jesus: “Who then can be saved?” Though the disciples accepted Jesus’ answer, Peter pressed Him further with the question: “We have left everything to follow You! What then will there be for us?” (vv. 24-27)
Peter couldn’t get the eternal view because his worldly perspective kept getting in the way. Isn’t entrance into Heaven enough? Isn’t the joy of eternity with Jesus completely satisfying? Jesus’ answer to Peter reveals, yet, another eternal truth:
Jesus said to them, “ITYTT, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (vv. 28-30; Mark 10:23-31; Luke 18:24-30)
Heaven’s realm will be completely different than our earthly experience. The government is a theocracy, ruled by Heaven’s eternal King, Jesus Christ. Under His authority, the disciples and possibly either Stephen or Paul, will act as judges over the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus is not ceding His power over to them, but is simply honoring their sacrifice as greater than the founding fathers of Israel, for there will be no more war, conflict, lawlessness, or reckless living. Jesus went on to say that those who gave up friends and family by professing Him will receive a hundred fold more in Heaven. They did not abandon their families, they gave their lives by following Christ… they were martyred for their faith. Upon entry into Heaven, one will see that many who were VIP’s are now last… BUT THEY GOT IN! And many who were disdained by society are now the Heavenly VIP’s… casting down their golden crowns at the feet of Jesus (Revelation 4:10).
Confessing Christ as one’s Savior levels the field of how we perceive each other, for we all need a savior… we all need to be rescued from sin’s curse. THE ETERNAL TRUTH in this passage is the reality of Heaven - totally unworldly, yet being familiar enough to recognize others and to rejoice in the common experience of having entered into eternal joy! I will gladly take last place to gain entrance into Heaven… and without ever being first here on earth!
I wrote a song in 1989, seeking to capture a view of Heaven. Here are some of the words:
And we’ll be praising You, Messiah
We’ll be kneeling at Your feet
We’ll be gathered with Your children all around The Mercy Seat
We’ll be shouting, “Hallelujah! Praise The Lord Who reigns on high!”
With the angels and the cherubim, we will see through Heaven’s eyes
Death is swallowed up in victory
O grave there’s no more sting
Those who believe, even in death, will live eternally
Through the valley of death’s shadow I will not be afraid
For the Lamb Who died on Calv’ry’s tree will come for me one day
© 1989 by Steve Foss
Understandable Words, LLC
Have a blessed day...
(To hear the song referenced above, go to the “Listen” tab and find “In Mem’ry”)