We always like to sit in the same seats. our section is towards the back on the right-hand side. Two rows ahead of us, the next family sits there, and three rows ahead of them, another. The room is far bigger than we need, it’s usually almost empty, so they like to have us leave our section and move forward. This got me thinking about Heaven.
There is no ‘Southern Baptist’ Section, no ‘Methodist’ Section, no ‘Lutheran’ Section, no ‘Roman Catholic’ Section. In Heaven, we’ll all be one whole church. Yet, it seems that current teachings – the things we all differ on are taught with utmost importance to the youngest among us. Creeds – the statement of faith – of each denomination remains central to that which divides us. Its also one of the big things that won’t exist in heaven.
How do I know that? It’s in scripture:
“4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:1-6
I can imagine two possibilities, that the one faith might be similar to an existing understanding of the faith, but more perfect or the one faith does not yet exist and we’re all going about the faith in our divided, flawed, and incorrect interpretations and will likely do so until God sets us straight. I believe the latter is more accurate, after all, people have a track record for getting things wrong or going about things the wrong way.
What honestly bothers me is that so many people sign up with this denomination or that denomination and don’t give a second thought to what they believe or why they believe it. It’s like they’re treating Heaven like an insurance policy and they’ve signed up with various providers – the Southern Baptists, the Disciples of Christ, etc. and call it good enough. Is it? Being a Southern Baptist in heaven won’t get you a closer seat to Jesus, it won’t put you at the front of the line to God, it won’t give you more one-on-one time with Him. There is a very real possibility that denominations won’t exist in heaven, and that we’ll all be non-denominationalists.
So what does that mean for you, here and now? It means that you should stop acting like you have a get-out-of-jail-free card in your pocket, it means that you should open your Bible and figure out what you believe and why you believe it – ‘the pastor told me it was so’ isn’t going to get you anywhere, and it means that you should try to look at those around you with a different perspective. I don’t know about you, but I think it’d be a great idea to practice a little bit of humility, gentleness, patience, and love, that way you’ll be used it by the time you make it to Heaven.