Archive for May 3rd, 2011

May 3, 2011

Should I stay or should I go?

by pastortimfowler

Should I stay or should I go?
Yep, that is the words of a song by The Clash about a guy who needed to know if the girl loved him or not and if so, should he stay or should he go. It is the same question that was asked to me about Christians staying on earth or going to heaven as a blog idea. Isn’t it funny that when I talk to people in my church I start hearing weird songs from the past?
Let me try to set the stage for the discussion. Many people believe that when they become Christians that they should be ready to go to heaven and many even have this desire to go. I am not talking about a death wish, but just the strong desire to go to the place that is promised to be free of all the junk we have to put up with here on earth. Then there is the other part of them that says, what about all my friends and family who don’t know about this forgiveness and eternal life? If I leave, who will tell them? Thus the dilemma, should I stay or should I go?
I can say that it is not wrong to desire to be in heaven. It is wrong to obsess and begin to take steps to get there. God has promised a place for us to live for eternity where there is no pain, no death, no sorrow, no sin. He tells us that this place has beauty beyond our ability to even imagine it and that there is a place prepared specifically for each individual Christian. If you believe this is true, it is tempting to start packing.
But God saves us and forgives us and leaves us here on earth for a reason. We are to be his ambassadors for heaven. We are to represent everything that heaven stands for while we are still on earth. We are God’s hug distributors and salesmen for His love. Think of yourself as a travel agent for heaven. You get to tell people who the best trip you can ever take is the one that you have been promised. Although you have never been there, you do have the book that describes it in detail. You can make the arrangements and set up a reservation for anyone who wants it. And, every time you sell someone on going to heaven, you get a bonus.
But in a more simple term, God saved us from the death and destruction of this world and left us here on a rescue mission. If left to live life without Jesus, people are heading for the death and destruction that sin brings. Only Jesus can save one from this and He has left us here to carry out that mission. We are soldiers of the cross, fully equipped to do battle with an enemy that wants our friends and family to die and never live again.
We are like the Navy Seals of God on a special mission to rescue those held captive and tear down the strongholds of the enemy. But many do not want that part of salvation and only want the heaven part. Yes, I believe that you can be saved and never do anything to help another find the same salvation, but I think that if you are that person, you are a lazy and a worthless soldier, and God, our Commander, will deal with that.
No soldier wants to just wear the uniform. They want the medals and ribbons of honor that the Commander Himself pins on in the day that He tells you, Well done!
So the summation of what I am trying to say is, when you are struggling with the question, should I stay or should I go, remember that Jesus said to stay here and fight the good fight, and go into all the world and preach the gospel. Heaven will be there whenever you are called home so don’t rush it, it will be worth it all.