Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fellowship on Earth Preparing for Fellowship in Heaven

One of the worst things God could ever do would be to allow a person to enter into heaven while hating fellowship with other Christians. For one thing, God never makes a mistake. Second of all, God will never allow one to be miserable in heaven. No one ever stumbles into the eternal Kingdom of God. No one enters into heaven with a quasi excitement about seeing God face to face. This simply does not happen.

Obviously, it is understood that God’s Word so clearly teaches that one enters heaven only through the shed blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ who was slain for the sins of those who would believe upon Him. He suffered and bore the extremities of divine wrath in place of those who believe in Him. Without this atonement, or covering, one will stand before the great Judge in that future Day without hope of entering into eternal bliss and will be cast into eternal hell.

With that said, however, one confirmation that assures me that I am a true believer is that I love fellowship with God’s people. Yes, of course I need to grow in this area and can (and should!) increase in my love for the saints all the more, but this morning I had a glorious time with one of my best friends in the faith. Though we have seen each other only once in the last year, it was as if nothing had changed and we had only spent a few days apart.

But the fellowship with this dear brother was so sweet that it helped assure me – again – that I am destined for heaven. Of course, I affirm that one does not enter into heaven because of the fact that he loves the saints. Rather I’m affirming that one enters into heaven because of Jesus’ death and resurrection and my faith and trust in Him with the effect that I have a passionate desire to fellowship with God’s own people. And that is what happened to me today.

I can’t understand how a person can dislike fellowship with Christians; not want to go to church; not want to hang out with “Christians” because they are “uncool;” etc. I would assert that someone who doesn’t love – yes, even long for – fellowship would be a miserable person in heaven. This, after all, is what will be one of the glorious joys of heaven. This is why we have names in heaven. Because there will be relationships, fellowship, love, communion, work, service, and life-on-life friendships.

In conclusion, therefore, hear me again, I am not affirming that fellowship is in any way a merit that earns one eternal life. But what I am saying is that fellowship is one of the surest proofs that a person has already been redeemed by Jesus Christ. Furthermore, if a person claiming to be a Christian dislikes fellowship with other Christians, then I would question if that person truly understands God’s Word and is really destined for heaven where there will be eternal fellowship with the Savior and other believers.

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