Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
—1 John 3:2
So far we have seen that God has an eternal purpose for each of us: to be saved and to become more like Christ. So for those of us who have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ, why has God left us here on earth rather than taking us to heaven?
Think about it: if God took you to heaven the moment you were saved, then His eternal purpose for your life could be instantly fulfilled. First John 3:2 says that in our new bodies that we receive at the Rapture, “We will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
Because we will be like Christ in heaven, we will also enjoy perfect, unhindered fellowship with God. The apostle John describes what we will experience in heaven: “There will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him” (Revelation 22:3).
So the question is, for what purpose have you and I been left here on earth? Why would God be willing to postpone His enjoyment of a perfect relationship with us and prolong His ultimate desire for us to become just like Christ?
God has a positive purpose that He wants you and me to fulfill during our remaining days on earth. So that no one would misunderstand this mission, Jesus Christ repeated our assignment before He ascended to heaven: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
The reason God has left you and me here on earth after our salvation is to win as many people to faith in Jesus Christ as possible before He returns. That’s why you and I are here. And let me tell you, when you understand that, it gives you a whole different way of looking at what is happening in the world right now. When you understand that your immediate purpose is spreading the gospel and bringing people to Christ, you have an entirely different perspective from which to view your circumstances and any difficulties you may be facing.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power of a Positive Purpose” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.