Heaven is for real (regardless of what speculative and unprofitable stories might be told about it on the big screen). And because heaven is for real, it warrants our regular meditation. Thus, the release of the movie Heaven Is for Real provides me with an opportunity to commend a much worthier investment of two hours of your time: reading a biblical reflection on the hope of future life.
One of my favorite sections in John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion is the chapter entitled, “Meditation on the Future Life.” And it would be well worth your time to read these 8 pages. The title of the chapter exhorts us to devote attention to meditating on the life to come. As Calvin says, “Whatever kind of tribulation presses us, we must ever look to this end: to accustom ourselves to contempt for the present life and to be aroused thereby to meditate upon the future life.”
He qualifies “contempt for the present life” to mean contempt for the contamination of sin, and hope for reunion with God. As he says, “to enjoy the present of God is the summit of happiness”:
For, if heaven is our homeland, what else is the earth but our place of exile? If departure from the world is entry into life, what else is the world but a sepulcher? And what else is it for us to remain in life but to be immersed in death? If to be freed from the body is to be released into perfect freedom, what else is the busy but a prison?
If to enjoy the presence of God is the summit of happiness, is not to be without this, misery? But until we leave the world, “we are away from the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6).
You can read the chapter here and print it for free.