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Why Do You Want to Go to Heaven?

February 26, 2021

by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

Many people talk about heaven, but not everybody who talks about heaven is going to heaven. The question I want to ask you today is, Why do you want to go to heaven?

Is the idea to miss hell? That’s not an unworthy motive, but may I say to you that if you go to heaven, you are going to find yourself either getting down on your face or getting up, worshiping the triune God and especially the Lord Jesus Christ. If you find worship boring down here and you are not interested in worshiping the Lord Jesus and expressing your heart's desire to Him, why in the world do you want to go to heaven? We are going to spend a lot of time up there worshiping Him.

Fellowship with Christ Jesus is the reason we should want to go to heaven.

He’s also the only way we are to make it down here. My friend, have you figured out just how much you need the Lord today? When Satan’s pressures bear down on you, you have the living, victorious Christ available to you. I don’t know what I would do without Him. Oh, that you and I might come to know Him better and that He might occupy a greater place in our lives day by day!

I am convinced in my own experience that the Lord Jesus Christ in person is the answer to my life’s greatest problems today. When I see plaques with the motto “Jesus is the Answer,” I always say it depends on what the question is. But certainly He is the answer to problems for which we are trying to work out our solutions by some humanized method. People will try to convince you to follow their little legal system guaranteed to solve the problems of your personal life, your home, your work, and your church, whatever. I doubt there ever was a day in which there was so much “self-help” teaching in all of these areas, yet there is less victorious living in believers’ daily experience.

What is the real problem today? We don't need a method; we need Christ. We need to know Him in a meaningful way. Better and better as the days go by. We need to draw closer to Him.

I Want to Know Jesus

When Jesus prayed for us on the night He was betrayed, the night before He gave Himself up as our Substitute, He said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

When we first come to Christ and receive Him as our Savior from sin, we have started to school. When we begin to know Him, we are in kindergarten and we progress over our life in God, growing in our knowledge of Him, experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely. From one degree to the next we progress.

Since I have retired from the pastorate, I have set before me a goal: I want to know Jesus better every day. I get up every morning, look out the window, and say, “Lord, thank You for bringing me to another day. I love You, Lord Jesus, but, oh, You seem to be so far away at times. I want to know You. May the Spirit of God make You real to me.” The name Jesus—oh, what it means, and what a person He is!

I Want to Know Others Better

Not only will we come to know the Lord better throughout eternity, we are also going to get to know one another better. I really don't think we know each other as we should. I find, at times, that I am greatly misunderstood. I make certain statements on the radio, and then I receive letters that almost shock me. It is difficult to understand how I could have been that misunderstood.

But in heaven we are going to know as we are known. I think that will be good. Also, we will know ourselves. And we are going to know our loved ones.

One summer when I tried to recuperate from an illness by resting, it allowed me time to sit on my patio with my wife and get acquainted with her. It was quite wonderful. I discovered the sacrifices that she has made and her faithfulness down through the years. And I think I am really going to get acquainted with her in heaven.

My friend, how glorious heaven is going to be! Even in this earthly life down here we find that when we grow in our love for Christ, we also grow in our love for each other.


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My Turn

Ask yourself, Why do I want to go to heaven? As you ponder that question, think of your relationship with Jesus Christ. If you want to be with Him in heaven, begin your relationship here and now.

I want to know Him more.

Read and meditate on Philippians 3:8-10:

“But more than that, I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him—a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him [believing and relying on Him], not having any righteousness of my own derived from [my obedience to] the Law and its rituals, but [possessing] that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection ….” (AMP)

Sing along to the hymn and pray this prayer.

I want to love Him more.

Dr. McGee asks, “When was the last time you told Jesus you love Him? He has said He loves you, and you ought to tell Him that in return.”

In whatever way is personally best for you, express your love to the Lord Jesus.

It could be by singing Him a song/hymn, by writing Him a letter in your prayer journal, by making something for Him, or by sharing your love for Him with someone else.

Why not take a walk or a car ride—just you and the Lord. Imagine Him with you. Tell Him how you feel about Him.

Worship Him in spirit and in truth … and include your heart in your expression.

Sing along to the hymn and pray this prayer.