Paul encourages us to "set [our] minds on the things above, not on earthly things."
But what are those things? Are they theological truths?
Are they abstract things like love, joy, peace, patience, etc.?
Does it mean to meditate on the golden gates and streets of gold and the giant cubic city of New Jerusalem as a way to provide a foundation of peace as we live our lives?
I think he means something much more practical than all these things.
Right after he says this he writes about the moral behavior for the new Gospel community to follow. How are they connected?
Paul saw a glimpse of the heavenly community. He's basing his moral commands off of what he saw. He saw a world of love where people live without sexual immorality, without envy, without bitterness and grudges, without quarreling.
He's saying, set your minds on what a community of love will be like so you can start living it out now.
Meditating on heaven and the new earth is an immensely practical endeavor.
Everyone's view of heaven, Christian or not, affects how they live their daily lives.
If you believe heaven is sitting on clouds playing harps and wearing white robes, then you'll likely think that is intensely boring and you'll want to live your best life now.
If you think heaven is just one long worship service where you're just constantly standing in front of God's throne singing praises for all eternity, you may try to enjoy some earthly pleasures while you can before you have to enjoy only one type of pleasure the rest of eternity.
However, if you realize that the new earth will have all the pleasures we enjoy here yet in their purest most satisfying form because we'll perfectly see how God is reflected in all of them, then we can live on mission here and not worry about missing out on the joys of this world.
So that's why I'm writing this blog. To help me and anyone who reads it to have a practical imagination for what the new earth will be like.
A little about me. I, Peter James, am 30 years old, living in Los Angeles where I was born and raised. So I have no idea what bad weather is like. I'm a husband to a wonderful wife and father of two grade school aged kids. Lover of intentional fragmented sentences and unorthodox grammar.
My theological training comes from a few years of Bible college, all the free Tim Keller sermons I could find, a few John Piper books, several Jonathan Edwards books and biographies, almost everything CS Lewis wrote, a very gracious Christmas gift of Logos Bible Software, several very difficult trials, and other such things.