In a recent study http://www.edstetzer.com/2009/08/what-questions-are-people-aski.html
When people were asked: How often do you wonder “if I die today will I go to heaven/hell” ~ 40% said NEVER
When people were asked: How often do you wonder “how can I find more meaning and purpose in my life” ~ 32% said DAILY
I thought this was very profound! And it made me ask myself: How will my preaching best affect this generation? These were staggering statistics. And when you view the chart, you can see that these are the numbers for the most frequently give response.
People have said to me that we should be concerned about whether or not someone “goes to heaven”. And to be certain, I am concerned about people’s eternal destiny. But I also believe the Church of the previous generation made such a fuss about heaven that they took their eyes off of Jesus. In other words, their focus (and essentially their worship) was of heaven, rather than of God.
When I look at the scriptures, I do not read of Jesus asking people if they “want to go to heaven”. Instead, I read about Jesus challenging people to live lives that are holy and pleasing to God and make a difference in the world (i.e. find meaning and purpose in this life).
I think we missed the point that eternal life begins…now! Jesus wants to radically change us from the inside out so we can change the world from the outside in. And heaven? Well, it’s like a really big bonus!
So, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith.