“I’m going to heaven where everyone is perfect, so how I live here won’t affect me there” -that is what some people think and say. It is their belief that godly living here doesn’t
affect their future state in heaven. They say, “I’m going to heaven and that’s all that matters,” but they are wrong! That’s not all that matters. Contrary to what they believe, there are different degrees or grades of glory in eternity. And that ought to impact our lives here and now.
All true Christians will be in heaven, and will experience the absence of evil, and be exposed to nothing but good. All imperfections will be removed. So there are many things common to all believers. Yet there are certain distinctions, some peculiarities that make us different.While the quality of our blessings may be the same, the quantity can be very different. Two vessels may both be full and both be filled with the same contents, and yet be very different in size. Even so, in heaven some will have a greater capacity for joy, etc. than others.
There will be different degrees of glory (Dan.12:3; Matt.5:12; 10:41-42; Luke 19:12). Just as there are differences of magnitude between the stars, there is a difference in the saints in glory (I Cor.15:14). The Bible tells us that there are different degrees of punishment in hell (Luke 12:47; Rom.2:6-16), so why should we be surprised that there will be differences among those in heaven. I Cor.3:15 tells us that some who are saved will nevertheless “suffer loss.” 2 John 8 encourages us to live so as to “receive a full reward.” There must be differences or those verses would make no sense.
Still some wonder, if all are perfect how can there be different degrees? The answer is simply – they are all perfect, but all have not the same capacity. Two diamonds may be of the same purity and brilliance, and yet be of different sizes and value. Even so, all in heaven will be saved, yet differ in rank, state, and services. That fact should change the way we live. It should cause us to invest our lives in things that will make a difference in eternity.
John Angell James wrote: “Those who receive the most from him, will render most to him. Higher degrees of glory, while, as regards ourselves, they will enlarge our capacity for happiness, will, as regards him, prepare us in a more eminent manner to enjoy, serve, and honor him. For his sake then, as well as your own, grow in grace, that you many rise in glory.”
It just stands to reason that, if we truly believe that what we do on earth will have an effect on eternity our attitude and actions will be affected. Our beliefs affect our behavior. If you believe what you do here won’t matter in heaven you will do little or nothing of eternal value. If you believe it makes a difference you will be different. Sadly some poor deluded people are wasting their lives because they believe their conduct here and now will have no affect on them there and then – in their eternal state. What they need to know is this — the grade of glory to which we shall rise in heaven is determined by what we do for the glory of God here on earth. So then, what are you doing with your life? Think about it!