Most of us have heard the saying, or accusation, “he is so heavenly minded, that he is of no earthly good”. The idea behind this criticism is that the more the Christian focuses on the coming kingdom of heaven, the less that same one will seek to be of benefit to others, doing good in the here and now. I’ve come to believe, on the basis of Scripture, that this statement and the sentiment behind it, is both untrue, and actually a tool of Satan to keep the Christian from an eternal perspective.
One of Satan’s ploys is to keep the unbelieving mind captive to the here and now. Through worldly philosophies, ideologies, and especially the fear of death, our enemy attempts to keep man’s focus on living only for the moment, satisfied with cheap pleasures, instant gain and immediate gratification. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Those same fallen worldviews often snake their way into the community of faith, confusing the minds of believers. And it is here that we must destroy those speculations raised against the knowledge of God, taking our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. God’s word encourages believers to cultivate a heavenly mindedness in order that we might indeed live here and now in such a way as to be pleasing to Christ at His coming.
Let me give a sampling of God’s truth that destroys speculation in this area, so that your hearts will be built up in the faith.
Heavenly Minded: “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” is followed by exhortations to put aside all immorality, impurity, idolatry, and to cultivate a heart of compassion, kindness and humility (which is of great earthly good).
Focused on Promises Yet to Come: “He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” is followed by the reminder to add to your faith things like moral excellence, self-control, brotherly kindness, and love (all of which are of great earthly good).
Looking for the Appearing of the Savior: “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” is preceded by the call to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and live sensibly in this present age (which is of great earthly good).
Delaying Gratification for Future Reward: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” is followed by the encouragement to use current opportunities to do good to all people (which is of great earthly good).
The idea of that fixing our hope completely on the future grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ is actually counterproductive to earthly service to God is impossible to substantiate from God’s truth. Quite the contrary!