If God Loves His People So Much, Why Didn't He Just Take Them With Him To Heaven?
Why do people need to live and suffer here on earth when they could just spend every moment with God in heaven? This was a question that Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church wanted believers to reflect on as he explained the purpose of life.
"Have you ever wondered why God didn't just take you to Heaven when He created you? Why did He put you on Earth? You're only here for 100 years at the most, and you're going to live for eternity in Heaven or Hell. Why didn't God just take everybody to Heaven?" Warren wrote on his website.
The answer, he said, can be found in the Bible. Warren said God put people on Earth for two reasons: the first is for them to love God, and the other is for them to learn to love other people. The normal lifespan of a person is around 80 to 100 years, and Warren said that time should be used to utilise God's "giant lesson in love" so they can be ready for heaven.
"Life is not about acquisition, accomplishment, or achievement. It's not about all the things the world tells you it's about. You're not taking your career to Heaven. You're not taking your car to Heaven. You're not taking your house to Heaven," he explained. "But you are taking your character. You're taking you."
Warren also said that human love has its limits, so it's very important for believers to have God's love in every relationship. God's love is unconditional and it never wears out, even if His recipients continuously fail and disappoint Him.
Warren said God will never love people more than He does right now, and He will never love them any less even if they are undeserving. "Isn't it good news that God never gives up on you? No matter what you do, His love never gives up. It's wide enough to include everybody, and it's long enough to last forever," he said.