Think about your first breath after death.
That moment has everything to do with this one (and every moment between now and then) — that first newborn inhale in heaven. Why will that gasp of air be any better than your last breath before death?
Will it be eternity’s freedom from everything you have to get done today? Will it be leaving behind besetting sin and guilt after decades of fighting for faith? Will it be the expiration of grief, pain, and anxiety? Will it be that the dark cloud of death has passed for good?
What makes being saved sweet for you? What makes heaven such a beautiful haven of happiness? Among millions of possible answers, only one is right. The best thing about that first breath will be that we are finally breathing face to face with our God. John Piper writes,
Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And the people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. (God Is the Gospel)
Why did God save you? Not just so that you could escape hell, or relieve some shame and regret, not even so that you could get into heaven. God saved you for God, so that you would have God.
Isaiah 12 says the same thing about our salvation. God begins by giving his people a reason for hope, a promise of rescue, “you will give thanks” (Isaiah 12:1). But he quickly reminds them that on that day, they will remember his anger against their iniquity: “ . . . though you were angry with me . . . ” The salvation God brings does not minimize his anger due to our sin, or wipe it from our memory. In our first breath after death, we will remember our wickedness against him.
Written by Marshall Segal
Full article at Desiring God