highest priority in every Christian’s life should be to make
it to heaven. A study of the book of Philippians will leave
one with a sharper vision of this objective. Thematically,
Paul states, “for our citizenship is in heaven; whence
also we wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:” (Phil.
3:20). Heaven will be a place comprised of people who
lived life with a spiritual purpose. The mind or thinking of a
heavenward bound Christian is prescribed in the book of
Philippians. Three major themes in Philippians expose the mind
that sincerely looks to heaven. The heavenward bound man or
woman will think spiritually, fellowship spiritual
instructions, and care for others’ spirituality.
People bound for heaven will have a peculiar way of thinking.
Said Christian considers others above self (Phil. 2:4).
When the heavenward bound Christian is treated shamefully by
others, he does not seek vengeance. Said individual does not
wear emotions on his sleeves to the point that he is offended
by every look and statement of a spouse, brethren, and even
those of the world (Phil. 2:14; 4:12). He does not hope
and trust in his earthly achievements (Phil. 3:3-9).
When desperate times come, he does not fall into disparity (Phil.
4:11-13). When heaven is my true objective in life, I “learn”
(Phil. 4:11-12) to be somewhat detached from the cares
of this world. During Paul’s day it seemed to be some
people’s objective to cause him pain, yet this did not
bother him because heaven was his focus (cf. Phil. 1:12,
17-21, 30; 3:11-13, 20-21; 3:15; 4:12). Whether Paul was
ill treated, hungry, or doing well in life, he was content
knowing that he “can do all things through him (Christ)
that strengthens” (4:13). When you and I
“learn” to put away the cares of this world, our
relationships with God, brethren, and our spouses will be much
better. We will have a different outlook in life than the
world. Our objective is ever to be heaven!
Secondly, those whose objective is heaven will not only have a
peculiar way of thinking, but they will fellowship (share in)
spiritual things. The book of Philippians reveals several
aspects of Bible fellowship. Bible fellowship is to exist in
the areas of preaching to the lost (Phil. 1:5), the
grace of God (Phil. 1:7), defending and confirming
truth (Phil. 1:7), the Spirit (Phil. 2:1) (i.e.
doctrinal unity) (Phil. 1:27; 2:2; 4:2), the suffering
of Jesus (Phil. 3:10), sharing in each other’s
afflictions (Phil. 1:7, 4:14), and supporting gospel
preachers (Phil. 4:15). Paul’s hope was to “gain
Christ, and be found in him” (Phil. 3:8-9). When
I fellowship spiritual things, I “gain Christ.” I
share in all aspects of the life of Christ when I put Him on (cf.
Lastly, those whose objective is heaven will desire to see
others make it to heaven. Heavenward bound people will think
more highly of others than self (Phil. 2:3-4), pray (Phil.
1:9-11, 19), long for (Phil. 1:8), be thankful for
(Phil. 1:3), warn (Phil. 3:2, 18-19), encourage
faithfulness in (Phil. 1:10, 27; 2:12), and share in
each other’s afflictions (Phil. 1:7, 4:14), and be
willing to support the preaching of the gospel (Phil. 2:30,
Note that in each of the above three themes of Philippians,
the only individuality that the Christian has is a desire to
make it to heaven. Paul says, “Let us therefore, as many
as are perfect, be thus minded...” (Phi. 3:15).
Christ had no emotional, physical, or spiritual ties to earth
other than being passionately concerned about the souls of men
(cf. Phil. 2:6-8). Paul calls upon Christians to
examine his life of contentment in Christ and so emulate it (Phil.
4:8-9). Today, we have godly men and women to look to for
examples to follow (Phil. 3:17). When my mind is
focused on heaven, those of the world, brethren, and friends
may afflict me with rods or words of disparagement, yet will I
press towards heaven. When my health fails and I experience
agonizing pain, I will continue to press toward heaven. I may
have money, friends, and good health galore, yet I will
continue to press towards heaven. Let us remember that “this
world is not our home, we are just a passing through...”
One’s life goal of heaven should ever be the “one thing
I do” (Phil. 3:13). The next time you get your
feelings hurt, experience anger, jealousy, or have feelings of
animosity toward someone, check your priorities and remember
the book of Philippians.
John C Robertson