In his book, 'The root of the righteous', the famous Christian AW Tozer, wrote “A real Christian is an odd number, anyway.” He goes on to list some reasons for this in the book and you can find the details on the internet here*. In addition to all the ways Tozer lists, there is another way that a Christian is odd, and that is because he is both looking forward to a new earth, but is also just as concerned to do his best in this current earth. A Christian recognizes that the current state of the earth is beyond redemption. The only solution to the increasing decay that sin has brought in, is to see it replaced by a new heaven and a new earth. This is not to say that people are beyond redemption; far from it! What Christ accomplished on the cross enables all that believe in Him to be part of the new creation, even while they live in this old creation. When the new creation fully comes, they will take their place in it with great joy.

But this does not mean that the true Christian has abandoned this current world. While he wants to avoid its corruption, lusts and pollutions, he wants to do the best he can for it and more importantly those in it, while he is still here. Yet, all the while looking forward to the new creation. We can see this principle demonstrated in a verse in John’s first letter, ‘But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?’ (1Jn 3:17) While the focus of this verse is on the very practical advice to help others in need, it demonstrates a more broader principle that we should be alert to the situations around us and, as we are able, we should do our best to help; whether that is in supplying physical needs, providing comfort and counsel, encouraging or advising. According to what God has given us, we must use it for the good of others. We are not to become so focussed on the next world, that we become useless in this current world, though neither are we to forget that one day we will indeed inherit and inhabit a new world. It only takes a cursory reading of the New Testament to realise that this is exactly how Jesus lived. How many were healed, delivered, fed and taught while He was here, but always He was moving forward to what He would accomplish on the cross and the future new heaven and new earth.

Are you heavenly minded, but also of great earthly use?