It’s hard for some people to believe in heaven because they can’t touch it or see it. It can feel too far to grasp onto and too distant to find assurance in. Other people hope in heaven but go through life uncertain that they’ll ever get there. The doubts are too strong and the promises too abstract. Wouldn’t it be great if God gave us a down payment on heaven, here and now? Wouldn’t it help if heaven came with a guarantee for those who had truly put their faith in Jesus? Amazing at it sounds, the Bible says that, in the Holy Spirit, God has done exactly that.
1. The Holy Spirit is your guarantee of heaven.
Some people are so convinced that they need to, ‘just take it on faith,’ that they miss God’s promises of a guarantee of heaven. The Bible makes the incredible statement that, “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 5:5). When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into your life as a guarantee of the heaven that He has promised to all who come to Him. As we begin to experience the Holy Spirit slowly changing our desires and reshaping our character it’s like a guarantee intended to convince us of what He will one day do for us.
2. The Holy Spirit is your down-payment on heaven.
When you buy a product from Costco, they have a sign near the check-out that “guarantees” customer satisfaction. So, when we read that the Holy Spirit is our guarantee we might get the impression that He’s like the Costco promise of satisfaction. But that’s not how people made guarantees in the 1st c. when the New Testament was written. If you promised to give someone 100 gold coins next month, you might give them 10 gold coins today as a guarantee. You would give the person something as a down-payment, an assurance that you weren’t just making an empty promise. In Ephesians 1:13-14, Paul speaks of the “promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” What he meant was that the Holy Spirit in our lives today is a down-payment or foretaste of our life to come. The Holy Spirit gives us a hunger for worship, love, truth and righteousness. He shapes our lives into the kind of life that we’ll one day enjoy – even though we still live, for the time being, in ‘paradise lost.’
3. The Holy Spirit seals the deal on God’s promise of heaven.
Today, when we close a deal, we shake hands and usually sign on the dotted line. In Roman times, you would affix your seal to an agreement. Once you pressed your seal, there was no turning back. In Ephesians 4:30, Paul says, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on our lives, securing our salvation and assuring the hope of heaven. If you’ve begun to experience Him changing you, persuading you and leading you, it’s God’s assurance that He signed on the dotted line, committing Himself to you. Some teachers confuse this and suggest that this sealing is some extra special thing that only elite Christians enjoy. But Ephesians 1:13 makes it clear that the sealing of the Holy Spirit is promised to all believers: “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” If you’ve heard the gospel and truly believed in Jesus, you’ve been sealed with the Holy Spirit, securing God’s promise of heaven to you.
Are you aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you feel Him changing you, convicting you, and nurturing faith and holiness in your life? If not, it might be wise to sit down with a pastor or Christian you trust to talk about your faith. It may be that you just don’t recognize the Holy Spirit’s influence in your life. Or perhaps you’ve ignored the Holy Spirit for so long that you can’t feel Him anymore. Or maybe you haven’t truly understood the good news and trusted in Jesus. God has provided you with a guarantee. The Holy Spirit is a foretaste of paradise, a down payment on heaven. He’s God means of assuring you and securing the promises He has made to you. Enjoy all that God intends for Him to be in your life!
In awe of Him,