2 Timothy 4:6-18New International Version (NIV)
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness,which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas,and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Many believers are not excited as they near death. They are sad that they are going to leave so many things behind. They are not realising that they are in fact gaining by going to heaven. They have become too attached to the things of this world in a way that they dislike the thought of giving them all up.
A doctor once told a Christian that he had an incurable disease and that he was going to die. Instead of worrying, he smiled at the doctor and said, “Thank you for telling me. I have always wondered how the Lord was going to take me home.” That believer loved the Lord so much and knew very well what the Bible said about heaven that he was so eager to go there. This doesn’t mean that he was looking forward to dying and leaving his loved ones in gloom. The pull towards heaven was more than the earthly ties.
Paul the apostle had immense joy even as he was lying in his prison awaiting execution. He firmly knew that any day he would be beheaded, but he didn’t allow that fact to fill him with gloomy thoughts. He wrote with deep assurance, “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18). He was confident that he was safe in the Lord’s arms.
We also can anticipate heaven by being in fellowship with Christ continually and meditating on His promises. Always remember that what awaits us in heaven is far better than what we are leaving behind down here on this earth. A saint once said, “Heaven’s delights will far outweigh earth’s difficulties.”