Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

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Helping pay the consequences of another Christian’s sin that requires significant sacrifice on our part develops our spirits for a higher quality of life in heaven because it requires a deeper commitment to do God’s will. Carrying one another’s burdens from sin opens the opportunity to serve in heaven’s society to glorify God in higher places accompanied by increased satisfaction and joy. Every citizen of heaven will be happy, but not every citizen will be equipped to glorify God at the same level. Here is the chance for us to opt for a greater contribution to God’s glory with its expanded joy and fulfillment.

The command of Galatians 6:2 to “carry one another’s burdens” is in a paragraph about sin. Gal 6:1-2 says this: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Carrying each other’s burdens is not about carrying in the groceries. It is not about helping one another with just any difficult thing. It is about helping other Christians when the consequences of their sins are far too much for them to deal with alone.

We might think, “Now, wait a minute! The consequence of sin is death. We can’t help pay that consequence.” But this command is to help carry the burdens of Christians where that “death consequence” has already been taken care of. This command is to help bear the “consequences” that come when redeemed persons act ungodly, not the “penalty” which has already been paid.

This Together of bearing one another’s burdens is one of our greatest privileges. When we carry one another’s burdens resulting from sin, we get to help pay the consequences of another’s sin when it is overwhelming for them. This is probably the closest thing we can do to the greatest thing Jesus ever did for us – pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from the consequence of eternal spiritual death and separation from God.

We should recognize how wonderful it is to help with the consequences of another’s conscious or unconscious rebellion against God’s ways. Examples include paying another’s debt, interceding to bring two people back to peace with each other, and restoring a person’s confidence after they have done something wrong. Such opportunities to carry another’s burden stretch our spirits to be like the spirit of Jesus – and we conform a little more to His image.

Carrying one another’s burdens must be done this side of heaven. Once we die we will no longer have the chance to help pay the consequences of another’s sins, since sin will not exist in heaven. Never again will we have the opportunity to be so like Jesus when He went to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

What would it take for us to help with the tragic consequences of a believer’s really bad behavior? What is necessary for us to carry another Christian’s burden of sin is to have spirits that want to do God’s will in more and more difficult assignments.

All Biblical obedience requires wanting to do the will of God, but some things require more determination than others. Jesus dying on the cross took more determination to do the will of God than, say, turning water into wine or healing people.

This Together of helping to pay the consequences of another Christian’s sin requires that our spirits be quite determined to do the will of God. Going without something we really wanted in order to bail a person out of the burden of some destructive sin will require allowing the Holy Spirit to develop our spirits to seek and do the will of God in deep ways.

Ever been really happy and content after doing something you knew God wanted done? Well, all of us will have that experience continually in heaven as we go about serving God as well as enjoying the things He has for us there. Our joy in fulfilling the will of God in heaven will always be a hundred percent. Even a relatively insincere Christian today will have complete joy in heaven, but complete in the sense of to his or her capacity to the level of strength to do the will of God. That will have been developed by doing many of the Togethers, this one of carrying the burdens of other believers’ sins being most significant.

When it comes to being able to do God’s will, shouldn’t we all aspire to attain as great a capacity as possible? If we have faithfully helped pay the consequences of another Christian’s sins and put that believer back on his or her feet, we will go to heaven with a strong spirit to do the will of God there. A strong spirit in this respect can be given more demanding tasks from God, since nothing can be asked of us in heaven that we will be unable to do. What God asks of us will depend on the various strengths of our spirits. He will not cross that line where we would be unable to do His will perfectly, and, therefore, sin in heaven.

It seems logical that we will all enter heaven at different levels of spiritual maturity. Some will be seriously immature because before death they resisted or were indifferent to growing in Christ. As a result, they will have much to learn, fortunately this time without the hindrance of sin. Therefore, some in heaven will need to help these “stunted Christians” grow in ways they should have accomplished before death. Those assigned to this task might just be those who in the fallen condition of earth, without resentment or pride in their own righteousness, excelled in carrying burdens by working with those who hurt themselves through their own sinfulness.

These saints will have proven their ability to love those who held themselves back. They will be the ones selfless enough to give effort for the remedial growth in Christ of those who enter heaven from half-hearted Christian lives. It will be a privilege for them to serve God in this way.
God knows we will occasionally do things our own way and bring trouble too big for us to bear because of our own sin. So, the Lord commands us to help one another with the consequences of sin. We are His vehicle for lifting the burdens. We are part of God’s “backup plan” for when we get in over our heads because we did not live His way.

Once in a while, a few of us might need to carry the total burden of another believer. However, most of the time we should pay only a portion of the consequences so that the believer faces his or her own correction from the Lord. God certainly does not want us to be “rescuers” who enable another Christian to sin in the same way over and over again.

A good rule of thumb, and one we counselors use, is to try not to do anything for someone that they can eventually do for themselves. Otherwise, people do not grow, do not get stronger, and, in this case, do not become more righteous. When a person cannot do all that is needed, then that is the time to step in.

But, sometimes bearing another’s burden just means helping them do what they need to do to make things right. We might need to firmly point out what needs to be done and then walk alongside of them. Often other Togethers will need to be activated.

Carrying one another’s burdens of sin cannot be the primary responsibility of churches and larger fellowships. Sin and its overwhelming consequences will most often become known in a Christian’s Inner Circle of believing friends, family, and spouse. Careless sins in relationships, finances, careers, and many other areas and their troublesome consequences can usually not be hidden from friends or family members. The need to reconcile the person with a spouse, rebuild a neighbor’s fence damaged through carelessness, or even pay off a foolish debt will be exposed in the more transparent relationships of Christian friends and family members.
We Christians all sin and face consequences. Usually they are not overwhelming. However, when they are, we think we must face them by ourselves. After all, didn’t we get into the mess by ourselves? The tragedy of this is that we don’t tell one another that we need help often enough.

It is not just that our own relationships and our own successes are hindered by the consequences of our sinfulness. The devil will use the burdens of our sins to rob us of time to defeat him and glorify God. In essence, when the consequences of our sins become overwhelming, we are kept out of the battle against evil and Satan.

When unmanageable consequences from a Christian’s sin becomes known, that person’s Christian Inner Circle can discuss what needs to be done to help carry the burden. Once in a while a single Christian can do all that is necessary, but often this is a task for faith together. A plan for a few Christians to get involved is called for.

For example, with regard to an opportunity to help a person in danger of developing diabetes from a life of careless eating, a plan for losing weight might be implemented by his or her Christian Inner Circle. Various close Christian friends and family could each schedule a different day of the week to walk with that person and to burn calories. Also, those best at encouraging could make a few phone calls or send a few texts a week to give the person courage to eat less. Another person might cook a low-calorie meal that might taste better to the person than what he or she normally eats.

If a fellow Christian at work makes a person feel unattractive or not valuable by a cruel comment, all of the watching non-Christians can feel justified in disregarding God Who has been dishonored by one of His own. But, if another Christian in that workplace comes in and apologizes for the other Christian’s behavior and goes on to build the offended person back up, the watchers may see God’s honor restored. Carrying the burden of one another’s sins should be one of Christianity’s most powerful witnesses to an unbelieving world. It is so like Jesus Christ. And that is what people outside of the faith need to see.

Friendships that are just for fun are not all that useful for life after death. But friends who look into one another’s lives will have the opportunity to carry sin-caused burdens. This will make them more like Jesus who looked in on us and paid for our transgressions.
Parents are very used to helping their kids when they have made a mistake bigger than they can remedy.

For example, how often has a mom and dad helped a child get back into the good graces of a sister he has stolen from, hit, falsely accused, or demeaned? These parents are growing in Christlikeness by taking responsibility to carry the burdens of their children’s sinfulness
It is probably harder for husbands and wives to carry one another’s burdens, but they often must. Spiritually being “one flesh” ties them closely to one another’s sins. At times they make sinful choices together and must “face the music” together. But, when one sins and there are negative consequences, the other often has no choice but to help face those consequences. Being rude to a disliked relative is a too common example.

Understandably, there might be strong resentment toward the other spouse for doing something wrong. One way to handle this, and probably the best way, is to be thankful that there is an opportunity to be so like Jesus. Jesus did not seem to be resentful when Peter denied him three times the night He was betrayed. Within hours he died for Peter. And Jesus died for us instead of being angry at us. We can fight off resentment, roll up our sleeves, and carry the burden of the sins of others and make things right.

Not only should we be more and more willing to carry the burdens of other Christians, but each of us must remember that we need to let other Christians help us out of the holes we dig for ourselves. We need to make possible the worship of God by others through being a willing recipient of help. When others step in to help with our sinful burdens, they worship God in this most meaningful of ways.

If we want to grow ever more like Jesus, this carrying of one another’s burden from sin is pure gold. Not that all of the other Togethers are insignificant – they are very important. But this one! This one is so similar to Jesus’ greatest sacrificial act for the benefit of others that it can help us be so much more like Him. Really more like our Savior! This is great benefit from carrying one another’s consequences of sin.

If we want to become more and more like Jesus over the years, then we will want to be involved in carrying burdens in more and more difficult situations. Helping with increasingly more awful consequences of sin brings us closer to being like Jesus who took onto Himself the sins of rapists, crime lords, murderers, terrorists, and adulterers who would accept His substitutionary death.

To develop this spiritual skill of carrying another’s sin-caused burdens, we need to get to the point where we look forward to opportunities to do so, just as Jesus looked forward to dying for us. We can develop the ability to look for such opportunities as God has them cross our paths. And, we can learn to be more and more joyful about doing so.

Let’s grow in our ability to carry the burdens of another’s sin with joy. Let’s want to qualify ourselves for more responsible ministries in heaven and experience higher satisfaction.

Reflection & Group Tools

Help pay the consequences of one another’s sins. Lift the burden of past sin from one another’s shoulders. Fully correct each other’s mistakes. In this way, be very much like Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty.

Ps 38:4; Luke 11:46; Gal 5:1; Gal 6:2

Prayer to Embrace this Together
Father God who sent Your Only Begotten Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins, I and those in my Christian Inner Circle will need Your help to grow our spirits to be willing to help pay the consequences of another Christian’s sin. Help us to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit that all of us give You more glory by growing in our ability to have a deeper commitment to You and sacrifice our own time and money to occasionally carry the burden of someone else’s waywardness.
Please help us all to become more like Jesus and from time to time lay down our lives for other Christians who have gotten in way over their heads because they have made sinful choices. Whether it is to spend our precious time to help correct a wrong or our money to dig a person out of a debt he or she cannot possibly pay, empower us to have the greatest joy in being so much like Jesus.
May our lives worship You more because we reflect Jesus back to You when we carry the burdens of the sins of others. Since Jesus has paid the penalty for even horrible sins, give us the opportunity to reflect back to You Your nature by facing with other Christians the difficult situations they have created for themselves.
Make us strong in Your power to defeat the devil by joyfully facing the consequences when others in our Christian Inner Circles sin. Satan wants us to be disgusted with people, so I ask that we be so strong in what the Bible teaches that we avoid judging others, no matter how bad or foolish they have been. Allow us to show the devil that in Your power we can undo what he has caused through bringing evil into the world as well as the temptations he places before Your people.
Help us all to prepare for heaven by letting You fill us with such gratitude that we have been forgiven that we can carry the burdens of the sins of other Christians now and, then, in heaven be so much more grateful for being allowed to be there.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your Spirit is most easily transformed in community. The tools below can facilitate your growth as you gather together with those you are in close Christian relationship with.

These are some of the possible benefits in heaven we will be seeking today by opening our minds to the Holy Spirit regarding carrying one another’s burdens.
Carrying the burden of another’s sin is the closest thing to the greatest thing done for us when Jesus died to take the penalty for our sins. Therefore, we will enter heaven so much more like Jesus the Anointed One and reap whatever are the astounding benefits of being so like Him.

Carrying the burdens of the sins of other Christians requires a greater devotion to God. That is because what He asks of us in helping to pay the consequences of another of His children requires significant self-denial. Such commitment to do the will of God will surely result in a deeper relationship with Him because He will see our love for Him and for others.

We will be able to serve in heaven’s society with a higher responsibility that will glorify God much and bring us much more joy.

Sanctification Booster #1:

Make a long list of the sins that other Christians might commit that have the potential to bring such burdensome consequences that they cannot deal with them alone. (Examples: hurtful talk and actions, marital unfaithfulness, severe debt, etc.)

Sanctification Booster #2:

Looking over the list you just made, comment on how many of them would require two or more Christians working together to help carry the burden. Comment on how two or more getting involved together, even if manageable by just one Christian, would improve the help.

Sanctification Booster #3:

What things can get in the way of Christians joyfully doing without time or money or status to want to do God’s will in this way of facing the unpleasant consequences of another Christian’s sin.

Sanctification Booster #4:

Describe how one of those things mentioned in Sanctification Booster #1 has the potential of being a powerful testimony to unbelievers when other Christians help carry the burden.