Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

Treat One Another Equally

by Dick Wulf | Course Three

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God instructs Christians through Scripture to treat one another equally.

In speaking of Christians as being the body of Christ, the Apostle Paul told the conflicted church in Corinth as recorded in 1 Cor 12:25 “There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.”

And in addressing favoritism given to wealthier Christians, James 2:1 says, “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.”

God is getting us ready to fit into heaven where people do not treat one another unequally. If we were God, would we want an everlasting, pure society to have any trace of partiality and hurtfulness? Of course not.

It is Christians that Scripture tells us to treat equally. God does not treat believers and unbelievers equally, so we should have no trouble in treating Christians a little more special.

Perhaps we struggle with the concept that equal treatment is commanded only for Christians. First of all, it is behavior in the kingdom of heaven that God is addressing. Unbelievers are not in God’s kingdom. However, we are not to discriminate against them. Scripture tells us in Gal 6:10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Our focus in obeying God in our Christian relationships means that I will limit my remarks to Christians treating other Christians equally. This equal treatment is for the big things – those necessary for life. For example, we do not need to be careful to give the exact same number of compliments to each of our close Christian friends.

How is the growth in our spirits from treating other Christians equally preparing us for heaven? What is going to be the benefit for believers who change their spirits this side of death to treat other believers more and more impartially?

In heaven there will be no sin and, thus, no favoritism, unfair withholding, or partiality. Each citizen of heaven will treat everyone equally at the level of strength achieved in treating Christians equally. At the start, this will be the level of fairness to all people developed by the time of death. After arriving in heaven, it should be possible to develop the ability to treat the citizens of heaven more and more equally. This will occur more slowly than against the opposition of sin we face now.

Our strengths in treating every Christian equally will determine what jobs we qualify for in heaven. These jobs are the rewards we receive, places of serving God based on what we have done before death.

Jesus declared as reported in Matt 16:27, “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”
The best way to describe this is a system of classification of heaven’s jobs. Of course, we don’t really know how this works in heaven, but imagine that it might be levels from zero to ten where a believer with a level of treating people equally with a strength of five will qualify for a level-five job regarding interaction with people in heaven.

An example of a zero level job is a Christian who will not even give food to a starving neighbor because he is of a different race. Almost everyone would have compassion for someone in such dire need. So, if it be possible that such a person is truly redeemed by belief in Christ, in heaven that person will not be qualified for any job where service face-to-face with any of the citizens of heaven is required. On the new earth, he might be assigned to making trails in deep forest where no contact with others is expected. This is because God will not let anyone be treated unequally in His heaven where there is to be no sin.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, an example of a ten level in treating other believers equally would be someone who is loving and accepting of any Christian, even if that person is of a different race, is rich or poor, is infectious with a serious disease, or even is a redeemed terrorist responsible for the deaths of many innocent people. In heaven, that person will be qualified for any position that deals with the citizens of heaven. If there is a welcome committee to meet people the moment after death and their entrance into heaven, this would require a level of ten on treating Christians equally.

All of us probably fall into levels one through nine, qualifying for jobs in serving others in heaven at our different levels of depth in equal love for people. I know that this supposition of mine is a little complicated, but all I hope you will get out of it is that it is very important for you to treat every Christian equally in action, thoughts, emotions, and prayer.

One great way to work on this is to pray for everyone you see in the news, on television or streaming to your phone, computer, or tablet. There you will be exposed to all races and many bad people. You won’t know if they are Christians, but if you pray for unbelievers who are hard to pray for, you will be changing your spirit to be able to pray for any kind of Christian. You should actually experience your spirit changing to treat all Christians equally as you feel less and less resistance to praying for the type of people in the past you treated, thought of, or felt about unfairly.

If God plays no favorites and wants us to do likewise, we will now have to fight sinful evaluations of people, consider everyone important, and find joy in being equally available to all those in our Christian Inner Circles. In putting God first, we will be able to start including people we have overlooked or discriminated against.

There is a lot of sinfulness to sidestep to be able to treat others in our lives equally. To do so requires that we put God’s desires far ahead of our own. For our spirits to get stronger in treating all types of people equally, we must adopt God’s value of all of His redeemed people. All of spiritual growth is putting God and His wisdom and desires far above our own. And, God values all of those for whom His Son died.

Let’s help one another now regard other Christians as citizens of heaven whom after death we will want to relate to and serve with great delight. This is what God wants. Let’s prepare to engage with people in heaven by doing so more and more now like the greatest, most pleasant, excited and attentive fast food counter attendant we can imagine.

Imagine an employee taking orders at the counter of a fast food restaurant who seems excited to serve equally every kind of person who comes up to the counter to order. He or she always has a smile in greeting someone, not responding to the customer’s appearance or behavior but to some great joy in being there to meet some new person and be available to serve them. This is rare, but perhaps we have in the past run into such a delightful person. Such a person has a sense that others, all others, are important and everyone deserves to be greeted warmly and treated as if it is a privilege to be at their service.

Don’t think of service employees who have something to gain by treating everyone equally. Restaurant servers who wait on tables and valets who park cars are generally upbeat, and some of them could serve as examples of treating everyone equally, but they are usually driven by the desire for a good tip.

However, the one who takes orders at a fast food restaurant and gets little pay, no tips, and helps people of great variety is a model for the highest levels of treating others equally in the kingdom of God. These folks deal with all kinds, some in a hurry, some who treat them condescendingly, some who have to pay out of scarce resources, some who are wealthy and don’t have to order from the value menu, some who have limited social skills and are rude and demanding, and the list could go on. When we imagine someone who looks forward to meeting all of these kinds of people, loves complementing them when unnecessary for the job, treats them all as if they were as important as the boss, then we have a glimpse of the equality God wants in heaven. Reaching for this level of spiritual ability to treat our Christian contacts with exceptional love is how we want to prepare for heaven.

When we decide to let the Holy Spirit change us to have spirits like this hypothetical fast food counter attendant, we put our spirits in the hands of God to be changed dramatically. We learn to see the value in any Christian in spite of their appearance or behavior. This transforms our spirits to ones that can go into heaven and deliver whatever we have to offer – equally.

Our Lord wants us to treat everyone equally with as much desire and joy as we can muster. More than treating everyone equally because we should, we can grow to share our talents and gifts in such a way that is most welcoming, most excited to engage with others, most affirming of their worth, and most genuinely caring.

This is what God wants his citizens in heaven to be like. In heaven there will be no sin hindering our spirits to exuberantly interact with others to the extent we treated others equally before death. Some of us will be polite and generous while others will be polite and generous with more excitement to interact with others. The first will give every citizen of heaven they meet many pleasant encounters. The last will give every citizen of heaven pleasant and “excited to be involved with you” encounters. There is a difference.

This allegory might help to understand all of this. There is the owner of a plumbing company who does not show favoritism and wants all customers treated equally. A plumber named Mike is good at his job, is a Christian, but gives people of his race more when he fixes a faucet. For them, he polishes the fixture, leaving it looking new. A very satisfied customer of Mike’s race recommended him to her neighbor who was of a different race. The new customer recognized that her faucet was not polished and this discrimination was witnessed by the referring neighbor who then called the company and complained that her neighbor did not get the same treatment as she had. The owner had heard of similar complaints about Mike and faced the fact that Mike was not treating all customers equally. What will the owner do? He is committed that his company will treat everyone the same. But Mike is his wife’s brother, so he cannot fire him.

In this allegory, the owner is God and the business is heaven. While sins were to be expected in the plumbing company, God’s kingdom of heaven requires no sinful behavior. God must put His redeemed people into positions of service where their spirits meet the requirements of the job. So, you can see the position God is in with placing Mike into a place of service that will serve the citizens of heaven with God’s impartial love. In heaven Mike will have to be assigned to a task that will take into account his limited ability to treat everyone equally. Before death, Mike did treat everyone equally when it came to simple politeness, such as letting someone in front of him in the cashier’s line at the grocery store if they only had a few items. So in heaven his spirit is qualified to serve as a ticket-taker at a museum, or some job like that.

Little by little in heaven’s pure atmosphere, over considerable time because there is no sin to challenge and speed up progress, Mike will become more impartial and fair and qualify for more responsible jobs. However, others will also be advancing in finding the value in people of all races and of different interests. So, Mike’s career in heaven will advance, but he will not likely overtake any who started off with spirits stronger in treating others equally.

Now is the time to change our thoughts, feelings and actions to be like Jesus and treat every other believer equally.

In heaven we will not have to make conscious effort to treat everyone equally. It will be totally natural for each of us at whatever level of fairness we have achieved. We will be impartial. We will equally impact the lives of other citizens with the various strengths of our spirits.

We will enjoy treating everyone equally in heaven, but our joy in doing so will be limited by how far we let the Holy Spirit stretch us to be fair to those who at first we wished to exclude. Using the fast food example, we can give good service or exuberant service. Let’s help one another treat all Christians equally and get ready to enjoy heaven to a greater degree. Let’s point out to one another when preferential treatment is given that is not righteously appropriate. When we judge people less desirable than others to receive gifts and talents with which God has endowed us, let’s help one another change to be fair and treat other believers equally. Let’s get one another ready to serve others in heaven equally with greater joy and enthusiasm.