How often through the years have we heard a "certain somebody" in a sermon described as being "so heavenly minded they are no earthly good?" Of course we must admit that certainly it is possible to have such a misguided, out of balance, extreme focus on Heaven that we neglect the natural, earthly needs of those around us. Ironically, this condition is not found anywhere in the scripture. Personally, having been raised in the church and around Christian people most of my life, I honestly feel this illness is very rare, so rare that it should seldom if ever be mentioned.
What is mentioned, on the other hand, in many ways, and over and over again in the scriptures are individuals, churches, communities or whole nations which are so earthly minded that they are of little heavenly good! So, if there is no reference in the Bible of the "so heavenly minded they are no earthly good people" then let's look at the references to the opposite!
Paul, in Acts 15:38, makes it clear to Barnabas that he did not want to take John Mark with them in their journey to visit all the cities where they had planted churches. The reason was that Paul remembered that John Mark had left them once on another missionary journey, as mentioned in Acts 13:13. We can only speculate, but it seems that in all likelihood Mark, having gotten homesick, or had grown weary of the rigors of travel and persecution, headed back to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas ended up getting in such a heated debate over Mark coming along, that Barnabas decided to take Mark and go in another direction. God eventually used Mark in mighty ways as he matured in the Lord. A thought provoking side note here is that sometimes God has two plans instead of one! At this point in his life however, Mark was certainly so earthly minded he was of little Heavenly good!
Later on in the New Testament, we have the story of Demas. In 2nd Timothy 4:10b (KJB) Paul states "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica". He is saying that Demas was so earthly minded he was of no heavenly good! It does not say here, however, that Paul refused to let him come along as he did with John Mark. No, Demas just left!
In the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:22, Jesus was giving an explanation of the seed that fell among thorns. "He also that received the seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches come in and choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful". In this parable Jesus is showing in another way how some believers through "the cares of this world" and the "deceitfulness of riches" become unproductive and bear no fruit for the Kingdom of God, again being so earthly minded they are of little heavenly good.
There is something that I have named through the years "In house persecution". It's when the hardhearted religious people of any church start to rise up against those who through the power of the Holy Spirit have a true, living and vibrant relationship with Christ. Many times it's these same people who find fault with those who celebrate being heavenly minded, and love the Lord with all their hearts.
The persecution may start as a simple cold shoulder, or a seeming disinterest in the exciting things you sense God is doing in your church. In worst-case scenarios a time proven plan with them develops to make sure you are ostracized from that fellowship. As you mature in Christ you learn to accept their disingenuous criticisms as coming from the pit where they dug them. You do not let them offend you or be successful in driving you out of the church God has called you to. You learn that like the earliest disciples, you can find grace in prayer from the Lord to sooth your hurts and calm your fears, that no weapon formed against you will prosper. You learn that often the ones criticizing you for being too heavenly minded are themselves too earthly minded. Once you determine that, you can love them with Jesus love, and you can rejoice like the early disciples "that you are counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake". Sadly you realize it's often these same people in the church that are so earthly minded they are of little heavenly good! With the Spirit of God no longer living in them, those who do, are a constant reminder of either where they once were, or where they need to go. That tends to really anger religious people. Evangelist Charles Finney from the 1800's once wrote; "If you have much of the Spirit of God do not be surprised if sometimes even the leading men of the church oppose you"!
To the Seven Churches of Revelation there is a spiritual order we will look at in another article that goes from the "On fire doing it just right church" all the way down to Laodicea. They were so lukewarm spiritually they were all about this present world. They were so "earthly minded they were no heavenly good." They were so in love with this present world that He said " Because you saieth I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Revelation 4:17 (KJV) This so troubled Jesus He told the Laodicean church in verse 16, "I will spew you out of my mouth.
The remedy for being so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good is to keep doing what you are doing. Stay true until Jesus either comes back, or calls you home. He will one day say to your heavenly mind, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:23 (KJV)