The people we will accompany include:
This entire blog is summarized in two categories. First, the person who thinks it’s all about him as the center of life. He won’t be in heaven. Second, the person who knows, believes and obeys Jesus because it’s always been, is now and always shall be all about God in Christ, and NO ONE ELSE at all! He shall be there.
Jesus is now our righteousness and we his sin. But the promise is...one day to come, and from day on forever and ever, we’ll never again shame him by our sins, but only glorify him for his righteousness.
Heaven will be filled with humans:
The people we’ll accompany include:
To answer the first, this illustration. Two American paratroopers had such a brawl in training that one vowed to kill the other if he ever had the chance. They both jumped into Normandy first thing 6 June, 1944. The one who feared being shot by the other got lost in the drop. What he didn’t know was the other guy also got lost in the drop.
And who did the first guy see across a small meadow in France? Yes, the very man who threatened to shoot him on sight. And what did both men do? As fast as their overburdened legs could carry them they struggled toward each other, fell in each other’s open arms, pounding each other on the back, then going off together to fight Germans.
In a crises greater than their differences they found a common cause—and lost themselves in it. In a joy greater than all our differences all in Heaven will forget everything but how glad we are to be together in Christ’s presence.
To answer the second, a two-fold response, the first prophetic. The book of Revelation leaves no doubt: there is only agreement in Heaven among angels, elders and the saved that God’s judgments against unsaved sinners are always true, just and deserved.
Therefore, if we can’t be happy in Heaven if someone we want there isn’t there, why think we belong there? Only those in absolute, perfect trust in God will be welcome there.
The second response is pastoral. As Revelation 21:4 graciously promises, God will eliminate all sources of discomfort, loss, disappointment or pain from our new body and mind. In other words, all memory of what would otherwise surface questions, doubts, reservations, etc., will be erased from our minds. Therefore, we will enjoy permanent amnesia of people we have loved here but aren’t there. End Part V
The people we will accompany include:
It does raise a point of difference between the couple and apostles. By doing God’s will, Paul and Silas began a great revival in Philippi, but took a savage beating as a result Acts 16:16-40. If anyone should ask God “why?”, Paul could write it in paragraphs and chapters. Read I Corinthians 4:7-13 and II Corinthians 11:16-12:10. Instead, he obeyed God’s will and took his chances at safety. By living in faith he would never understand those who live by their own choices but blame God when they miscarry.
The people we will accompany include:
The people we will accompany include:
Christian people are always wandering from God. Christ-like disciples will make it their intent to: go after them, challenge them to return, and be the ones helping them back. People who will live with God forever are now concerned enough to care and to care enough to help those in spiritual need.
And contrary to some who say Jesus will take everything from us until we learn to trust him and will then return it to us, Not necessarily. For many believers have learned that what they once considered essential to their unsaved state has no use to them once growing in Christian maturity. They have learned that surrendering to Jesus whatever he took away was the very thing they had no use for once more mature in faith. Indeed, what they could have reclaimed, with his permission, is the very thing they didn’t want at all and would never ask to have again, even if freely given by the Father! End Part II
Judy and I shop at the Ralphs grocery on Old Grove Road and the Walmart on Marron Road, Oceanside, California. Because we like the people in both stores. We exchange greetings when we enter, hugs with several and repartee with customers, employees and cashiers.
The people make the difference.
Think of Bible people who have made a difference: Adam and Eve, for example. Our common parents. He the handsomest man ever, she the peerless beauty. Nobody ever looked that good again. All without make-up, ladies, and without body-building buff, men.
To this writer, other names naturally follow: Abraham, Joseph in Egypt, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, David, Solomon and those GREAT prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.
But only as a sampling of many more. For with the sacred writer, we say, “I do not have time to tell about...” et al, et al, so many of God’s great people of old Hebrews 11:33.
In the next blog, consider a few of the kind of people with whom we’ll share the new heaven and earth in new bodies and minds. Each kind will make a difference in our lives even then. End Part I
Those who seek only to live for Jesus NOW, so they can live with him THEN, shall have the privilege. But it begins now and continues always.
Years ago, in the Plaza Bonita Mall, National City, California, I saw a sign in the Glamour Shots window. It offered a Mother’s Day Special—one for her to remember.
That stirred a thought. Jesus does for our soul in conversion and reconstitution of our spirit what Glamour Shots does for our face. But with significant differences.
Walt Whitman, George Stuart, Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Thomas Jefferson all rejected, doubted or didn’t think an after-life mattered enough to consider it.
God grants us the right to an opinion on the subject. He won’t force Heaven on anyone. If we want to believe that none exists, too bad for us. For no one unprepared to be there will be there. Make no mistake: while God gives us freedom to draw conclusions, we have none that determines the after-life.
Some, from what they call near-death experiences, have concluded that only reward, not punishment, exists after death. The book Life After Life recorded the experiences of such people. Some, who had previously believed in Bible teaching, revised it to match their experience.
What did it prove? Only that they saw in their experience what they expected to see—subjective hopes fulfilled. In reality, it’s nothing but a rebirth of 2000 year old Gnosticism.
II Corinthians 5:10 and Revelation 20:12, among many other passages, teach reward or punishment after death. Indeed, God warns us that we are not only judged by what we do here, but both good and bad are recorded. If unforgiven, all sin remains recorded, so no doubt exists, with no appeal possible.
Do not let Satan deceive us with what humans SAY they have discovered in near-death experiences when their experiences are patently contrary to what God’s word TEACHES.
End Part I
As it’s the property of rain to be wet, and the property of fire to burn, it’s the property of Jesus to transform our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body. He says he can do it by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control—an awesome power of creation, of regeneration, of dominion. He can do what he pleases, and he pleases to transform our lowly bodies! Amen.
Our age has lost this hope. Judge by the latest modern procedure to find new life for the body. It’s called cryonics. The blood is drawn from the body. Then a solution is instilled to preserve the organs. Then the corpse is stowed in deep freeze, held in suspension till future medical technology can revive it. The treatment costs at least $70,000, and a few have already been frozen. That is a hope born of desperation.
Jesus has a better idea. Belief in him guarantees eternal life that begins now. If we die, not to worry: Jesus lives. If we decay, worry even less. When Christ is ready, he will reunite soul and body in a glorified, eternal state.
In the meantime, this promise: not only are our victories victories, but our defeats are really victories in disguise. Our sorrows are really joys; all pain is really pleasure, wearing thorns; all weakness is strength, all labor is really rest. And this...even this...death is no end but just a beginning of indestructible life. That is our destiny!
Go to the rest homes and see the infirm; but that isn’t the end. Go to the hospitals and see the sick; but that isn’t the end. Go to the graveyards and see the dead; and that isn’t the end. Against all that, go to Revelation 22:1 and see “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Go to Revelation 21:9 and see “the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.” Then go to Revelation 21:3 and hear, “A loud voice from the throne saying ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’”
To finish the tour, go to Revelation 21:5 and hear God say, “I am making everything new!...it is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” And none of all that will be the end either. No. But, praise God, praise God!! It is the Beginning that has no end!
Walt Whitman’s poem “O Captain! My Captain” celebrates the restoration of the Union after the Civil War. It also grieves the loss of President Lincoln. Each of the three stanzas ends with a reference to that loss: “Fallen cold and dead.” “You’ve fallen cold and dead.” “Fallen cold and dead.” The Union saved, YES! Abraham Lincoln, DEAD! Not a dream; a nightmare. The cause outlived the person who embodied it, because the cause soared greater still, however great the man.
But Jesus and the Kingdom of God, co-terminus, exist together, indivisible! He is both the Cause of the Kingdom and the essential Person in the Kingdom! Forgiveness of sin is experienced because he rose from the dead. Heaven is won because Jesus lives. Hope in tomorrow flourishes because Jesus Reigns forever.
And if we still can’t find in the promises what moves us to accept and live for Jesus, personalize them. All who now sing so low they can’t hear themselves will then be belting out hymns like Enrico Caruso, in solos or in vast choirs. Those who can’t imagine themselves standing in front of people talking will be preaching like Billy Graham.
Those who don’t know a scripture verse larger than “Jesus Wept” will be quoting long passages from David’s psalms and Paul’s epistles. Those tone deaf will be composing cantatas. Those who can’t move their hips except to walk will be like David, leaping in sacred dance before the Throne; or, like Joy Hurley, unfolding their arms in the sacred allure and soft moves of hula.
Those who don’t know high C from a C-note will find themselves experts in trumpets, guitars, violins and—Sergio Saucedo—accordions. They will all play in sacred harmonies the soaring passion of Elijah and the towering “lift you off your seat, rise from your seat and stand on tip-toe” strains of the Hallelujah Chorus.
And...for those who like to keep their distance from others—who feel uncomfortable hugging...we’ll be laughing and hugging everyone in sight and, when We All Get To Heaven, there’ll always be someone in sight!
The last word: hold lightly what we now cannot keep. Hold firmly what in faithfulness to Jesus Christ we cannot lose! Fini