We’ve been talking a lot about heaven and hell lately and how both of those are related to the presence of God. I think it is easy for us to focus on heaven instead of God because it is more easily accepted by those outside our circle. Most “spiritual” people have some concept of heaven and there isn’t anyone that would say they don’t want to end up there(except the few foolish people who think rejecting heaven because it isn’t inclusive is a noble act). The tension begins when we start to lay out what heaven really is.
In an overly simplified summary, heaven is the presence of God and Jesus Christ is the only way into that presence. This causes quite a few to fall out. We are mocked for being arrogant, claiming we have some special privilege. The interesting thing about that objection is that it is available to all and there is no one who can lay claim to it as it was freely given by God. But still, the idea that there is only one way urks the pluralistic conditioning of our very “inclusive” culture.
Now, the real rub happens next, and it comes from those who can hurt us the most. When we commit to Jesus, and not some amorphous blob of heaven we are forced to reconcile some big issues. In order to get to God, we must know Jesus. If he does not know us, he will toss us out. In order to know him we have to have a relationship with him. AND, here’s the kicker, if we love him, we will follow his commandments. That means we are not free to interpret his teachings to include everyone. We are not able to change what he says to make others feel better about themselves. In this dynamic, we are the ones that have to accept our faults, confess them, and crucify them. It is us who needs to change. There is no more, “I’m a good person.”
This change is quite drastic and contrary to how most people operate. The scoffers will laugh at us. They will call us radical or weird. They laugh at how stupid we are for believing stuff that’s 2000 years old.
Take heart though because this was not unexpected. Christ gave us warning and sent the Comforter to help us. In these times of ridicule remember that we were called to pick up our cross and follow Christ. We will not win on this side of heaven and that’s ok. Our treasure is elsewhere, in the persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mockers and scoffers have but one destiny (Proverbs 19), so let them enjoy their false sense of victory and hold tight to Christ. In His presence all the noise of the lir mocking will fade away.
Working for my life’s vision of writing stories in a beverage shop that I own.
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