Posts Tagged ‘eternal life’

The Relationship that Lasts

April 19, 2016

I have a gay couple living down the street from me.  One member of the couple spends lots of time finding out about everybody in the neighborhood, what they are doing, their opinions, who is gay-friendly and who is a closet gay.  People go out of their way to avoid him, not because he is gay, but because he wants to know all about them, what they think, who they know and what they know about what is “going on”.  If your motive is to avoid gossip, to not be the subject of gossip, or just not waste time, you might not want to walk by his house.  Someone has said he (the neighbor) is looking for approval, and looking to belong.  But I think something is more important than approval, belonging, or what kind of relationship one has.

There is only one relationship that lasts eternally.  Long after sex ends, relationships end and life ends, we still have a relationship with God–or lack of one.  An eternity without God is frightfully inconceivable, yet it can happen if we have pushed Him away for a lifetime.  The most important answer to my neighbor is another question.  “Fifty years from now, will you and God be on speaking terms?”

Good Friday

April 2, 2010

In the courts of the heavenlies, past the realm of time and in eternity, the Godhead sat enthroned, surrounded by thousands of angels.  These were the angels who had remained loyal after the great rebellion.  The angels were highly intelligent, highly sensitive creatures, who could have forgotten their place and fancied themselves as equals to God.  In fact a third of them did just that very thing, and were cast from heaven along with their leader, an angel named Lucifer.  Only Lucifer could still, at times, approach the throne of God when God allowed him to speak. 

The Godhead had created a cosmos.  It contained 300 billion galaxies, and in one of the galaxies, in a tiny solar system near the edge, on a tiny planet, the Godhead had created life.  There was vegetation, all kinds of animal, bird and reptile life, and an awesome creation called man.  The man was created plural, as the Godhead is.  Man had his mate, called woman.  God shared his life with the man and woman.  He walked and spoke with them in a way they could understand.  He made them a little lower than the angels, not so intelligent as the angels, and not so sensitive, yet intelligent enough that God could have partnership with them.  Yet, the man and woman had also rebelled against God.  They believed a lie of Lucifer instead of the truth of God, to whom they owed everything.  Why?  The lie was enticing.  They could become equal to God–the very thing Lucifer had tried to do.  Lucifer, who had spat out the words to his creator: “I will not serve you”, now tried to recruit followers and had been successful.  

The thousands of loyal angels were watching.  The rebellious angels had been driven from the heavenlies and from God’s presence.  What would God do to the man and woman?  Justice demanded the same treatment for the man and woman, spiritual death, unless justice could be satisfied in some other way.  The second person of the Godhead offered himself in place of the man and woman.     He would become human as they were, and enter life on the earth.  He would taste death so they would never have to.  The angels were satisfied and praised God for His great love, justice and mercy.  But Lucifer, now called Satan, wasn’t satisfied.  He hated God and he hated the humans.  He stepped forward and described the crucifixion.  It was a horrifying thing, and the gasp echoed through the courts of heaven.  It was satanically inspired cruelty.  And Satan threw down the challenge.  “You would never love them that much!”  The second person of the Godhead answered, “my love is infinite.  I will do this.  I will go.”  And he did go, as Jesus, all the way to the cross and endured it in all its hideousness.  It was literally the worst Satan could have devised.  Jesus died, so we will never have to experience death.  And the Father showed His acceptance.  The veil of the temple, which had always separated man and God was split in two from the top down.  Jesus was raised from death on Easter morning, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father to rule and reign over all the creation.  And Lucifer, now called Satan, lost.  He still wanders the earth, trying to deceive humans through pride (you are divine) or through lies about God’s character (God doesn’t exist, God doesn’t care, God doesn’t love you).  But Satan has lost the war.  Whatever he says can be refuted by God’s people using God’s words.  And he no longer has any power to harm us without our permission.  So, arise dear soul.   God won, and so have we.  Live for God’s glory and bask in His Love.

The Candy Cane

February 17, 2010

What if the candy cane isn’t a cane at all, but the letter J, upside down? Legend has it that a J is what it originally was.  J stands for Jesus, “God with us”, whose birthday we celebrate December 25.  God missed us so much that He came to be with us, being born and living as a human, so that He could have a relationship with us and we humans could understand what God is really like.

The red stripes on the J represent the great love of God, who would rather die than lose a single one of us.  It did turn out that way.  He died defeating the evil one who was holding us, intent on eventually destroying us.

The white stripes on the J represent eternal life–our heavenly  home.  Anyone who has ever lost a child, and any child who has become lost from their parent knows the anguish felt until they can be reunited again and the child is safe at home.  God feels that way about us, and leans on the window of heaven day by day, watching and waiting for us.  HE can hardly wait until we are home with Him for good.

Grateful for Faith

August 8, 2009

I feel overwhelmed today.  I just feel so much gratitude for my Christian faith.  I remember a time when I wasn’t sure that God existed.  I didn’t know the history of Jesus, and how he rose from the dead.  I didn’t know all the proofs that he is God.  I didn’t know His promises of eternal life.  I was afraid of death.  I was afraid of bad happenings after death.  I was also afraid that death might be the end.

Humans are the only beings on earth with self awareness.  We know we exist.  We are able to wonder why we exist.  We are aware of our mortality.  We are able to wonder what happens after our death.  Our awareness would be cruel if we didn’t have any answers, or if our lives were so short and death was final.  What would be the purpose of all we learned and all the loves in our lives?  What would be the point of a love that was so great you couldn’t believe it would one day die, if that were all there was…the death of love.  But then I began to learn and discover the promises of Jesus Christ.

No other religion has the promise of the Christian faith.  With some religions the best I can hope for is some kind of melding with the eternal–a loss of my self.  With other religions, I can only hope for some eternal reward from a God who is quite unknowable, not at all personal, and quite arbitrary.  With other religions, notably atheism and agnosticism, I can hope for, well, nothing at all.  That is my best hope with atheism–that there is nothing following this life.

Christian faith offers a personal God, a God who has had our experience of human life and understands what that is like to be human.  Christian faith offers the promise of God that life can be forever.  Christian faith offers the love of God, grace, forgiveness and the promise of a future home being prepared just for us.  It is backed up by the historical evidence of Jesus life, the miracles that proved his credibility as God, and His resurrection which proves His promise of eternal life to be true.  The resurrection of Jesus is one of the best attested facts in history.  If one were to throw out His history, we would have to throw out history books completely. 

I’m grateful for the Christian faith’s promises, I am grateful for a God who loves his creatures, and I am grateful He never made it necessary for our faith in Him to be a blind faith.

Victory over Death

January 4, 2009

I will admit I can’t understand why death is still around if Jesus died to defeat our death.  He paid the price, he defeated sin, death and Satan.  Why then, do humans still die, and especially why do his followers still die?  Why don’t we just get “beamed up” into heaven?

I had some insight into this question a couple of years ago when I talked with a medical researcher who studied death and near death and the hormonal and chemical changes which occur at the time of death.  She told me that when the organ systems begin irreversible failure the body produces huge amounts of endorphins and other chemicals which produce a euphoria.  Its why so many people who have recounted a near death experience talk of feeling at peace and detached from the process.

Then I read in the bible where it says Jesus tasted death so we wouldn’t have to.  I had always thought of it in the spiritual sense of not having to  experience separation from God, blackness or something like that.  But here was evidence that we are indeed delivered from the physical experience of bodily death, and this  is universal whether the person was a believer or not.  Jesus, indeed conquered death in the physical sense, for us all.  Thank you Jesus.

Spiritual death, is, something else entirely, and we have a choice in whether we experience it.  If we reject His grace, there’s nowhere else to go but away from Him.  If we accept His gift of grace, we live with him forever, and never, ever experience separation from Him.  What a gift, especially since every one of us has been an ungrateful child who thought at some point we didn’t need Him.

Jesus, thank you for the gift of eternal life with you.  I want you, and the life you offer.  I can’t live without you and I never want to try.  I’m sorry I haven’t been as loving toward you as you deserve.  Help me love you more.