Thursday, July 13, 2-17
One TV evangelist claimed he went to heaven and Jesus showed him his future mansion. His followers paid for its twin to be built in Louisiana. Regardless of who is talking, or their religious background, heaven is always described in finite terms. Some believe only a few hundred thousand will go to the heavenly realm, while others remain on a refurbished earth. Those who may not see a renewed earth as “heavenly,” still describe heaven as earthly. Since Revelation 21 and 22 speaks of a “new earth,” “holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven,” “walls,” “gates,” “river,” “streets,” and “tree,” it must look earthly.
Those who believe a second Garden of Eden will be recreated to house the faithful describe it in multiple ways. Some see new constructed houses, their favorite pets being resurrected, and living with their earthly spouse. Some believe their earthly body will be rejuvenated to an eternal age of 21. Those who weren’t too pleased with their looks have a more beautiful or handsome outlook. The thought of most is that our earthly body is needed in order to recognize our parents, kin, friends, and ourselves.
If you were God, how would you tell your creation, whose understanding is limited to the finite, what an infinite existence is like? Wouldn’t you use their terminology to describe how magnificent your eternal fellowship is? How close does a finite description come to an infinite reality? We are told that God had no beginning nor end. Explain that! We can’t grasp “no beginning.” Our minds don’t stretch that far! We can’t begin to understand an eternal existence for ourselves.
Man reduces God to his level so he can better understand him. Why not? The Bible speaks of his hands, his arm, his back, his hearing, his seeing, and his speaking. God has two big eyes, two ears, and a mouth, doesn’t He? We have a twenty-five-cent term which means we use finite terms to describe an infinite God so we can have a finite understanding! Some see Him as an old bearded man in the sky. Others attempt to not visualize Him for fear of creating a mental idol. Some reduce Him so they can curse or ignore Him. Some see Him as a cruel taskmaster gleefully waiting for our next mistake. Others visualize God as so loving that he overlooks man’s wickedness and grants eternal bliss to all! Some choose heaven because it is the only alternative to hell, while others mistakenly choose hell rather than give up their wickedness.
John tells believers,
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
Despite our sins, God’s word became flesh, took our place as our sin sacrifice, and made it possible for us to die to sin and have new life in Jesus (Romans 6:3-6). His blood and God’s grace keeps us cleansed so we stand holy before him (2 Corinthians 5:21). We benefit from Jesus’ faith and righteousness. We have an eternal relationship, packaged in the love of God. We wait for a body that is incorruptible. We wait for something that is so awesome and beyond our imagination that it cannot be adequately explained in finite terms. We will be like He is!
So, are you a believer who waits for His return or just another who focuses on the finite?