Hawaii 2010

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Friday, September 4, 2009

How I ponder the hope of heaven













Dixie, you have been blessed to share your grandparents lives for so long into your adult years. All their life experience, their memories, their faith, will one day be restored to you. When we lose our bodies, out tent, the essence of who we are, our souls enter into rest. Most bible scholars call it the intermediate state when we are in communion with God in our spirit. There is also a good argument that the dead are sleeping, that time truly does give them a disconnect so that we all kind of show up at the next stage together, relatively speaking. Some think we start the party immediately. I'm leaving that part up to God, indeed all of it will unfold as it was taught, and we may have gotten parts of it wrong.

The thing I am sure of is agreement with all those see progress through the eons. Thankfully we are not handed a harp and assigned a cloud and a white robe.

I am not a futurist, which means the whole Armageddon and increasing wickedness scenario were fulfilled in the first century. I have no idea how many centuries this world is going on, or how or when the whole thing ends and the next stage begins. I do know 70 to 80 is the length of our lives barring sickness, accident, or violence.

I believe the followers of Christ and the unbelievers are having some different experiences at this eon, preparing us for the next.

This resurrection we have been discussing, this redemption of the body, will in God's time open up a world, a universe of possibilities and pleasures, pleasures forever more. I think the whole mansion in heaven talk we love, and the cubed apartment complex we see in the charts is nothing more than an image of completeness, like the reality behind the phrase, In His house are pleasures forevermore.

Finally I agree with the idea that this perfected nature and renewed universe will contain all the things that make life here worth living..... love, fellowship, music, reunions, sharing of stories, and God the triune, relational, loving God will be the life and power that sustain it, nourish it, challenge it to keep creating and developing. And I hope, many instant trips to Hawaii and other exotic ports of call. I can only imagine.......now that would make a great line for a song, I would love to hear you sing it this Sunday Dixie. And that is why we make it our desire to please Him in all things.

8 comments:

Dixie said...

Thanks so much, Don. The things that you said are the things I do believe -- just much more articulate and well thought out. :)

I think my views on heaven, etc changed the most when I read the "New Kind of Christian" set of books by McLaren when Luke was first born. They challenged my views about a lot of things and caused a complete ideological reevaluation and overhaul of my faith -- in a good way.

The day after we got here I sat down and looked thru the Winnipeg newspaper. (Strange to have 4 full pages of obituaries, as opposed to just 4 obituaries like in the Prince Albert paper.) I read every single obituary in the paper. I would say about 75% of them said the person had passed away "peacefully". Why is that? Why do the majority of us live with such fear and uncertainty of the afterlife and yet when it comes our time we pass peacefully? It just seems strange to me. Beautiful, but strange. I'm sure you've experienced this being at the bedside of those about to pass on.

And I guess the other thing is, while it was apparent that some of the "peaceful" people in the paper that day were Christians, I'm sure not all of them were so. And I'm sure that there are different levels of internal struggle as you face your last days, but it sounds as though people who do not believe in God/Jesus also pass peacefully into death. Thoughts? (Another post, perhaps?!) :)

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