Greetings, to you my friends and fellow believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. I come to you today with something very special. At least, very special to me. My life has undergone some very difficult things of late, but I have been blessed tremendously, not despite this, but through this. These difficult things have actually been the blessing. Did they feel like it? No. But they were a blessing all the same. So in the midst of this most recent series of trials, I had been spending some time with one of my kindred spirits of a time long past – C.S. Lewis. I do not pretend to be on his intellectual level, but the way he writes and speaks resonates deeply with me every time. So it was that after a long period of difficulty, and several days of very concentrated difficulty, I was enjoying some time being built up in my spirit with C.S. Lewis. And the Lord began to open up my heart and mind and pour into it, revelation. I have come to deeply cherish those times. So it is that I come to share with you, what He shared with me.
I believe I have truly begun to understand the joy that is set before us. What was the joy that was set before Jesus after all? He was a human like us. But He understood truly the reality of heaven and hell. He knew where He was going when He died. Was it just His desire to please His Father? Was it just so He could save us? Indeed it was both of those things for sure. But as a human being and yet while also having an accurate perspective of heaven, He would have understood the deep and consummate bliss that was waiting for Him. While it is true that joy is not necessarily happiness, I believe there is a radiance that comes from complete joy, and I have no doubt Jesus had that radiance, as should we. Yes, He was a man of grief acquainted with sorrows, and the burden He had to bear was weighty indeed, but that did stop – could not stop the joy that was within Him. He embraced Death, for He knew it for what it was! He knew there was no true power in it! He knew that in His death He was bringing complete and utter defeat to the Enemy of God. And so it is with every one of us! Each of us who die as Christians – we are like a hand reaching down into Hell and rubbing Satan’s face in the mud! Death is the ultimate victory for us! Not only that, but death actually, is the ultimate adventure! Think of it! Imagine the moment of your death. Not the circumstance in which you will die, just the moment of awakening in the spiritual realm . . . You leave your corporeal body and begin to ascend upwards. Do you fly? Do angels carry you? Is there a chariot? Or is it a stairway perhaps? Regardless, some way or other, you journey to throne room where you will come to stand before God. Once the judgment is complete, the justification of Christ made, you are then led through the gates of heaven . . . Can you see it? I think of all the untold tales and mysteries that have so captivated me my entire life. I have been so fascinated with the stories in all the fantasy novels, the hidden worlds, the mysterious lands. There is beauty there and the wanderlust stirs in my heart every time I read such stories. But they are just pale and distant reflections of the grandeur we will find in heaven. Even more than that, think of the new heaven, and the new earth! Imagine endless pleasure without selfishness and in perfect purity! All the wonderful things this life has to offer but so greatly amplified we cannot even imagine it! It is so astounding and actually transformative to look at life this way. All the trappings of this world are nothing! All the meaningless and petty trinkets we give our time and money for, squabble over, and even kill each other for! What a tragic waste.These things are so transitory, so temporal! Yes, we need to have enjoyment and pleasure here, and those things can be good. In fact, they are wonderful, and God created them specifically for us! However, the greatest pleasures on this earth are weak and shallow compared to what God has in store for us.
So with that understanding comes another revelation about our lives here on earth – the only purpose we have here is to serve God and to do His will for as long as He puts us on this earth. Literally, that is it. There is nothing more. So if you look at your life in that context there is no place for fear. There can’t be. Because nothing on this earth can touch you, not the real you, not your spirit. As long as you serve the Lord you are essentially, invincible. When you approach the world in this light, everything is put in correct perspective. All the “sophisticated” and frightening aspects of the world, the government, the evil, the perversion, and all the other insanity we see around us are so pathetic when compared to eternity, when compared to Christ! These “powerful” men who stand up on their stages and on their podiums, with their fists raised to the skies. They decry all authority, they fight for power and greed, they declare destruction on all that is good. But they are nothing. They are but specks upon a slightly larger speck in a limitless, endless universe that will not last even one hour longer than God determines. When our eyes are fixed upon Christ, there truly is nothing that those in this world can do to harm you. I can see now how Stephen could look into heaven while being stoned, and have a smile on his face! How can you truly rejoice in the moment of your death? You rejoice because not only are you just about to see your Creator, but in Stephen’s case, he was actually dying for the glory of God! There is no greater death to have on this earth that to die for the cause of Christ! Not only that, but if you truly have an understanding of heaven, of the new earth, and of eternity, you will have nothing but joy in your heart at the thought of leaving this world behind. Sometimes we have such a quaint view of heaven, sitting on some clouds strumming a harp all day. Bah! Such nonsense! It is a place of eternal bliss! Joy, peace, love, acceptance, pleasure – and all of these without sin, without guilt! Pleasure in its purest sense! No more will there be any inclination to do that which is wrong! You will literally be able to do whatever you want, because God will have removed every part of you that was not of Him, so in your free will, whatever you want will only be good! Can you think of it?! The beauty of that state of being? Where nothing that would occur to your mind would be anything but pure thoughts! The tremendous freedom that we will have! That is true freedom! Not just the ability to do what we want, but to be able to do it without any negative consequences! What a tremendous concept.
Our uniqueness too, will have its ultimate expression! We each are different, and we are made unique. So in the midst of this eternal earth that will exist, the possibilities are so endless, as are the paths we can take in that new earth! The distinct person that we are in Christ will have an eternal place of expression, with an infinite amount of ways to pursue that which makes us unique! Everything is eternal there. It is a new heaven and a new earth! For you artists, musicians, dancers, actors, and writers out there – imagine a world of inspiration at your fingertips! For every field of study that we have passion for here on this earth, there will be an equivalent ten times more intricate and fascinating there!
When I think of it, I start pondering questions in my heart – What does this all mean? If there is no death, then what would the new heaven be for? Will we be able to go back and forth between the new heaven and the new earth? Will we find heaven behind the new universe in which this new earth exists? Will we be able to travel between dimensions? Or will we see both dimensions simultaneously? Or are there more than just two dimensions? Or will there be only one dimension anyway where we will again be both spiritual and physical beings at once? Will it essentially be like the Kingdom of Summer with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, but for eternity? Will we travel the earth, travel the galaxy embarking on great quests? But without Morgana and Mordred to come steal, kill, and destroy in the last act? Just peace! Eternal peace, but with limitless possibilities! Quests, adventures, new abilities, science, discoveries, planets, enhanced senses, space travel, flying in the air, inventing new things, finding new animals, friends, ruling cities and nations, discovering new races, discovering new lands, and talking with angels! Who knows what beautiful mysteries and untold discoveries we will find! What joy we will know! In this place there is all that is good and nothing that is evil! Do you see?! There is no fear there! None! Can you imagine what it will be like to never experience fear again? To honestly have no fear of anything! No fears of failure, no fear of death, no fear of pain, no fear of loss! No crying. No darkness. No pain. No dying. No more hidden insecurities that you can’t face within yourself.
This future utopia is the result of all that God has done since the creation of the world and the purpose He is working towards now! Many people say that God should have just created a world where the possibility of evil was not present so people would not have to go to Hell. Well THIS is the answer – He is doing exactly that! We are witnesses to the progression of that very thing. He established free will first, because without it there is not true love, there is no true relationship. So each millennium that goes by billions of people make their choices. And when the end comes, when our choices have been made, then, He is able to do away with evil forever! Then He sweeps in and takes us to be with Him in a land forever white, forever golden. A society completely dependent on love that was chosen by each separate individual! And we will not be there because we were forced to! We will not function in harmony because we are robots that were wired that way! We chose to love, we chose to be with Christ, and He gave us what we needed to do His will while we were here on this earth, so then we will live in infinite rest. How unbelievably beautiful! How astounding is our God!? Truly, words can only capture but the tiniest microscopic fragment of the majesty and beauty that is our God!
If only we could capture this mindset! Everything about life is put into such a completely different perspective – a perspective infinitely more attune, more complete. To be able to understand that everything that happens in our lives is a tool enabling us to get to a higher level in God! Growing in love with Him, growing in His likeness! Every day we have here is just another chance to gain more spiritual gold and to throw off spiritual chaff. Can you see the depth of the blessing we each are given? Every day we breathe another breath, God is extending His hand in grace to us. He calls us to go ever higher, ever nearer to Him. It is so truly awesome. We are so blessed.
Thank you Father for your endless blessings, and for your Holy Spirit! Praise You God, for Your goodness and mercy! Thank you Holy Spirit for speaking to us! Thank You Jesus for sending Your Holy Spirit. Your love, Father is extravagant beyond comprehension. Forgive us, Lord, for doubting You. Forgive us for questioning You. Forgive us for judging and condemning You as an unloving God. We have no place to say such things, we have no right, and we could not be more wrong, Lord. Your mercy is unsurpassed. Your love incomparable. Your compassion has no end. Your faithfulness is utterly unceasing. Your wisdom beyond comprehension. The superlatives in the English language are not sufficient to describe Your wondrous attributes, Father. Thank you, God for who You are. Thank You for choosing us. May we look unto the day of our eternal union with You with joy and expectation. Let us truly walk with the revelation of Heaven before us. Let us go through trials and tribulations, through Hell and back, and ultimately, let us go to our deaths with the JOY that is set before us in our hearts, and Your Spirit as our strength.