Life on Earth, Part III

Revelations 4:21, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

I was surprised to discover that a big appeal for people of exiting the earth and heading for heaven is the silent belief that there would be the absence of choice in heaven. The reasoning is pretty straightforward: Since sin is a choice and there will be no sin in heaven, then that must mean that mankind will finally be free from choice. The caterpillar will become a butterfly without choice. A sapling oak will become a great oak without choice. “Choose” and “choice” are used one hundred forty-two times in the Bible. Man does appear to have a choice. Heaven will certainly be an interesting place if there is no choice. Once in a new heaven, a new earth, a new body, and the Bride of Christ, it may be that the right choice is the only choice that makes any sense. Well, these are things that one thinks about on a long plane flight! As for the passage quoted above with its implications for being in heaven, I am thinking of it differently. Instead of having a great sense of relief that there will be a time in the future when there is no longer any mourning, or crying, or pain, I am applying that passage to the present with a different view. God put me in a fallen world and a fallen body, He permits what He could prevent, and this is my only opportunity to experience mourning, crying, and pain, for those things will be absent in heaven. It is important that I learn from those things while I have the occasion. How will I learn that He is the God of all comfort if I have never mourned? How will I know the mercy, love, and goodness of God if I cannot, like David, wash my face and move forward? The lame man went walking, and leaping, and praising God because he was in pain and God removed it. I have never seen a perfectly healthy person walking, and leaping, and praising God. We must stop seeing our lives in these bodies, in this world with its sin and its governments, as a curse. I believe in so doing we are missing out on the human experience that has divine revelations of the One whom we love because He first loved us. To whom would the love of God mean the most, the one who has only experienced love his whole life or the one who has been an untouchable? “We would see Jesus” is our cry, in everything. He has much more for all of us. You have just a few years to enjoy the experience of being human. You will never again experience the wind on your face, a cup of cold water on a hot day, intimacy with the one you love, a full moon, the heavens above, and more. We are privileged to be on this journey.  

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