Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Great Unknown

Last Sunday I spoke about our "Ultimate Journey" of life being meaningless if we aren't excited about the destination. I am finishing up a study of 1 & 2 Timothy, and my text was from Paul's classic farewell passage in 4:6-8, "...the time has come for my departure". A couple of years ago I said in a lesson that if we were really looking forward to going to heaven, when a brother or sister in Christ pasted away we'd be saying "You lucky dog!" rather than feeling cheated by loss. I used another familiar refrain Sunday to make a similar point. On all our long family trips when the kids where little, we heard what every family hears, "Are we there yet?" Today, with so many children watching movies on DVD screens in there vehicles, it's probably not heard as much. They may even want you to slow down so they can finish the movie before you arrive.
What makes any journey worthwhile, no matter how long and trying it may be, is the anticipation of arrival at the desired destination. Yet, when it comes to heaven, we don't hear many of us saying, with excitement and anticipation - in principle - "Are we there yet?" Are we having a difficult time letting go of this world? Have we forgotten that we are aliens and strangers in a foreign land? Is our faith and trust in God still a little weak?
I'm sure there is some form of "yes" to every one of those questions, but did you ever stop to consider how little we really know about our final destination? Sure, we have an "it's something like this" description from John in Revelation, and Jesus promised us a room/place - not a mansion, and we all understand that God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God's people from all ages past, present, and future will be there, but there is still SO MUCH THAT WE JUST DON'T KNOW! It's not like looking forward to a Disney World trip, or going on a cruise to the Panama Canal like we plan to do in January, or even like a long awaited trip to see loved ones. What will we look like, how will we feel, what can and can't we do, what will it look like, how can there be no time, how much will we remember, will there really be no sadness if we still have our memories, how can there be room for so many, assuming there will be so many, and - well - there's just a lot of unanswered questions. So we are talking about the unknown, and even though we totally trust in God and have no worries about how wonderful heaven will be...it's still just a little hard to get excited about letting go of THIS and finding out about THAT!
Did you ever stop to consider that there may be a very good reason why God didn't give us more information about heaven? Not only is it beyond our comprehension, but maybe - just maybe - if we really knew HOW INCREDIBLE HEAVEN IS, we'd want to go there too much - and forget that we've got a job to do here first! God gave us everything that "pertains to life and godliness" and all we need to be "thoroughly equipped for every good work" so evidently, more info about heaven is not needed or necessary for us to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Besides, don't you just love a good surprise?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mike that sermon was one of the best I have ever had the pleasure oe hearing you do. Your blog was also excellent. I can not wait to finish my journey. I think you have another book in the making here.