Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.
I recently had to attend two funerals that happened to be a week apart. One was for my aunt, and the other, for the child of my dear friends. Both of them had been unwell for a season, but it was still an astonishing blow each time I received that fateful message that they had left this world. My heart constricted in pain and the tears fell unbidden. In that initial haze of shock, I felt as though I would collapse to the floor because I would never see them again. I was not ready to say goodbye; it was too soon. I needed...more time.
But then I remembered. What I was feeling was not true. I would see them again. Maybe not as soon as I would like, but our reunion is an objective reality. It will happen. Why?
I've had a recurring dream or vision, not really sure what to call it, of my aunt in the midst of a multitude of glorious bodies, standing on a sea of glass, praising God. It's not wishful thinking, but rather an informed hope. I say informed, because of two reasons: my aunt is a believer in the one true God, Jesus Christ who is her Saviour, and so she passed from death to life last month. The other very likely reason for my dream is that I'm spending a lot of time listening to the book of Revelation*. I listen to huge chunks of it during my day; when I wake up, before I sleep, on my blue-tooth speaker in the kitchen as I cook, or as I drive. You would be surprised how much ground you can cover by only listening.
The book of Revelation is incredible. Staggering. Phenomenal. Extraordinary. Breathtaking. Astounding. It is, quite frankly, unimaginable. In some parts, it is downright frightening. The first sentence of this letter to christians says it is a "revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants, the things that must soon take place." Do not let the wonder of that statement escape you. God the Father, in His mercy, in His wisdom, decided to allow us, His servants, to see His Son Jesus as He is. He gave Jesus this revelation, about His very self...to give to us. How did He choose to do this. He "sent his angel, to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw." Said another way, John was seated in a dark prison cell on an island called Patmos when an angel appeared right there, in front of him and proceeded to show him things that up until this day, only He has seen. Do you understand that? John, a human being who lived as we are living now, was given this prime seat in an empty theatre, and shown it all...how the world will end. All of it. He. Saw. It. That which has not yet taken place. And he was instructed to write it down. For who?
So we MUST read it; and we should take it to heart. Why? Because,
"Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."
This book is meant to bless us! How many movies have we watched about people in time machines, teleporting themselves into the past, and back to the future? You must remember that wistful sensation that coursed through you, wishing you could take a peek into your tomorrow...
Well. The reality is that it is known. How it will end. And how forever will begin. There is very little of it hidden ( a few times God asks John, Daniel and Ezekiel to seal some of what they saw).
This is the summary. Everyone you will ever meet, will live forever. God set eternity in the heart of man (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Each of us will have our day when our eyes shall close for their final time here on earth. And in an instant, we shall open them again, in the literal presence of our Maker.
Shall you sing and shout and dance....or shall you weep and gnash your teeth realizing that it is too late for your soul?
It may sound trite, but why don't you take a minute and ask yourself, "Where am I going when I die?".
*I use the Youversion Bible app on my phone and tablet for the audio function.
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Christian, wife, mom, doctor, and an alien on earth, on my way to the city of God.