Tuesday, February 12, 2013
"For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to be revealed in us;" Romans 8:18
It IS a second!~ It's LESS than a second! Compared to eternity? Are you kidding?
But then, people don't really believe in eternity. Not really. No, this life is all there is. The pain, the suffering, the focus on self instead of God. People don't really comprehend the pain and suffering Jesus--the one man in all of time who least deserved it--bore for our sake to have eternal life.
"Eh . . . what's the big deal? I'm poor, I'm lonely, my back hurts . . . I want comfort now, in this life!"
In fact, our present angst, suffering, unhappiness etc., comes from the fact that we really don't believe. Not REALLY. Oh, there is a sort of intellectual assent and certain vain sense of "being" right', unlike the "heathens" . . . but day to day, moment to moment . . . we don't think about God, about Jesus. We don't really believe too much in Hell. It's all a bit vague and far off. Meanwhile, the present discomforts are foremost in our minds, looming large, dredged up day after day, bandied about as a much used flag of self pity.
If we DO think of Jesus, it's in considering how He might help us out. How can He alleviate this or that material concern? Maybe even, how long will it take Him to set it up so I can achieve my dreams? Me, me, me.....What Has God done for me lately?!
How casual and dismissive are we, every day, about the PROFOUND, LOVING, PAINFUL sacrifice He made for us, so that WE CAN LIVE FOREVER . . . AND EVER . . . AND EVER . . . EVER . . . IN PERFECTION . . . IN LOVING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE . . . WITH OUR SANCTIFIED BROTHERS AND SISTERS . . . FOREVER . . . AND EVER! ?
Oh I have little doubt that if I told someone they were about to suddenly inherit 5 million dollars, their countenance would immediately change . . . to a beaming smile, then maybe a laugh, then crying and leaping . . . and maybe even shouting and dancing . . . . Until they received that money, let's say in a week or so, they would leap out of bed in the morning, planning, excited, looking forward to collection. Any present pains would fade and oh, the good cheer such a person would spread through the day, encouraging others, excited every moment like a little child before Christmas!
Then why are so few that excited about eternal life? Which is a far, far, far, far, far, far, greater future! Perfect health, no more tears, loving fellowship, adventure in a Divinely created world or plenty, joy, perpetual youth, beauty . . . FOREVER!
Because . . . despite the claims . . . of being a "Christian" . . . people don't really believe. They love this life and the present self-centered comforts MORE than Jesus, than God, plain and simple. They read some scriptures . . . know a few by heart . . . . But . . . don't really internalize them and TAKE THEM TO HEART. They really don't trust Jesus. They doubt He takes care of them, continuing to trust in the flesh, in man . . . .
Oh, some do. They are laying down their lives in jails, prisons, being tortured, executed, raped, robbed, beaten . . . REFUSING to deny CHRIST . . . right now, all over the world. THEY truly understand and believe that "the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to be revealed in us" and their lives exemplify it . . . and great will be their reward.
But, no worries--never fear you folks feeling left out of that glorious martyrdom . . . .
The Lord chastises those He loves; especially those who complain and take His sacrifice for granted. He brings in plagues, foreign armies, earthquakes, occupation . . . to give so-called "believers" a chance to prove . . . if they really believe . . . or not--whether it is just words and a lazy smugness OR whether the disciple is ready to take up the cross . . . and FOLLOW Jesus . . . FOR REAL.