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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

13 July 2005 Heaven and Hell

We have the imagery in the Bible; the praise going on in Heaven, the fire of Hell.

We can create wonderful pictures of human actions. A fellow I knew who was over 80 years old talked of Moreso's law. His point was that contrary to our personal image of the elderly as kind, sweet, or perhaps stubborn; something mentally framed by our associations with some exceptional aged folk, the elderly are just people. He pointed out that as people age, unless there is some form of transforming agent in their lives, they will be just like they were when they were young; angry, happy, loving, sour, etc, only "more so." Hence Moreso's law.

C. S. Lewis drew us a mental picture of Hell, everyone was seated at a banquet table filled with wonderful food. The problem arose in that the food was several feet away, and they all had three foot long forks and knives. They could just reach the food, but the utensil's were too long to get the food into their mouths. There was anger, fighting, screaming and unpleasantness abounding. Think of the expansion of Moreso's law for eternity.

Lewis also drew us a picture of Heaven, same huge banquet table filled with wonderful foods. The banqueters in Heaven with equipped with those same three foot long utensils. The difference was the joy, laughter, and excitement at the table; they were feeding each other, and enjoying a great feast. They had learned the joy of service on earth, and now they had eternity to enjoy it, only more so.

Heaven is a place God has created for all men, and he has created a way to be sure your name is on the A list. There is no B list. You learn to grow in joy here on earth, and continue that growth for eternity. Heaven can be seen as a place of eternal fellowship with God, and with fellow lovers of Christ.

Hell is best pictured as a place of punishment for Satan, the greatest punishment being eternal separation from God. Satan is Going to Hell, and God will throw away the key. Hell was not made to punish people, but if a person insists on following the Devil and ignoring God's plan of escape , they will follow their boss Satan right into his eternal misery.

The real question is how will you live this life? The first option is to keep on being just as you are; angry, rebellious, confused, etc, and if you age becoming more so. The second option is to invite Christ into your life. The Holy Spirit can dwell in you and guide you as you become less a slave to the moment, more a joy filled resident of Heaven, and more and more and more, for eternity.

As C. S. Lewis said in the kid's story Chronicles of Narnia, "Further up and further in."

Jesus is Lord!