Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where will you spend eternity?

Where will you spend eternity? Heaven or Hell? You'd better decide before it's too late ...

Can I just say that I hate this question?

How has Christianity become only about where we will spend eternity? Where in the Bible does it say that Jesus died so you could go to heaven; we act and talk as this was the only reason he needed to die: so we could have eternal life and go to heaven. It's such a pretty, little picture ... and it means I don't have to do anything but get people to say they want to go to heaven too.

I have a big problem with this!

Jesus did not come just to get us into heaven. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but his purpose was and is so much bigger than that. He declares his purpose in John 10:10 and we somehow pass over it in preference of the heaven/hell/eternity purpose. "The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I HAVE COME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE AND LIFE TO THE FULL." Abundant life other translations say. He's talking about life, here, on earth, not eternal life. He came to give us hope now! not just a future hope. He came to destroy the curse that was destroying us!

And all we give people is a decision between a heaven and hell that, by and large, many people don't believe in anymore. What attraction does this Christianity hold?

So back to this curse. Back in the garden of Eden, Adam was created in God's image, literally, and bore God's glory, His weightiness. As Dutch Sheets says creation did a double take when they saw Adam pass by: He looked like God! And he bore His glory and was given dominion, rule, authority, command to govern this earth. As he bore the image of God, creation obeyed him, obeyed God in him. As we know, the Fall happened and Adam sold out his right to govern this earth to Satan thus leading to the curse. A curse of death, slow, gradual decline physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally. In came sickness, disease, sorrow, pain, toil: all that Adam had never known when he bore the image and glory of God. No longer did creation obey him as it had.

And this curse has been wearing on us for 10,000+ years. It's a wonder our bodies still work as well as they do!

Jesus came to break this curse, that we could once again bear the image and glory of God. He came bearing the image and glory of God. That's why he could walk on water. The water recognized the image of God in Jesus, recognized His authority to govern. That's why demons fled before Him and sickness left at His command. Through His death, Jesus conquered death and overcame the curse, so that through Him, we may once again bear the image and glory of God and govern this earth as Adam was created to do.

So then why do we still hold onto the curse? Why when Jesus has declared "He whom the Son sets free is free indeed!" do we still live in bondage? Why do we hold onto sin and darkness and death and accept these things that are so unjust?! Jesus' burned with passion at the injustice caused by the curse and we cling to it! And I'm talking about Christians!

Yes, I know it feels safe; we know how the curse works; we've lived with it all our lives. It becomes a case of que sera, sera as we believe that God will do whatever He will do whether we live abundant life and bear His image or just cling to the curse and pray we make it to heaven! Don't you, can't you, see that He meant life to be so much more.

We, as Christians, are meant to be like Jesus, to follow His example, shake off the curse, and pick up the image and glory of God. I know it's scary; it's a road we haven't walked, but Jesus has.

I want to be like Jesus. I want to bear His image, that people, that creation does a double take. "Was that just Jesus?" When the snake bites me, I want (as it happened with Paul) that the poison recognizes the image of God in me and does no harm. I want demons to recognize the image of God in me and flee. I want sickness and death to loose their grip because of the glory of God in me. I want to live boldly utilizing the authority that is mine on earth as a Christian. I want to live abundant life, bearing the image and glory of God as I was ordained to from the foundation of the earth.

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