Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Weight of Glory

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.   Ephesians 6:12

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.   Revelation 20:10

“What are you most looking forward to about heaven?” I am not sure what was more jarring, the rare question asked of me or the length and effort it took for me to answer. I paused and looked at my friend across the table at Starbucks.  We had just had a wonderful conversation about eternal things and spoke of what it would be like to be so intimately in the presence of Jesus I could see my reflection in His eyes -- even feel His breath! To borrow a line from the often played and wildly popular song from a few years back, “I can only imagine!

Second only to that mind-blowing Jesus experience--I am looking forward to being done with the battles I feel constantly engaged in with my life.  The scene in Revelation 20 above is one I am so looking forward to, when Hell’s doors are opened and our archenemy is tossed in only to be tormented forever.  This is such a real experience that, when engaged in spiritual warfare, I often remind Satan of this coming event, audibly saying, (because Satan and demons are not omniscient and are unable to read our minds), “You’re going to Hell!”

But think of it for a moment, can you imagine a life forever where there is no more injustice?  No more temptation?  No more need to keep our guard up, and spiritual armor fastened? Can you imagine never having to confess sins ever again? Can you imagine a life free of any spiritual accusation from Satan or demons? (See Revelation 12:10.)  WOW! Stop where you are and think about it. What personal battles are you looking forward to never having to wrestle with again? 

Throughout our series on Heaven, our hope has not only been to make Heaven real to each of us, but to create within all of us an eternal perspective that is so pervasive that it serves as a compelling ethic to live boldly and faithfully for our Savior!  After all, we are commanded (meaning this is not a divine suggestion!) to set our hope FULLY on our coming eternal experience: 1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope fully on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

In this regard, I am convinced as I traverse this planet that my hopes and desires are not too lofty, but rather not lofty enough! C.S. Lewis in his excellent sermon on eternity called The Weight of Glory said it this way:“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

Take heart, friends and fellow PCC’ers! On this planet, we are called to engage in good fights!  Fights for our character, for our families, for justice, for mercy, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the calling out and ceasing of stupid fights! But a day is coming when we will fight no more!  Set your hope on that day!

This weekend will be huge at PCC. We will welcome our 20 summer interns, and finish our Heaven series looking at Keeping Ourselves Heavenly Minded! I look forward to being together.

I Love Being Your Pastor!