Today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I am a bachelor (A big secret, I know ) but for 80% of this past year, I’ve gotten away with only preparing one daily meal in my apartment where I live by myself. In the past, I’ve encountered a situation where I’d buy a loaf of bread and two weeks later, I’d still have some of it left. This is probably more surprising to you, given my appetite’s reputation. In any case, eventually, mold begins to grow on the remaining slices and I have to throw it out. This is required even if it is just a tiny speck of mold because then it is unsafe. It is ruined.
My dad makes a statement all the time that one imperfection would ruin heaven. Imperfect people would ruin a perfect place. I think the dilemma is even worse than that. Temporal things cannot participate in an eternal kingdom, as 1 Cor 15:50 says, “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.” Something that decays or dies can’t be lumped together with something that lives forever. A kingdom that is eternal must be constituted solely of things that are eternal. Otherwise, that eternal kingdom would lose its eternal property. So then, how can we who are dying participate in an eternal Kingdom?
The awesome thing about us is that there is a part of us that will last forever, our heart or spirit. Ecclesiastes 3:11 states that God has put eternity in our hearts. Moreover, in the promise of a New Covenant in Jeremiah 31, God says He will “write [My law] on their hearts and I will be their God and they will be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor and every man his brother saying, ‘know the Lord’, for they all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest of them…” (Deut 30:6)
I find it interesting that Paul writes in Colossians to “let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” So often, we want God’s peace in our mind, or at least I do, but I think Paul was carefully making a point. He didn’t say “make the peace of God rule…” or even like a benediction “may the peace of God…” but rather let the peace of God. Allow it to rule. Give over sovereignty, mastery. The peace of God is applied the same way a person enters the kingdom of God, through surrender to the mastery of its King, God. This thought was revealed to me in January of 2011 during a run in the cold and at its end, my only response was “I am Your’s, master me; I am Your’s, master me.
Before I close, I want to tell you that future essays will build on the ideas I published in previous essays. That was probably already clear when you look at the first three since they seem to overlap and build off each other. We will revisit the topic of eternity in about a week but just as a quick teaser, eternity is a hard concept to wrap one’s mind around, especially with the limits of our experience and the language of our temporary world. The rest of it will appear in the “N” entry, so stay with me.
I close the session with this thought. One of my favorite songwriters, Randy Stonehill, wrote a song that has a chorus that reads “There’s a rainbow somewhere. You were born to be there. You’re just running in circles, ‘til you reach out your hand to the King of hearts.” Life is meaningless and empty until you surrender to God, the King of hearts. Indeed, it is no small thing for one heart to recognize His kingship.