Friday, April 21, 2006

THE HOPE OF HEAVEN

Hope looks to the future and is ". . .an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,. . ." (Heb. 6:19. The Apostle wrote, "For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience" (Rom. 8:24,25). When Paul said, "not abideth, faith, HOPE, and love. . .", this is the hope he was talking about. God wants His people to have the "steadfastness of hope" as they anticipate their reward in heaven (1 Thess. 1:3), a glorious place where Believers shall live with God and the angels for eternity. It is a place where there is no night, no tears, no hunger, and no evil (Rev. 21:4). Carnal men reject this promise and hope only for what they can get in this life.

One book that offers a glimpse of heaven is the book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. C.S. Lewis, in a chapter he wrote on "hope" in Mere Christianity, answered those "facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of 'Heaven' ridiculous by saying they do not want 'to spend eternity playing harps.'" Lewis answered this in an interesting way with the following:
The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.
Such people do not understand the Bible, and those who use such arguments against Christianity and the hope it offers of heaven are unable to see with the eye of faith and prefer instead to hope in only what they can have in this life. They don't know the blessing they miss by rejecting the hope of heaven.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Dan,

    You mean we don't just sit around on clouds and play harps in the nude?! Those artists lied!

    Zack

    ReplyDelete
  2. "The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them."

    I'm looking forward to hearing C.S. Lewis' take on the Da Vinci Code (er,.. Crud). Hopefully , we'll both be discussing this in heaven!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The DaVinci code brings to Biblical enlightenment what a Michael Moore film brings to political and social enlightenment.

    ReplyDelete

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