There’s only 1 Heaven…

15 04 2010

1 Pt. 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (NASB)

Ok, first let me explain my absence.  To say there is a lot going on in my life right now would be an understatement.  Please know that I covet your prayers for Marla and I, and that I trust God to see us through this transitional period in our life.  I have constantly had this thought for a while now; so much so that this thought has occupied the blogging box in my mind, leaving no room for others.  The thought: THERE’S ONLY 1 HEAVEN!

Imagine this:  You are one of Jesus’ disciples, you’ve been following Him since the beginning of His ministry, since He stood in the boat and taught.  You knew there was something special, something different about this one.  He wasn’t like all the other Rabbis.  As time passes you come to realize that Jesus is the Messiah, your heart gets overwhelmed.  You are certain the Roman swine will soon get theirs.  Jerusalem will regain its glory and Jesus will set up shop in the temple.  Life will be lived as it was meant to be lived.  ONLY YOU FIND OUT YOUR THINKING WAS WAY OFF!  Jesus isn’t setting up shop, in fact He is leaving!  Worse yet, from the way He talks He won’t be back for a while!  You were certain Heaven was going to come down, now you’re just certain that you’re completely uncertain of what is going to happen next. 

THAT WAS PETER!

And some how a majority of us have missed this lesson.  The lesson that Peter learned that lesson that most Christians and churches often forget.  There is only one Heaven.  What I mean is that this Earth will never be what it was originally meant to be in our life time or anybody else’s.  There will always be sin, there will always be corruption, and there will always be death.  (Mind you, I’m talking before any post tribulation occurences.)  Yet we insist on rooting out sin in our culture and in our society as if we’ve been given a badge that has “Sin Stoppers” written across it. 

We act as if it is our personal mission as Christians to stop the world from sinning and to get them to Heaven.  We boycott Disney and a myriad of other companies that support stances which we do not.  To be honest I’d be surprised if they even knew we were protesting them.  I’m sure Disney didn’t know based on its income. 

We protest with disdained looks on our faces as we say, “hate the sin love the sinner.”  Thinking about it, if I was the sinner and say my sin was lying.  I’d hear, hate the lie, love the liar.  To which my hypothetical response would be:  “Yes, yes I know I’m a liar, I struggle with it, thank you so very much for telling me you love me as you call me a liar.”  It’s interesting how we try to justify our sin sheriffing.  I’m not attacking protesting or boycotting.  I understand wanting to take a position that defends our beliefs and values.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But in the words of the Black Eyed Peas, “where is the love?”  If that is too bitter for your taste buds I’ll quote Paul as saying, “If I have not love I HAVE NOTHING!”

It seems to me our actions of boycotting, protesting, and exposing are more for the goal of making this world as close as God meant for it to be as we can.  Yet we will never achieve that goal, not because Christ’s power isn’t able, but because that’s not God’s goal for us.  Even if we made it 99% of how it was meant to be, it still wouldn’t be it.  We imagine if we fix culture, society, schools, and the government then we can fix the people.  However the opposite is true, if we fix the people we create a new culture and society.  One where the government mirrors the values of its people.  Even though the western world has dominated the Christian culture, Jesus himself was still eastern in His mind-set.  Meaning, when Christ healed somebody he didn’t just change and effect the selected area, He changed their entire life.  He was holistic, not meaning holy, but rather everything was connected.  When you encountered Christ’s love and He gave you grace and mercy you were completely changed, all aspects of your life were affected.  That is why Peter encourages us to be fervent in our love for one another.  It wasn’t Jesus’ protest and boycotts that changed the world, it was His love.  

I’m not saying that we ignore sin in our lives or in the lives of others.  Nor am I just saying that if we love everybody it will all just work itself out.  What I am saying is that if we through the power of Christ, which we have because of His love for us, allow our encounter with Christ to holistically change our lives we can be the tool He desires for us to be.  Encourage one another towards good works, take the time to correct when needed, and love others.  We aren’t going to experience Heaven on this earth; and those who don’t know Christ won’t ever experience Heaven if we don’t stop trying to control society and start living holistic lives for Christ!  Let the Holy Spirit do His job and let us do ours.  Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (NASB)

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4 responses

16 04 2010
Wendell

Don’t be too selective in your scripture quotes, James also addressed this :
Jas 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,
Jas 5:20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

16 04 2010
Mason Stanley

Please don’t think that I’m not about confronting sin and just letting it slide. Thats not my intent at all. My thought is based on those who would protest and love others on their own terms only. They have no genuine love for people only for their standards, and if people don’t meet their standards they choose not to love them. I don’t believe that is the love Jesus or the father had for us becuase while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

I very much appreciate you keeping the meaning of the post in check 🙂

16 04 2010
EZ

How cool would it be if we we a super elite group of sin stoppers, could I be Sgt.Swear Words or maybe lieutenant Lair. Sweat. I get the whole idea of loving the sinner, but don’t you have to set the guide lines so the sinner knows what the sins there commiting are. Andvat the same time don’t you have a responsibility to try and edify you brothers around you. You say yeah thanks for calling me a liar while you tell me that you love me. I think well wow I didnt know lying was a sin I’m glad that guy came to show me some love and help me with what im doing wrong.
Love ya bro. Missed your posts last week. Good thing you wrote a whole blog book this week;)

16 04 2010
Mason Stanley

Eric, for sure we have a responsibility to correct and guide our brothers and sisters around us when they are caught in a struggle. However, is it fair to expect the unsaved world to act as if they are saved? Especially when Paul tells us that we are slaves to sin? They way they will come to know Christ isn’t by our magnification of their sin, but rather our love for them and the Holy Spirit’s magnification of their sin. That was the point of this post, it wasn’t for Christians towards Christian, it was Christian towards a trapped world.

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