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Why the Afterlife Bores Us - Great Encouragement!

Discussion in 'Bible Readings, Reflections, & Devotions' started by Momof3angels, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Momof3angels

    Momof3angels Well-Known Member

    By Russell Moore

    I have long suspected that many Christians dread not just death but heaven. We won’t admit that, of course. Our hymnody, of whatever era, is filled with songs about the joy of the afterlife, and “what a day of rejoicing that will be.” We’re glad we’re not going to hell or to oblivion. But most of our songs and sermon mentions are about that first few moments in heaven: when we see Jesus, when we’re reunited with our loved ones, and so on. It’s like the happy ending of the story. And that’s the problem.

    The gospel tells us that Satan keeps unbelievers bound by fear of death (Heb. 2:14-15). Believers, too often, dread death also, though not as much from fear as from boredom. We see the story of our lives as encompassing this span of seventy or eighty or a hundred years. The life to come is our “great reward” in “the afterlife.”

    But just think about that word “afterlife.” It assumes eternity is an endless postlude to where the action really happens. It’s “after.” Our “reward” happens after we’ve lived our lives. Here’s why this language matters.

    Imagine a couple referring to their marriage as their “after-love.” They explain to you that years ago they met, fell in love, and married. The years since are their “after-love” years, since they follow their falling in love with each other. You would, no doubt, ask whether they still loved each other and, if so, why they would relegate their lives together now as “after” anything, and why they seem to put their “love” in the past tense. You would think they were downgrading marriage and missing out on joy by talking like that.

    And you’d be right.

    Too many Christians see the hope of resurrection life as a capstone on their lives now. We implicitly assume that our focus in the new creation is a backward focus on our lives as they are now.

    We talk about all the questions we’ll ask about why this or that happened. We never think about whether we’ll be too busy to care about that, just like we’re too busy in the prime of our careers to ask our kindergarten teacher why she had snack time after recess rather than before. We talk about our reunion with loved ones, but even they often implicitly have a past focus.

    A high school reunion can be fun. You catch up with old friends, and remember good and bad times. But the focus is usually on “remember when” and “whatever happened to” conversations. That’s great for an hour or four, but four trillion years of that would be hell. That’s not what Jesus promised us. He promised us life.

    If we miss this, then we become just like those with no hope. We talk about our “bucket lists” of what we have to do before we’re gone since “you only live once.” We worry about our future and we nurse grudges because we fear our lives can be ruined by circumstances instead of by sin. We essentially move into the same old “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you shall die” except that we cap it with “…and then you’ll stand around with your loved ones singing songs and staring at a light for a quadrillion years and then some.”

    God forbid.

    Your eternity is no more about looking back to this span of time than your life now is about reflecting on kindergarten. The moment you burst through the mud above your grave, you will begin an exciting new mission—one you couldn’t comprehend if someone told you. And those things that seem so important now—whether you’re attractive or wealthy or famous or cancer-free—will be utterly irrelevant in the face of an exhilarating new purpose, one that you were prepared for in this era but one that is far more than a mere sequel to your best life now.

    Let’s talk about eternity. But it’s no mere “afterlife.” Instead let’s start thinking of this little puff of time, the next eighty or so years, as what it is: the pre-life.

    Source: Moore to the Point – Why the Afterlife Bores Us
  2. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    Awesome exhortation!!! He is absolutely correct.

    Thank you for posting this.
  3. nillapoet

    nillapoet Well-Known Member

    Excellent article. It really puts things in perspective.
  4. DJ-John Cañas

    DJ-John Cañas Active Member

    Just the thought of finally defeating sin makes heaven, for me, all worth it. I hate it so much whenever I mess up and feel so bad for letting Him down. That together with how messed up this world has become makes me even more excited to be with God together with my brothers and sisters in Christ :)
  5. EnRapturedwithChrist

    EnRapturedwithChrist Well-Known Member

    Eternity is going to be anything but boring.

    We'll all spend eternity learning more about God. Since God is infinite we'll always be learning something new.

    If we assume that 10% of humanity have been saved (I honestly don't know what the % would be) then we'd still have over 10 billion people to talk to.

    (I've heard estimates about how many people have ever lived ranging from 75 billion to 106 billion.)

    I'd love to talk to Adam and Eve, the Good Thief or the Apostle Paul, for example.

    I'm sure we'll be able to explore the Universe in eternity. There are surely going to be amazing things to see :thumbup

    Plus, just being in communion and being able to worship God in his presence is going to be mind blowingly awesome.

    God has truly incredible things in store for us. :hyper:
  6. SonSeeker

    SonSeeker Well-Known Member

    What an excellent perspective.:thumbup

    We should remember there is a final exam for this 80 year prelife; the vast majority will have theirs at the Great White Throne, and the minority will have theirs at the Bema Seat. And we each get to decide which exam we want.
  7. Carl

    Carl Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that post. Food for thought indeed.
  8. araj54

    araj54 Well-Known Member

    I don't know what our Creator has in store for us, but I'm 100% sure it will be anything but boring.
    Just think of our planet Earth. If a person had the time and interest to do so, one could spent multiple lifetimes just exploring our home planet and never run out of new and marvelous discoveries in His creation.

    An old outdoorsman I knew from back home spent several years in Alaska before returning to Minnesota, Itasca county, to be more precise. Someone asked him why he didn't travel to states that had more diverse wilderness to explore. He said, "I've been in this county for half my life and every day I park my pickup in a new location and start hiking, and each day I find things I've never seen before. I'll probably die before I even get my county explored."

    IMO, the reason many think we will be bored is because they have bought into the pleasures and lusts of this world that satan has blinded their eyes with, none of which bring joy or contentment for any length of time, and knowing that all the man made junk in this world probably won't be in God's Kingdom, it's difficult for them to imagine it not being boring.

    Please forgive me for rambling.:lol:
  9. Lily

    Lily Looking Up

    I love to read writings like this! It is so encouraging and I'm sure that's one reason why the Bible tells us to lay up treasures in heaven.

    I've read Randy Alcorn's 'Heaven' two times and even if you don't agree with everything he has written, he sure did a good job getting you to think that heaven would be anything but boring!

    I agree with the others. If the earth and our surrounding world is a hint of what God is able to do (and it is) and even though we experience it in it's fallen state, it still displays breathtaking beauty and wonder. There is no limit to what awaits us in heaven!

    And there's those who question why some of us are more than ready to go? I've been ready for a long time. It's going to be beyond all imagination. Can't wait! It's gonna be perfect! :yeah:

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