Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Now and Not Yet
We are time-bound and oriented. The universe is space and time. We're stuck in it. As time goes on entropy is at work. That in itself, can seem depressing. Scripture records that "our outer self is wasting away (2nd Co 4:16 and I'll get to the good part in a minute)." Stephen Hawking of course met these things boldly. He said, "I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die." With his atheistic vantage point, I suppose he said the best he could say. One can at least strive to avoid the wasted time and energy of living in fear -- at least theoretically -- while admitting desire to continue to thrive. Yes, of course that makes sense. But at a certain point the bold claim that there is no fear can appear as window-dressing. Death is scary. It robs of everything we know in life. It is a monster. To me, to say that "death is a part of life" is nonsensical. Death is the antithesis to life. I intimated above in connection to 2nd Co 4:16, however, that there is a good part. Here is the whole verse: "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." My wife and I were walking by some reconstruction yesterday, a large sign said something to the effect that the key to growing old gracefully was constant renovation. It was one of those conventional-cultural ideas that betrays remnants of true and eternal wisdom. God says something to this effect, but in the sense of -- as 2nd Co 4:16 states -- "being renewed." This newness in Christ, however, is a state of being in the One who has surpassed the affects of entropy. Death didn't keep Him dead. His cells no longer succumbed to what is otherwise considered inevitable degeneration. The stuckness to time falls off in Christ who lives in time and yet also beyond it. This is true for the believer in Christ regarding their relationship to time. Further waste and weight comes from living in the past, but whatever is in your past that might lead to present guilt, or shame, or fear, or regret, or bitterness -- or whatever -- has been covered by the atoning blood of the Lamb. St. Paul says, "But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind...(Philippians 3:14)." Sure, we learn from the past, but we don't live in it any longer. Furthermore, the renewed life is wise to avoid "living in" the future as well. To do so takes on the weight of the future, we have enough for today. So Jesus: "do not be anxious about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34)," though this does not mean we ought not look forward to the good in the future, especially for the glorious second coming, our radiant bodies, the great reunion of those in Christ, and the new heaven and the new earth. In other words, time has been sanctified for the one in Christ. The past no longer enslaves to misery and the future no longer binds to anxiety. Instead, we have today. What of today? What of now? Right now, this moment, you have nothing but LIFE because Christ is your LIFE. How ought this reality impact our outlook? "This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Ps 118:24)." We do so filled with the LIFE of Christ NOW and yet at the same time, the full benefits of this life of Christ are NOT YET realized (though they are absolutely guaranteed by virtue of our baptism into Christ). For us who are in Christ, the future is not for worry, but for the joy of the full results and manifestations of our lives in Christ: "we will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet (1 Co 15:51-52)." Life over death; renewal over entropy; faith over worry and fear are yours in Christ now and not yet. Great news: it looks like the cover for my book Faith That Sees Through The Culture has been made. It looks pretty cool. The release date is still June 13th as of now, but I'm hoping it might be released a little sooner. When the date is firm, there will be a 30-day pre-order period in which anyone can get a significant discount. Thanks for keeping this in prayer! Soli Deo Gloria!