“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-7 NKJV).
Have you ever thought about just why God created the world? The answer is right there at the beginning of the Biblical record: God made the plants, animals and mankind male and female. Here was a pattern that God gave to spell out His purpose for creation.
As I watch the birds and turtles play out their God-given gender roles here on Heron Island, I realise this is the whole point of creation: Jesus, the redeemed man, is in the business of obtaining a redeemed bride.
Whilst marital rapture with Jesus begins in this life, God has gone a step further and offered unending eternal life in heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that He “might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7). Here’s what that is going to look like.
In eternity there will be no remembrance of our sin, no reminding us that we don’t deserve eternity. No guilt-tripping us every day about the cost of our exaltation. Our sin today is the key factor in us enjoying heaven. We will all (even those who lead apparently apparently good lives) be astonished at the depth of our sin: our self-righteousness, our pride and wilful rebellion. We all will receive “grace in kindness”— in sweetness, goodness and heartiness.
The darker and more painful our lives today, the greater the pleasure and relief in the next life.
For those people who don’t follow Jesus, this is the best life they can ever hope for. For those in Jesus, this life is the worst that life will ever be.
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth” (Matt. 5:3-5 NLT).