I honestly don't know how they even survive. I don't know how they are not utterly crushed under the weight of the grief, the devastating sorrow, the brutal and unrelenting melancholia of a loss such as ours or so many like ours that we've become aware of since June 23rd.
I simply cannot imagine how the unsaved (those who do not know our Lord Jesus as their personal Savior) are able to even get out of bed in the morning, plant two feet on the floor, then place one foot in front of another to move in a forward direction. How are they able to even lift up their heads and continue to take in successive breaths and keep functioning in any meaningful way without the "blessed assurance" we have (we who know and love our Savior, Jesus Christ) THAT WE WILL SPEND ETERNITY WITH OUR DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN??
Of course, so very many do not survive. Many ARE irretrievably crushed under the weight. Many do NOT get out of bed.
The Bible says we Christians sorrow, NOT AS THOSE WHO HAVE NO HOPE; but brother, let me tell you, we definitely STILL DO SORROW! I have tried to stress some very positive and uplifting realities in these posts; I have even been lighthearted and joked here and there, but, truth to tell, if these were written with pen and paper instead of kindle and keyboard, several would be tear stained and water warped.
My question is, when grieving is so great a challenge even to us who do KNOW the Savior and have the certainty of a future in Heaven, how much greater to those who know Him not? How DO they get on???
We are so very grateful that a number of dear folks have reminded us of our Heavenly hope through our time of grieving. It has never failed to encourage our hearts. I say, "a number," but it has certainly NOT been overdone. If anything, as I've shared previously, we Christians don't fix our gaze on our hope of Glory anywhere near enough!
But there is an aspect of His promise of Heaven that is rarely, if ever, referred to, and that is our possession of Heaven to be experienced and enjoyed by every believer RIGHT NOW.
No, I'm not saying we can have the physical experience now of having the Lord Jesus personally wipe away every tear. There still will come a time "when faith becomes sight" and we will PHYSICALLY BE in the Presence of the Almighty in glorified resurrection bodies. That time has not yet come, and no amount of meditation or visualization can make it materialize in our here and now.
But there is an experience of Heaven God intends for us NOW that plainly most believers are not enjoying. It is an experience that He has provided for our utmost spiritual well-being; intended to lift us above the cares and woes of this world, allow us the highest level of functionality IN the world and enable us to enjoy the closest, most intimate fellowship with Him as we walk through this world throughout our lives.
So, what is it, then? How is it possible for me to experience Heaven NOW, as I live in a physical body on earth?
We can sum it up in three crucial Biblical principles, each of which I hope to develop further later:
1. My union with Christ. We'll talk much about this. My former students and fellow New Tribers know of it as "positional truth" or "our identification with Christ." God sees me as in Heaven now because Christ is in Heaven and I have been placed in permanent, intimate union with Christ from the moment I was born again as a New Creation IN CHRIST.
As I was identified with Adam from the time of my physical birth and, so was IN ADAM when Adam sinned in Eden (Romans 5:12-14), even so I was identified with Christ from the moment of my NEW BIRTH, and so was crucified because Christ was crucified (Galatians 2:20), buried because Christ was buried (Romans 6:4), raised from the dead because Christ was raised up from the dead (Romans 6:4-5; Colossians 2:13), ascended because He ascended, and seated together in Heavenly places, because Christ, my Life, is seated in Heavenly places, AND I AM IN PERFECT SPIRITUAL ONENESS WITH HIM (John 17:21-24; Ephesians 2:6; I Corinthians 1:30; 6:17). Where He has gone, I HAVE FOLLOWED.
But, O ye lovers of positional truth, THERE IS MORE . . .
2. The principle that God is "outside of time." God is not bound by time; it is a tool of His creation for His own use. The Bible teaches that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." And as is written in Isaiah 46:10: God declares "the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."
From our perspective as believers, we are "on our way" to Heaven. If we have truly trusted in Christ, our arrival there is not in doubt, but is a fixed certainty; there is nothing in all the created realm that could keep this from happening (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-28; Romans 8:28-39).
But from God's perspective, it is already accomplished; it is a "done deal," we've already as much as arrived (Romans 8:30; Hebrews 12:22-24)!
By faith, God would have us go beyond our human perspective and share His divine perspective, reckoning AS HE RECKONS (Romans 4:17-21; 6:11).
3.The "rejoicing of hope" principle (Romans 5:2b; Hebrews 3:6). This is the amazing principle of what faith DOES in the life of a believer that is developed all throughout the book of Hebrews, particularly chapter 11. I would LOVE to talk about it more, but I'm afraid it will have to wait; I am falling asleep at the wheel, here (figuratively speaking, of course!).
More later, God willing.