Paul says some very interesting things in 2 Corinthians 5.
He talks about our inward groaning as we wait to exchange the mortal for the immortal.
And that we look forward to that day, if it be that we have this hope.
I think of it as a caterpillar, “dying” as it spins its cocoon. The purpose, the expectation, is life. Life like we’ve never known.
Paul says that we look forward to death because we anticipate being swallowed up in Life. That we will take down this tent and exchange it for a glorious new one. And enter into the Golden Era that every good story has whispered to us since childhood.
The implication is that if we don’t desire this, expect it, guard it like a burning ember through our days, then we may be found naked.
If we fear death, shrink back, then it may be that we don’t have this hope within us afterall.
Jesus told a parable about a man who walked into the Wedding Feast without the right clothes. He was invited, but hadn’t come prepared. He wasn’t dressed for the party, so couldn’t enjoy the festivities.
I have to examine my own heart. It is lately often fearful, not hopeful, not looking forward to the Day. There are so many things that distract us, weigh us down, and steal our life. Make us shrink back.
My own desires war against me, make war against God.
My greatest battle is not against growing domestic tyranny, or the death of Democracy. It is not against jihadis here or abroad.
My battle is not against the NSA, Google, or any other political-industrial voyeur. Of course I would like to tell them a thing or two, give them a high hard one in the eye, but then they have probably heard it already in billions of emails and phone calls. I digress.
My most important battle is first within. It takes place outside of the realm of space and time. It occurs in the heavenlies, in another dimension, in Eternity. There, just above our heads, the forces of good and evil clash. Archangels strain against Principalities and Powers, that the Divine message may pierce the darkness and find its way into our hearts and minds.
Today I see that my attitude toward death, more so my attitude toward Life after death, is a litmus test.
Eternal Life is not an endless church service. God forbid. It is a wedding feast, an endless party. With the best food, the best wine, the best company, and honors bestowed all around to those who have been victorious.
“But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish. But of those who by faith preserve their souls.”
And are victorious.
“He who would save his life will lose it. He who loses His life for my sake will save it.”