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Between Two Worlds

November 27th, 2012 Posted in sermons

I have noticed that many times, the previews for a film are better than the film itself. All of the best bits are in the preview. But people don’t go to the movie theater to see a preview; they go to see the movie.

In many ways, life on earth is like the preview, and the film is like eternity. The big event is the afterlife, because eternity is eternal, needless to say. It has been said that eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset, but eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise.

Everyone will live eternally, Christians and non-Christians alike. So that is not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is where we will spend eternity. As a believer, I know that I will be with Christ in heaven. And I know that one day Jesus will come back to Earth and establish His kingdom. I have put my faith and my hope in Christ. And this hope is not wishful thinking or blind optimism; it is a quiet confidence, a supernatural certainty.

Where do believers get this hope? We get it from Scripture. As the psalmist wrote, “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word” (Psalm 119:114).

From the moment we are born, we are on a quest, prewired to long for something more. The reason is because God has made us in His image. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

Deep in our hearts, we have a longing to be with God. And until that day, we are essentially living between two worlds.

3 Responses to “Between Two Worlds”

  1. alex says:

    amazing. wonderful. thank you so much Pastor Greg to remind us about this. and your illustrations is marvelous.

  2. Susan says:

    “Life on earth like a movie preview”… Well, I for one can tell you that I watch movie previews with the intent to see if the film will contain anything that I might find value in seeing before I spend good money to go see it. For many years as an active member of the church I thought that my life was like that “movie trailer for Eternity”, except that one day it turned into a horror show, and I’m not a big fan of that movie style. Seeing suffering really turns me off.

    You see, years ago I was a young wife expecting the birth of my twin sons, so sure that they were the “blessings” sent from God to me. When I experienced the full-term still-birth of one of them, and then the death 5 months later of the other baby from pneumonia, I looked to God as did Job, and I said in my heart “God is still good!”

    Two more sons were lost to me before their births, after that original loss, and still I held to the belief that God “had a better plan for them.” The night before my 5th son was to be born, my husband and I were at the church praying with others that this son would live to glorify the Lord with all his heart. …And, he did. Only to find himself at age 18, ready to enter Calvary Chapel Bible College and to go into a life of ministry work.

    My precious son Scotty soon found himself hearing the City of Hope Cancer Center doctors telling him he had a very rare, non-genetic cancer, and that he was terminal, and should get “his affairs in order.” He looked at them unfazed by those words and stated “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Thus began his journey through the living nightmare of surgeries, chemo, radiation, being blinded, becoming paralyzed, and dying in my arms in such pain & suffering, that a “horror show” is the only way I can truly describe it.

    What happened to all those prayers for him to be healed of the cancer so he could use that testimony of God’s power in his future ministry work? What of the oil that was placed on him and the words “God will heal the sick”, not to mention all those who told him a multitude of stories of others now living whom God had given the miracle of a healing from their cancer?

    Did God think that this “movie preview” would make me want to spend eternity with the very one who allowed this tragic story to exist, and who had the power to change the outcome, and saw fit not to? Were the words: Faith, Hope, Trust, Belief, and the concepts of confidence & certainity in God being able to deliver my precious God-loving son from such agony, just meaningless to Him? Why was it a good thing in His eyes to put our family through these losses and grief so deep that we nearly drown from it?How can it really help us to believe we are “on a quest”, “prewired to long for God”, as we struggle to find a reason good enough to make us want to live with such anguish that He alone could have prevented in the first place?

    I think that all I once believed about God and His love was as you stated: “wishful thinking.” No solid proof & facts that can be known by us, using our 5 senses, as we do to understand the reality we are living in. How can we truly know there is “forever & ever” with a loving God, when all of us are born with the desire of survival and the fear of suffering leading us to certain death?

    Greg, your first-born son died, and then you wrote a small book in the midst of your grief, and I did read it and I found myself deeply connected to the emotional pain you described, so painful that it feels like the worst physical injury one can sustain. I saw you at Angel’s stadium, so soon after your terrible loss, reaching out through your own pain to do what you felt God called you to do. I “get” why you pour yourself into these efforts, but as a fellow bereaved parent (multiple times now)I can’t fanthom how my response to God could be one of praise & worship, and love & thankfulness, when on Thanksgiving Day (which was the death anniversary of our son Scotty)we could do nothing more than miss our boy terribly and wonder how God expects us to want to live out our lives with such pain in our hearts. Why do we need to be the ones who went through so much loss, when it’s not like God can’t spread the pain around a little bit more. Taking such loved & wanted children away, when you have the power not to, seems just wrong to my way of thinking.

    Your post here really struck a cord with me and I felt like I needed to be a voice for other mothers out there who can’t see their way past the pain of child loss in order to respond to God as they might have once done, before they were put in the “club no one wants to ever join.”

    If you made it all the way through my heartfelt writing from the depths of a broken-hearted mother; I thank you for having given me that gift of your time. …And, to any other mother who may be dealing with this sad reality, I offer my sincere empathy and compassion. There truly is no loss more deeply felt, than the loss of the child you poured your heart & soul into.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Praise God! We have this hope that never fails. We will one day delight in His presence and see Him face to face. Until that day, let us pray that more and more of us Christians will see the need to start talking about Jesus to the world. Our Lord is the hope of this world, I want to be part of His grand plan! God bless you pastor Greg and God bless your ministry. Shalom! :)

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