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Religion

Apostle's Creed 15: Live in Eternal Life


By Pastor Phillip Howle

web posted September 4, 2013

RELIGION – You ever get a song stuck in your head? I am sure you do. I’ve had one in my head over the past few weeks that a little girl at church was singing. It is “Tomorrow” from the movie Annie. Annie was an optimistic orphan.

In the song she sings “The sun'll come out…Tomorrow, Bet your bottom dollar…That tomorrow…There'll be sun!...Just thinkin' about…Tomorrow…Clears away the cobwebs,…And the sorrow…'Til there's none! When I'm stuck a day… That's gray,… And lonely…, I just stick out my chin… And Grin,… And Say, …Oh! The sun'll come out Tomorrow… So ya gotta hang on 'Til tomorrow… Come what may… Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You're always …A day A way!”
   
Now that is happy stuff!  But do you always feel this way? Are there days when you dread tomorrow? Tomorrow may bring surgery or a funeral. Tomorrow may bring dread fearing your child may be picked on at school. Tomorrow can be awful and we may wish that tomorrow was a 1000 years away.  But in this song, tomorrow brings hope.  And there is something to be said for hoping for the future and pushing past the present. In fact, when hope and the future go away, life is effectively over as despair and sorrow will rule the day.
 
The last part of the Apostles’Creed is “I believe in the resurrection of the body: And the life everlasting. Amen.”
 
Everlasting life is a notion that is shunned today. Christians have been accused of “living for the pie in the sky, by and by.” They have been accused of walking around with their head in the clouds and oblivious to the hurts and needs of others here on earth. This can and has been true at times. But this does not mean we throw off the notion of heavenly hope and eternal life.
   
Paul David Tripp in his book forever writes” Peace is found only in knowing that this world is meant to prepare us for the next and that the temporary pleasures and pains of this world are not our final address. When we live knowing that the God of grace will lift us out of this broken world and is now readying us for the world to come, we can face difficulty without wanting to give up and experience pleasure without becoming addicted to it. We live with hope in our heart, eyes to the future, and hands holding this present world loosely.”
  
You see when we remove God and heaven from our hopes we are left with nothing really. While at the beach this summer I learned the prevailing wisdom of many.  I kept seeing young people wearing shirts that said “YOLO.” At first I thought cool, these kids are in to yo-yos. That is a cool thing to do. Then I asked my 16 year old cousin what that meant and he told me it meant “You only live once” and that it came from some rapper.  He told me that people would do stupid things (drugs, party like a pagan, etc.) All because life is short and really does not matter outside of the right now.
   
I am guessing most of you are not rocking YOLO t-shirts and listening to Lil’ Wayne. But even still we can easily succumb to this line of thinking.  We live as people who allow our desires to dictate our lives. We desire sex outside of God’s plan, so we look at pornography or commit adultery. We desire significance, so we seek material things or power to elevate our status.  We desire peace, so we drink too much or take too many pills. We desire relationship, and we turn to Facebook.

None of the above desires are bad, but they are not end desires in and of themselves. C. S. Lewis, writes in Mere Christianity, “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world?”
   
You were made for forever. You will never find all you are looking for in this life! Don’t settle! Want all you can from this life! But let your drive for all that is good and wonderful create in you a longing for heaven to come. C.S. Lewis also wrote “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
       
Pastor Phillip



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