Where Are We Going: Part II

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 22, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I talked about our dreams and the destinations we sought to fulfill. I mostly talked about the ones we would like to fulfill in our lifetime, but today I want to zoom out and look at the big picture. Our lives are short, only 70-90 years or so, often described as a mere vapor in the big scale of things. What is our destination in the grand scale? Does it matter? Are we to strive to plant our names in the annals of history, or will we disappear among the masses?

In the movie Troy, Achilles was faced with a choice: to stay home, have a family, live in peace, but never have his name recognized by history, or to go to the war with Troy, have his name written in history but to never know peace nor live to see his family ever again. He got to choose his ultimate destination, and he chose fame over family. He became known as one of the greatest heroes of Greek legends. He got the fame he sought but did such fame do him any good?

Where we go, what we plan to be, formulates our worldview. For Achilles, his worldview comprised of the ultimate glory by having his name recognized by the annals of history. Some athletes strive for that title so that their name can go on the records. Many people have that goal, the purpose to leave their mark on this world.

But what about beyond this world? Is there anything after death? Paul describes two destinations for man for after this life: death (eternal separation from God), or eternal life (spending eternity with God). Life or death? Joshua asked this question in Joshua 24:15. “Choose you this day, whom will you serve…” God had the Israelites shout blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience before they crossed the Jordan River to conquer Canaan. And they were told to “Choose one or the other. Life or death? Choose life.”

The decisions we make in life take us on the routes we take. Some take us closer to our destination. Some take us further. Sometimes the destination we want to have is not the destination God intends us to take. Actually, that’s far more often the case than not. And Paul is telling us in Romans 6:19-23 that when we go the route of sin, it leads us to more sin, which leads to death. But if we take the route of righteousness, it will lead to holiness, which leads to eternal life. Every one of us has sinned. A common misnomer about the Creation account is that we are all doomed to hell because of Adam’s actions. This is not true. We inherited a sinful nature, a propensity, an inclination towards sin from him. But every one of us is guilty and responsible for our own sin. Adam did not make us sin. We do that on our own. And because of that, each of us is scheduled to get what we are due. That due is death.

Another misnomer about the Creation account is that because Adam and Eve did not die the day they ate from the tree, God indeed lied. While the context is more appropriately “in dying, you shall die,” there is another aspect often missed. An animal did die that day to provide clothing for Adam and Eve. That animal was innocent, but it is a picture of what Jesus would do on the cross. It is nearly universal across the world. There are legends, myths, and histories of the salvation of a nation or people being redeemed by a hero who gave his life. Where would this concept come from? A historical reading of Genesis makes answer very clear.

The gift of God is eternal life. There is nothing we can do to earn it. And I want to make this clear: if you can’t earn it by works, you cannot lose it by works. This gift is a change of identity, a change of nature. It is being born again; it is becoming a new creation. How do we know if we are saved? Look at 2 Corinthians 13:5. We should examine ourselves and see if we are indeed in the faith. Do not depend upon “one time in my life I said a prayer.” Do we have resurrection life in us? The key to the resurrection is that we must die first. So if we are in Christ, we die to sin, die to self as he died. But in that, we rise again, first spiritually, then physically.

The destination for a born again Christian is having a resurrected body that does not decay or die and to live in paradise with God. But it’s also more than that. The Bible also says we will reign in Heaven, proportional to how we live here, how we use what God has given us to do. How is that going to look is really anyone’s guess. But one thing is for sure, our destination is not mere playing harps and singing songs 24/7 for eternity. It is going to be far above and beyond what we can imagine.

However, the destination for those who reject God’s gift is death. Let us face reality. We ALL are going to die. It is appointed once for man to die, then the judgment. Only two men have been recorded not to die: Enoch and Elijah and for this reason, many suspect they will be the two witnesses of Revelation. But those who are not born again in Christ will die without being associated to the resurrection power of Christ. I am not going to get into whether the final judgment is annihilation or eternity in the Lake of Fire, but what I will stand firm on is that this judgment is eternal separation from God. Eternal separation from all that is God, including warmth, life, love, hope, peace, kindness, comfort, companionship, etc. And such separation leaves us with nothing but that which is apart from God: hate, loneliness, no peace, pain, agony, depression, weeping, hopelessness, etc.

Where are we going? Do we know? Many of us do not know. If you ask someone where they will go after they die, most cannot give you a definitive answer. They honestly don’t know or have not thought of it. Do you know? You can find out. The faith of the Christian is not blind, but a radical assurance and confidence that we know that we know that we know. I have absolutely no question that I am saved and I will go to heaven. And it is not because of anything I have done. It is because I am constantly looking onto Jesus for my sustenance. Perfect? Absolutely not. I won’t see that until I cross over to eternity. But I am being made perfect because of the work of Jesus in me. It’s a hope that keeps me going no matter what the circumstances state. Where are you going? Are you being brought closer to God or are you on the path doomed to destruction. The answer is between you and God.

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