I am about to ruin your day…..
“This is the song that never ends,
yes it goes on and on my friend.
Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
and they’ll continue singing it forever just because…
This is the song that never ends,
yes it goes on and on my friend…”
Is it stuck in your head? Catchy at first, but then… !!!
Some people think of heaven like that. They say, “Eternally praising God! O that will be glorious!” But not too terribly deep down they may be wondering… Do I really want to worship God eternally?
These thoughts come into our heads because, like the Corinthians, we are “still worldly.” (1 Cor. 3:3). Paul called them “mere infants in Christ” (v.1) because they were not growing spiritually. He wanted to teach them deeper things but they refused. He wrote “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready” (v.2).
In the book of Hebrews we find a similar scolding,
…though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb. 5:12-14)
How is it with you? Are you “grow[ing] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:18a)? Peter was, and at the thought of this he adds, “To Him [Christ] be glory both now and forever!” (v. 18:b). The two just naturally go together: growth and giving God glory.
This past Sunday Elder Jim encouraged us to grow in God. He referenced the many personal spiritual disciplines and resources of God’s Church to aid us in this growth: Church membership, Discipleship, Journaling, Quiet Time (Word, Devotional reading, Prayer, Meditation, Journaling), Personal Spiritual Health & Care: Grief Recovery (personal loss), Celebrate Recovery (personal ‘baggage,’ hurts, habits, hang-ups).
Scripture urges us,
“…move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” (Heb. 6:1-2).
And God provides,
“Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants” (Eph. 4:11-14a).
Thinking about eternity for us may now be like telling a young child they will one day become attracted to the opposite sex. The response is typically “Yuck! No way!” We smile knowingly and just let time and hormones do their work.
Right now we just cannot imagine our eternal lives, but that ought not surprise us or cause us distress. As Paul acknowledges:
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Cor. 13:12 – NLT)
We know we have this wonderful gift, we know it’s going to be something good because we know Who it is from. But so far we have not yet opened it. When we do, that will change everything!