“True believers, then, are entered upon a life the sequel of which they know not; for it is ‘a life hid with Christ in God’.”
We, the Christians of the world, those of unquestioned spiritual pedigree because of our commitment to the gospel of unreserved repentance, are considered to know such a life that’s coming—the New Heaven and New Earth—but we do not.
We can only imagine it.
We haven’t a clue, for apart from biblical revelation on what more can we rely? Prophetic voices ring out in the night of this present age, and some are alleged to have visited that
No, it is important that we do not know, for it is not our time. Instead, we enter in by faith to this secret life indwelt by Presence of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal. If we all knew the precise specifications of heaven great portions of faith would become redundant.
Reason to Study the Bible More Fully
If we agree that we can only know what eternity may look like by the imagery given to us through the Bible, and through it by personal revelation, disregarding conjecture forwarded by the saints of prophecy, and believing only Jesus—because only he could know—then we are ready to enjoy a splendiferous mystery; the Secret of the Ages.
It’s a great faith-held thing not to know. It’s a wonderful thing to have a foretaste of the gift, without coercing the giver of the gift for premature knowledge of the gift’s exact form. God will not be coerced.
But, just as many aspects of our lives are hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3) so, too, are many secrets of the-world-to-come hidden to be found, as in a treasure hunt, in the Old Book.
What is gained by a reasoned and purposeful study of God’s Word, on the matter of eternity, is the richness of the Holy Spirit’s imagery—the sponsorship of Divine revelation. This, too, is a secret. For how could our visions, those personally gifted us, match perfectly with the visions of others; no, they are ours, alone, to enjoy.
God is Saving the Best Until Last
I’m not sure what sort of diner you are; I’m the sort that likes to save the best on the plate for the last morsel. For me, it’s a culinary delight to choose the order in which to eat. Indeed, it’s a principle I try to apply to all of my life: get the hard, distasteful, and mundane out of the way first, so the enjoyable work is saved for the halcyon moment.
We can be sure that God is doing much the same thing; his love speaks so highly of his respect for humankind, to send his Son and allow him to be scourged for us, that we will be given much more than we can ever perceive—the best is most certainly yet to come.
As is famed in Christian circles, we can confidently know—regarding eternity—that Friday has come and that Sunday is yet to arrive: we are yet to be raised in the completeness of Spiritual salvation.
We are raised to new life in Christ Jesus so as to enjoy thought for being raised in the next life, whilst we grow closer to, and more like, the Lord in the here-and-now. That future world is a secret world known only to God, but we are free to imagine, ponder, and even speculate.
The anticipation of a gift is almost as good as receiving it.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.