What? There's a JOKER in OUR Deck?!?!
Those of my readers who have been paying attention may be puzzled. You recall that I have mentioned earlier in this essay that the Joker in the Ecclesiastes deck of cards that threw a monkey-wrench into Solomon's life of building memorable works is death. I outlined how death messed up Solomon's ability to enjoy an endless significance in the eyes of the generations that followed, and how it equally applies to all such wanna-bes of greater wealth and power who came after him. Thus, you may be wondering how death, which has lost its sting in the face of the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, could possibly be a Joker.
Well, YES. Death still is a Joker, and a pretty impressive one at that.
However, I wasn't talking about OUR death.
I was referring to the death of Heaven and Earth.
2000 Years Left
I hope that my readers do not believe that I have been caught up in the growing preoccupation with the year 2012, when the Mayan calendar "rolls over", and it is my prayer that you are not troubled by it either. There were facinations and speculations, bordering on fanaticism, when the year 1000 came around. The panic about the year 2000 had a techological basis, but nothing of spiritual note transpired either. One has to grow up within the Seventh Day Adventist church (born out of a similar fanaticism regarding the year 1844) to get a healthy skepticism of any form of date setting: Been there, done that, don't wanna go there again.
At the same time, a wise person should take note of "the signs of the times". There is a definite driving by God of world affairs toward a specific event in history: the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This is a teaching that is found throughout the New Testament, and it is foolish to ignore it. While there is a considerable amount of debate as to whether the raising up of the dead saints and the transformation of the living saints at the coming of Jesus Christ is "pre-trib", "post-trib", or "mid-trib", or whether the tribulation is delayed by a couple of generations after the rapture, or whether there really will be a Millenium at all, it seems clear to me that the most liberal time estimate between a postulated pre-trib rapture and the end of the Millenium would be a generous 1200 years.
At the same time, one has to wonder about the direction the world is taking in recent years. Those of us who appreciate that the Holy Spirit brings liberty should be concerned about the trends taking place in the world and in the United States. Regardless of what my liberal or non-american readers believe of the current United States and its policies, I invite them, after having attained to some measure of skill in Illumination, to ask of the Holy Spirit whether the Godhead was supporting those who fought for American independence and worked with them afterwards to set up the American Republic. I don't know about you, but I got a "puzzled" reaction and a rather wry "Why, of COURSE we were!" as a response. God has not changed. He was, and remains, the God of Exodus. We may lament the condition of Israel during the period recorded in the book of Judges, but the cycles were always those of times of living in freedom and liberty that was lost when that freedom was abused to pursue sin, leading to conquest, oppression, and slavery. Upon repentance, God raised a Judge that would lead the people to rebellion and back to liberty. The God of Exodus is a Liberator first, then a Law-Giver, who becomes a Protector whereever His Law was obeyed and His previous acts of liberation are remembered and used to invoke His aid to meet the current crisis.
It was C.S. Lewis, in "The Abolition of Man", who warned of the degrading effects of man dominating man through a domination of nature, which he illustrated in a more graphic form in his Science-fiction novel "That Hideous Strength". I agree with him that the next Dark Ages will be much darker thanks to the misuse of modern science. Communists and Nazis killed more people in the 20th century than the Crusades did thanks to advanced technology. Combine this with Mr. Wilder's observation, and the prospects are rather bleak for liberty and freedom, especially in view of the current (2009) American Administration that called the legal removal of a dictator-wannabe in Honduras by order of that Nation's Supreme Court and National Assembly a "military coup"!
It is my personal belief that world conditions will lead to a situation where liberty, especially that of religion, will be lost. Unless God intervenes, I liberally place this happening in the next two centuries and conservatively within the next eight. Thus, based on these estimates, it is my personal belief that the events that start in Revelation 21, when the old heaven and old earth pass away, to be replaced by a New Heaven and a New Earth, is about 2000 years in the future.
So, before we Symbiotic Christians start building monuments using Manipulation that we conceive using Illumination, we should be aware of the fact that in 2 millenia, they will be gone. While two millenia is a good run for normal people and tyrants, for us who are joined to the Eternally Divine in the most intimate way possible, this is a couple of days in the eternal lifespan of Deus. This is like being invited to furnish our playroom to our wildest imaginations, but with the reminder that the Family plans to tear the entire mansion down and rebuild it, bigger and better, in the next couple of months, so we should not get our hearts set on it too much. That's the price eternal beings in-the-flesh have to pay.
This message helped me overcome the "empty universe blues" that now rages like a pandemic among those youth in the emo sub-culture whose perception exceeds that of their mates in their generation. In hearing this message, they will hear the message of a God who loves them, who died for them, and who wants to reside in their hearts, making them forever a part of a Family that owns the empty universe, giving them the power to transform vast expanses of emptiness into places of opportunity and promise.
However, the Scriptures are quite plain that this present Heaven and Earth will disappear, to be replaced by a New Heaven and a New Earth. While building good stuff will prove a joy and a pleasure, we must take personally the warning we pass on to these kids that we got from Solomon's Ecclesiastes: a life building and getting stuff is temporarily pleasurable but ultimately futile because it will all eventually disappear when God makes all things new.
What counts is people, not things.
For only the Divine, and those who are joined with it, will survive that remaking.
May the wise children of Deus among us take this counsel to heart and plan their investments of time and effort wisely!
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