If anything, [Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero] provides us with a taste of what our Heavenly Father endures each and every minute of each and every day. For He hears billions upon billions of questions being asked by those who have no expectation of ever receiving an answer from Him, and He listens to millions upon millions talking about Him without having any real desire to actually talk with Him. Rhetorical questions. Meaningless conjecture. It was indeed an honest presentation of just how far we have fallen away from Him.
No, none of this is meant to diminish the magnitude of the tragedy. Neither is it meant to dismiss the profound sense of loss that was (and still is) felt by so many, so deeply.
Yet, has He not made it clear that physical death does not have to be the end of our lives? So, where is all of this grief coming from—especially in the Christian community?
Alas, that sounds awfully cold, but only from our own ground-based points-of-view. For the end of their time as a part of this world marks the end of their suffering for all who are truly in Christ. So, why were those “good Christians” acting as if our Heavenly Father did something evil by delivering their loved ones from the curse of having to live in this world any longer?
Yes, it is written in [Ecclesiastes 9:4] that even a live dog is better off than a dead lion, but is this not as if all things were equal? Furthermore, is not the absolute truth of the matter made abundantly clear through the Apostle Paul? For it is written: For me to live is Christ (His life in me), and to die is gain (the gain of the glory of eternity). [Philippians 1:21 AMP]
No, this is not to say that we should long for death. For our time in this world is meant for the doing of the good things that our Heavenly Father created each and every one of us to do [Ephesians 2:10].
Nonetheless, may we keep in mind that our time in this world has always been meant to be temporary [2 Corinthians 4:18], and it will be full of trouble [John 16:33]. Ah, but it will be as it should be in the end. For it is written: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. [Romans 8:18-21 NIV]
Come on now, if you were given an opportunity to suffer a horrible injury, which you would fully recover from in a relatively short amount of time while being given more money than you could even start to spend during the rest of your time in this world, wouldn’t you take it? Despite the fact of none of us being given a choice of whether or not we want to suffer the injury, does this not sound fairly similar to what our lives in this world is like?
Of course, that scenario was presented in natural terms. For there is nothing in this world that compares to spending all of eternity with our Heavenly Father in His Kingdom of Heaven as an heir to all that is His in glory. For it written: Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. [Revelation 21:1-22:5 NIV]
P.S.: If you think that I have become immune to the natural feelings of others, be assured that I most certainly have not. In fact, I am unable to provide the lyrics/text to the following videos because of becoming too overwhelmed with emotion, which is a mixture of both deep sadness and profound joy, every time I hear them.
Link: [On YouTube]
Link: [On YouTube]
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