While growing up in my early days as a Christian, I always imagined what it would mean to have eternal life. The mystery that surrounded the never ending life would leave me in wonder. To live on and on and on was the common thought that went on in my mind. I must be frank there wasn’t so much attraction to it asides from the curiosity of wondering what we would be doing living on and on and on. As a kid, I knew I could get tired of playing basketball after a long while so you would understand my part interest. The other attraction to it; as it were, was that the idea of perishing or living a temporary life wasn’t so fanciful either.
Then, gradually I came to realise that eternal life meant the very life of God. This time the thought of being called to be a partaker of God’s life was too good to be true. But it was evidently written all over scriptures. I couldn’t wait to partake of this life. Like so many others, I couldn’t suffer in this life and suffer in the hereafter too. ‘Let me take all the suffering I can knowing that a glorious life awaits me’, I concluded.
The concept of heaven suddenly turned to an afterlife destination. I tried to make myself qualify for the race to make this destination known as heaven. I thought of how beautiful it would be to finally lay aside this life and put on the glorious life of God. I thought of the ‘other fellowship’ in heaven in this light in the various songs in praise to God.
Gradually, the reality of living in the reality of who we have been made came. The concept of heaven changed from a destination I would do all to get to. But rather to what I have been made to partake of in Christ Jesus. I tried to live out this life by every means possible till I realised I was helpless and really needed help. I kept becoming born again, again and again because I felt I needed a fresh start – a new beginning, a new slate.
But thank God for illumination by his word which brings me to our discourse today which is: living the reality of sonship today not tomorrow; on earth and not in heaven. Let me illustrate this a little by saying that I am yet to see a soldier at the war front who decides to save up ammunition so that he could have some to take back home. The home has no need for his ammunition. What was given to him is meant to be used and used urgently at that.
As Christians, Titus says how we are to live in this present world
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Tit 2:11 – 12 NKJV.
We are saved to live out the glorious life we have received right now and not later. The world is meant to see the gradual unfolding of the Sons of God. Rapture shouldn’t be an escape route due to our being battered, shattered or frittered by just about anything on earth. It should be likened to the eager yearning of soldiers who have conquered and held the frontlines (and possibly even extended it).
Quite a number of times I have been drawn into waiting to get to heaven to finally live right as no act of goodness is possible here on earth. But friends, this is far from the truth. We are not called to live in desperation or frustration rather we are called to live in the victorious reality of all that Christ has obtained for us.
“But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three–sin, guilt, death–are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God! With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” 1st Cor. 15: 57 – 58 MSG
Our salvation is now and the reality of all that we have become ought to be displayed now. We have been packed full and packed deep to be a sign and a wonder. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
We were created a wondrous spectacle for the angelic hosts of heaven WHICH WE ARE!!! The question is ‘Are we living in the consciousness of this reality?’
“God, who is the Creator of all things, kept his secret hidden through all the past ages, in order that at the present time, by means of the church, the angelic rulers and powers in the heavenly world might learn of his wisdom in all its different forms.” Eph 3:10 GNB.
Someone said that no matter how terrible situation of things are, the lion never eats grass. I tend to think of that in line with the believer. We are not cockroaches or rats neither are we squirrels hiding in holes till an opportune time. Rapture is not what ought to distinguish me from the unbeliever but our distinction should be evident now.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (is a command that still reverberates even up till now). Matt 5: 16 KJV.
It is important to realise that these things do not fall on one like ripe cherries. There needs to be an expression of the reality that we have attained to in the inner man.
These find expression by engaging ourselves in exercises that would renew our mindset in line with the above.
I trust that you would find this out through a constant study of God’s word as it is clearly made plain for all to see.
-Dr. Bolaji Akanni