This Life Versus the Next Life

Contributing Writer: Amy Sizemore
A prayer of David from Psalm 17:14
“Deliver my soul…from men of the world whose portion is in this life.”

This life versus the next life. That’s my struggle. To live this life for life after death is radical and strange. Unless I believe it’s true. Isn’t that what Christian living is all about?

Jesus died and came back to tell us about it. To tell us that He conquered it and that there is indeed life after death. He even had a new-and-improved body!

Lately, I have found myself struggling with the invisible. We are promised an inheritance that is beyond words in Heaven and in Jesus. I’ve looked into it in myriad ways. The Bible is very descriptive about it and vast books and movies have been written and sold about it. I’m very interested. I’m very curious. I want to know if forsaking this life is worth it. What do you think?

Beauty. Majesty. Grandeur of every kind.

As a gift to me, the Lord did not give me birth into a wealthy family. My flesh craves comforts and luxuries. With those things, I would not seek Him. I would have my fill on superficial indulgences and need nothing from Him. I know it. “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” I cannot sing those words from “Come Thou Fount” without immediate tears stinging my eyes. “Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.” That’s the cry of my heart. Do it for me, Lord Jesus. I can do nothing apart from You. I want to be in Your presence where there is joy forever. Purity. Indescribable treasures of every kind.

They Royal Wedding of Prince William and soon-to-be Princess Kate is rapidly approaching. The fanfare is extraordinary. Really lavish. Beyond compare. “The wedding of the century!” they are saying. I have to admit, it is exciting. Such pomp. Every young princess’ sweetest dream. Yet it is this life. It’s earthly. If it is a picture of the wedding feast of the Lamb, does it even compare? I think it does compare. It IS our picture for Jesus’ unity with His bride, the church. Our grandest picture. No holds barred. Every stop pulled out. No expenses spared anywhere. The most royal of royal galas. At best, this royal wedding is an ancient black and white to the wedding of the Lamb. 2 Corinthians 2:14 says that God, in Christ, always leads us in triumphal procession. I really like that picture. As if we, the church, are already enroute to the event. The thing is, it’s a spiritual picture. No one sees but God. Well, and that “great cloud of witnesses” that have gone before us as described in Hebrews 12:1. I know it’s true, why do I doubt?

I care a lot about people. I really do love people. I love their differences, their creativity, their style, their intellect, their ambitions, their passion. I see them like the most exquisite art pieces at only the best galleries and museums. Pieces whose Artist I just happen to know and know well. And isn’t everything more special when you know a little inside secret about it? I know the Artist of all men. How amazing is He? When I look at the intricacies of what He has created, it is impossible to take it all in. And yet, do I really doubt He’s true? Why is that?!

Could it be because, as His church, His bride, we struggle to see ourselves in that triumphal procession? Do we forget who we are to Him? On the way to the wedding, caught up in all the details, would soon-to-be Princess Kate forget who she was marrying?

I think that’s me. I’m on my way to the most exuberant jubilation and I keep getting thrown off course by the mud being splashed on me by those who are content with their current earthly position. By the sneers of the mockers who hate all that is good and cling to all that they have. By those as David says, “whose portion is in this life.”

Dear fellow-Believer, are you with me in the triumphal procession in Christ? Do you know the Artist of mankind? Do you love His creation? Do you live your life as if your portion is here or in Heaven? I want to live as if I am certain that my portion, my greatest treasures are with Jesus in eternity. I want His greatest creation, Humanity, to know it too. Will you help me share the great news and make our triumphal procession more clearly visible, more inviting? Unlike the royal British wedding, our triumphal procession has an open invitation to all. I just need help getting the word out and staying focused on the Splendor of the awaiting Bridegroom. Are you with me?

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

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