Let’s Talk About Eternity

The Heritage Singers once said “Forever is a long, long time.” That’s the way many of us probably think about eternity; a very, very long time. A verse of Amazing Grace starts out “When we’ve been there 10,000 years…” The truth is that eternity takes place outside of time. It’s not made up all time but is rather the exact opposite of time.

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Messiah in Isaiah: Part 2

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
-Isaiah 11:1-5

Chapter 11 begins with another prophecy that Messiah will come and another identifier, that he will be a descendant of Jesse (David’s father, making him heir to the throne of David). The next several verses tell us about his reign. Continue reading

I Hope They Laugh at My Funeral

funeralSometimes we desire to offer comfort to those that mourn and try to find the perfect thing to say.  What we really want to do is make it all better.  There often is no perfect thing to say, and sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.  Job’s “friends” accused him of lying, concealing the truth, and having unconfessed sin in his life.  But before all of that, the first thing they did was sit down with him in the ashes and rubble and for three days said nothing at all.  Those were real friends.

Some Christians get the idea that happiness is the only mood we are supposed to express.  God is good all the time, this world is not our home, Jesus is all we need.  These are all great truths but that doesn’t mean we will not experience other emotions during this life here.  Ecclesiastes  teaches there is a time for every activity under heaven, including a time to laugh and a time to cry.  After Jesus saw Martha, Mary, and all those with them weeping, John 11:35 says that Jesus wept.  He knew ahead of time that Lazarus was dead and that he would be raised; he wept because he empathized with those weeping.  Jesus also wept over Jerusalem, and at other times was angry.  Revelation 21:4 says that God will wipe away every tear.  We live in a broken world, and are surrounded by sin and death.  There are times that mourning is called for, and no words can make everything better.  Despite our eternal hope, it is not wrong to sometimes be sad. Continue reading