Will it Matter?

Do you believe in heaven? An eternity in a glorious place with God our Father and Jesus, our redeemer and friend? Eternal beauty, love, kindness, and all things good?

Or do you believe that when we die, we disintegrate into nothingness? Life over means nothing more than done—game over? Two years, a hundred years, or any space of time in between equals zero for eternity?

Either way, what happens to every situation we’ve lived through? What about every bad thing done to us? Every mean word spoken? Will we take with us into eternity or oblivion all the awful, hurtful, damaging actions and works we experienced over the years?

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I accept what the Bible says about Jesus coming back to take us home to heaven for eternity. I look forward to the day I will stand in the glorious presence of my God. No more pain. He will wipe away all our tears. (Revelation 21:4) I also believe that hell is a real situation where anyone who chose to dismiss or curse Jesus will get to live out their desire to not be bothered with or subjected to anything of God. Eternal separation from him.

I also believe that according to the Bible, each of us will give an account to God for every word and act. I’m grateful that Jesus died for me because I could never do everything right enough to stand in the presence of Almighty God.

But regardless of what you believe, will it matter?

If your life ends in nothingness, will you care about the mean things spoken to you by a classmate, neighbor, or parent? Will you remain in pain from the abuse or evil inflicted on you?

If you, like me, believe in heaven as a follower of Jesus, do you really think your concerns over anything bad in your life will be your focus? Or will you be in awe of and enthralled by our Savior?

Every day, we hear or read stories of terrible things done to people. Or we experience something cruel done to us. In the moment, it’s reasonable to feel hurt or anger, and we need to grieve and process those situations.

But in the end, will they matter?

If we can admit that they won’t, then how long would we hold a grudge? Why would we retaliate? How might we act differently than what we’ve chosen up until now?

Eternal separation from God means an existence of torment. God gives us that choice. Perhaps, in that case, we will be tortured every moment by every harsh word spoken to us, or that we’ve spoken. Each hurtful thing done might replay over and over in front of us. Maybe every bad thing we’ve participated in will be a daily anguish to relive. I guess it might matter then…

The way I see it, letting it go, forgiving it all makes sense no matter what you believe about the future.

And that will certainly change our present.

It’s Who You Know

A few weeks ago I watched a YouTube post in which a man proposed the heartbreaking idea that many who believe they will spend eternity in heaven may be shocked to discover (in the end) that they have missed out. His words gripped my heart.

Think of it like this.

You go to a high class restaurant. The maitre d’ asks if you have a reservation since they’ve been booked out for a year. You don’t. You can’t bribe him. You can’t plead with him. There is nothing you can do to get in. No way are you getting a table.

Unless you know the owner.

You mention that you know the owner, and ask if you could say hello. The big boss guy comes out front, and when he sees you, he throws open his arms and greets you as if you’re the most important person in his world.

“I’m so glad you came. Let me seat you at our special, reserved-just-for-family table.”

He ushers you to a prime location (for me that would be overlooking the ocean), and brings you a boSunset at Pismo Beach Pier - Pismo Beach, CAttle of his best wine. And not only has he made a place for you, he’s let you know that you are to order whatever you want. On the house.

We can apply this to God and the passages in the Bible about the wedding feast (Luke 14:15-23) to which he’s invited all his people. When we’re on the guest list, part of the family, we are welcomed with open arms. If we don’t have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus, we won’t get in the door.

Or pearly gates, as they’re called.

People often point to their good deeds as the invitation. But that’s a forgery. Like trying to crash a wedding party without knowing the bride, groom or anyone else in the family. We might think:

“I’m a good person. I try to do the right thing.”

But do you know Jesus?

“I give to the poor, rescue abused animals, donate clothes to the homeless.”

But do you know Jesus?

“I help my neighbor.”

But do you know Jesus?

“I go to church.”

But do you know Jesus?

“I’ve read the Bible.”

But do you know Jesus?

“I put money in the offering plate.”

But do you know Jesus?

“I sang in the church choir.”

But do you know Jesus?

“I told someone I’d pray for them.”

But do you know Jesus?

I grew up knowing Jesus. I mean personally like my dearest friend and brother. I can’t imagine life each day without him. I love him more than my closest earthly friend, my husband. That kind of relationship is developed by intimate conversations, reading his letters to me, pouring out my heart to him, honoring him with my praise and not letting a day go by without consulting him. It started by me giving my heart to him.

You can know him too. He knows you. His arms are open. He gave up his life for us. All we have to do is accept his gift of love and acknowledge that we need him and want him in our lives.

Someday, we will all be asked, “do you know Jesus?”

What will you say?