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Word for today with Bob Gass Heaven Empty Word for today with Bob Gass Heaven

Post  Admin on Thu 15 Oct 2009, 12:26 pm

The Word for Today
with Bob Gass
Longing For Heaven (1)
They were longing for a better country - a heavenly one.
Hebrews 11:16 NIV
Mel Blanc was the voice behind the Warner Brothers cartoon characters in
Looney Tunes. At the end of every movie Porky Pig pops up with the same
send-off: 'That's all, folks!' Mel Blanc died a few years ago. Know what his
family put on his tombstone? 'That's all, folks!' But it's not, and deep
down we know it. The Bible says God "set eternity in the hearts of men.
(Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). It's a longing that won't go away. It's why the
Egyptians built the Pyramids and the Greeks put a gold coin under the tongue
of the departed so they could pay the ferryman to cross over the River Styx.

But our longing is not just for a longer life, particularly if longer just
means more of the same. A Christian college once sent students door to door
to talk to people about spiritual issues. Two of them knocked on one door to
find a frenzied mother of three with a vacuum in one hand and a screaming
baby in the other, food burning on the stove and a living room so messy it
would have qualified as a Federal disaster area. 'Are you interested in
eternal life?' they asked. 'Frankly, I don't think I could stand it,' said
the mum.

We don't want more of just more of the same. We want what's wrong to be put
right. We want suffering to stop. We want clean air, meaningful work,
leaders with integrity, clear consciences, ceaseless beauty, and the end of
loneliness and war. In other words, we want Heaven. And the good news is,
when Christ is your Saviour that's where you go when you die!


Longing For Heaven (2)
They were longing for a better country - a heavenly one.
Hebrews 11:16 NIV
A Christian art form that flourished in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries featured paintings of common objects of beauty - a vase of
flowers, a mandolin, a sideboard with fruit. Tucked somewhere in the
paintings would be the two reminders of the passing nature of human
existence: a skull and an hourglass. These paintings were called vanitas
art. This word 'vanitas' comes from the passage in Ecclesiastes: "Vanity of
vanities; all is vanity. One generation passes away, and another generation
comes" (Ecclesiastes 1:2-4 NKJV).

Now the symbols of the skull and the hourglass weren't intended to foster
gloom; they were just a reminder that every possession and achievement we
have is temporal, therefore not worthy of our heart's devotion. They were to
prepare us for that moment when we meet God, the meaning and value of our
lives weighed, and our eternal rewards given.

The Apostle Paul wasn't afraid to speak about death, specifically his own:
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21 NIV).
The seventeenth-century Bishop Jeremy Taylor wrote, "Since we stay not here,
being people but of a day's abode, we must look somewhere else for an
abiding city, a place in another country to fix our house in, whose walls
and foundations are God, where we must find rest, or else be restless
forever." Not only did Paul long for heaven, but the patriarchs and heroes
of the Old Testament did too: "All these people were still living by faith
when they died. they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one" (Hebrews 11:13-16
NIV). What a wonderful prospect!

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