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September 2019

September 15, 2019

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

Are you ready for heaven? Have you bought your ticket? Are your bags packed? Have you read the travel guide? Have you prepared yourself? Have you cancelled the milk? Have you told the family and the neighbours where you’re going? Is that all a little too flippant? Is it a joke n bad taste about the average of the congregation? No, it’s not a joke and although it is written tongue in cheek it is not flippant. It is deadly serious.

As I said in my sermon on 11th August we might live to be seventy, eighty, ninety, even a hundred or more but however long we live it is but a tiny fragment, an infinitesimally small time compared to eternity in heaven. No comparison in human terms is good enough to describe the situation but it is a bit like the amount of time a centenarian spent in their mother’s womb. A fragment of their whole life.

Of course, the good news is that our ticket to heaven is already bought for us by Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection. He offers it freely to us, but it is our choice whether we accept it or not. Because of his immense, overwhelming love for us he does not force us to accept his gift, but he feels the pain every time someone rejects his offer and goes their own way. By turning our backs on Jesus we are turning away from heaven and towards hell. Jesus follows us waiting, hoping that we will turn round and take up his offer of a ticket to heaven.

Having accepted the free ticket, we should begin preparing ourselves to take full advantage of it. In heaven there is no more sin, no more pain, no more negativity and if we sincere in our following of Jesus and building God’s kingdom earth we will be trying to root out our sin, pain and negativity. We will replace it with truth, joy and positivity. In heaven God is truly at the centre and everything revolves around him. As Christians God is at the centre of our life and the whole of our life should revolve around him.

Of course we need help to do this and that is where fellowship with other Christians, regular attendance at worship, a good prayer life and studying the Scriptures come in. True the Scriptures are not always easy to understand. Sometimes they say things which we don’t look. Instead of dismissing the bits we don’t understand, and maybe saying that we have moved on since they were written, we should grapple with them and seek help in interpreting them. Anyway, the basics are pretty easy to understand. God created a paradise and charged humankind with looking after it for him. The ten commandments and the commands of Jesus are pretty easy to understand albeit fiendishly difficult to follow in their fullness and of course the letters of Paul and other writers are a great help in understanding the way of life God has called us to. Writing to Timothy, Paul declares that “ All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2 vv 16/17).

The Scriptures are pretty clear about the means of salvation and the consequences of rejecting God and about our responsibility to share the good news. We tell people about our impending holidays, why not tell them about our final destination – heaven!

Ian Ring