have been reading books about growing older (since I am now considered a senior). As I have said before, if growing older and getting old is inevitable, I thought I might as well get it right! When I was entering and going through middle-age, I read books on this time of life as well (remember Passages: Predictable Crisis of the Adult Life by Gail Sheehy?). Now my life has moved on, so my reading has been upgraded. What I am learning has increased my understanding of what we (believers in Christ) can expect in the life to come. I want to emphasize the word ‘life.’
One thing that has struck my interest is the type of life we will be living in the life to come—especially when Christ returns and we are resurrected with new bodies that will be incorruptible and will be compatible with the New Heaven and New Earth that God will create for us. Throughout my life, I have studied the Bible and theology, and what I learned either never sank in or it was never really articulated as it has been these days.
Essentially, it is the idea that much of what we do in this life will be carried over into the next. My view of life after death was quite vague. Now it has become clearer—there is continuity between this life and the next. Those skills and talents, many of them latent and barely used, will be brought to fruition in the next. Our work, that we truly loved and devoted our lives to, will not be lost in the transition but will be ‘perfected.’ In other words, our work for the Lord (that includes all honorable work) will be carried over so there is continuity. What we did before and in retirement is not in vain nor was it a waste of time, but if it contributes to the building of the Kingdom of God, it will last forever. In fact, some writers have suggested that the many cultures of the world will be carried on (without the evil embedded in all of them because they have systemic evil that is acquired because they are of fallen human origin). I hope this means all the ethnic food that I love but can’t eat because of health reasons—too much salt—will be available to us! The believers from many nations standing before the throne of God will we recognizable and we can all, I assume, enjoy the many cultures that God has created and appreciated by him.
I don’t know about you but this really invigorates me and gives me blessed hope. I realize that in this life we must all face the slow (sometimes fast) diminishing of our life but this is only TEMPORARY! When we pass through that time and are present with the Lord, we will be with him until he renovates heaven and the earth, and we begin to experience what God had intended all along. The wall between heaven and earth will be destroyed and we will have transformed bodies that will be appropriate for a new heaven and new earth.
I am pumped!