Friday, July 25, 2008

Let Your Keyring Remind You, You're Not in Heaven Yet

I don't remember how we got started, but the other day Tim and I were discussing what things would look like if sin suddenly stopped in the world--everywhere. It isn't that useful a discussion, but imagining that does give a glimpse as to how steeped we are in a world of sin and we hardly even think about it. It's the environment and condition into which we were born, and we're accustomed to it. It's a fairly interesting thought exercise for an idle moment.
We wouldn't need locks. No one would be trying to break in. We wouldn't have to carry key rings. Our cars could start with an on-off switch instead of a key. Our news broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, radio discussions would change--there would be mostly good news. Sheriffs, police, security guards, lawyers and judges would be pretty much out of work, and as time went on, so would prison employees. So would locksmiths! We wouldn't have identity theft any more. Our internet would be clean everywhere, and there would be no more spam. People would be peeling foul bumper stickers and emblems off their vehicles. The clothing people wore would change. Marriages would be mending. There would be huge attendance at all the churches, and Bibles would be selling like hotcakes and would be seen everywhere. There would be huge, happy family reunions for all the families that had been splintered apart. Television and movie offerings would change. There would be only clean music on the radio, and people would tend to listen to worship music--worshiping God, not themselves. People would be burning or recycling foul books and magazines, and destroying lousy cds. There would be less poverty and starvation because people would share of their abundance.
Hospitals and doctors' offices would be emptier because people would take better care of themselves and each other, and there wouldn't be abuse injuries. Social services employees would be reuniting kids with their parents, or there would be more people adopting them. We wouldn't have to guard country borders to keep drugs from coming across them. Some types of guns would become outmoded. Wars would stop. We wouldn't need military defense. Tattoos and piercings would decrease. There would be no road rage, and less accidents, so car repair places would have less business. Women and children could walk alone anywhere without fear of attack. The trashier parts of town would get cleaned up.
Families would spend more time together and not immerse themselves in extraneous work and entertainment that shuts each other out. Parents would never even be tempted to yell at their children or each other. Old people's houses would get fixed up by neighbors and friends. Telephone calls, e-mail, and snail mail would increase as people increased communication with each other. We wouldn't have cause to wonder what another was thinking, because they wouldn't be thinking ill of us or trying to manipulate us. Planned Parenthood would go out of business. People would only have wholesome relationships. There wouldn't be ads on tv for immunizations against STDs.
Lawmakers' focus would change. They would be in more agreement, less subject to lobbyists who would skew their perception of right and wrong; their laws wouldn't be to outwardly control people's misbehavior. There would be less need for outward laws. Our freedoms would increase because there would be less laws.
These are very external evaluations. I can't even fully account for the sins that would be cleaned up that just reside in the very hearts of men, those that reside in my own heart--how different we would be from the inside out! If we only knew, I think we would know to writhe and recoil at our present condition.
I stop and take a breath. My thinking pops like a bubble because it is so opposite the real world and will never be like this dream in this life. But it's okay. God knew when He put us here that we would be dealing with this. He had the plan of sending His Son as Savior of the world to rescue us from this sinful mess we're in. Jesus even came from a place that was sinless, where God dwells, to live here among the godless mob, to show us a microcosm of what goodness and power and cleanliness and health looked like, what grace and forgiveness are, what kindness is...what love is. In those few years of earthly ministry, He turned our upside-down thinking right-side-up, as much as we would learn it; He didn't leave us alone but gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us through this mess in the meantime. And so we long for heaven, that place that is sinless, where God is, where love reigns, where we won't need locks on the doors. Let your key ring remind you--you're not in heaven yet; you eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Amen!

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