“…the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
Jesus, Galilean carpenter and King of all Creation
Watch This Video before you read today’s post.
A few years ago a movie came out called “Constantine” about a guy who could see and fight demons in the real world. Keanu Reeves plays John Constantine, a supernatural detective who sends demons back to hell because he has been there himself.
At one point in the story, John actually goes to hell, but it isn’t what you think. In the story, hell is on earth, its just another dimension of the current reality. You can see all the familiar buildings and streets, you are just taken into another dimension where you see Constantine walking in blazing fire and heat, searching for demons to destroy.
I probably got the plot way out in left field, but then again, stories like this are usually more about the special effects than the plot outline.
After watching that scene though, one thought captures my mind about what the director wants us to believe. Hell is closer than you think.
Coming out of the holidays a few days ago, my mind and heart have been heavy. I’ve heard and thought of several family and friends who have been either through death’s shadow or are currently waiting in the shadows to see when or if their outcome will be death.
Two ladies I know are battling with breast cancer, another friend of mine just shockingly lost her mother over Christmas, my own dad lost his second wife to cancer a few months ago, and on and on it goes.
More people I know as I get older continue to experience the sting and pain of death. And as I look around the world and see the madness that is going on around us, all I see is suffering, evil, and more death.
Seeing with New Eyes
What is going on here? Why is God allowing this to happen? Could a good God continue to let sin and death prosper? Where is this Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus came telling the world about?
The purpose of my words today is to open your eyes to see something you haven’t been able to see. Most will scoff at me, many will dismiss me, but some of you today may take my words to heart and let the seed of these words germinate on your soul.
As always I will try and simplify the thoughts by giving you three points to consider. Don’t let today’s thoughts simply be a brain bending activity, let these ideas into your soul. If the eyes are windows to the soul, then I think the soul needs a filter for the eyes to see through. We need a new lens through which to see the world. And that is precisely what Jesus wants us to get.
- Your present reality is not the ONLY reality. You can see the computer screen or the phone screen in front of you as you read this. Your reality is tangible, it is physical, and it is elemental. You can touch it, feel it, and see the physical world and so you trust it, you believe in it, and you (to a degree) understand it. But you are limited in your capability of fully experiencing all that there is to experience. You cannot be everywhere. You cannot control the level of oxygen in the air. You aren’t the creator of gravity and so are not “willing” yourself to stay grounded right now here on earth. What you can experience is limited to time, space, place, and circumstance. You aren’t seeing everything.
- The Kingdom of Heaven is not in decline. 2000 years ago, God entered our terra firma, our earth. He stepped down from his throne in heaven, and took on human flesh. He came as one of us to give us new perspective and new life. The answer to “What is God doing?” reached its pinnacle 2000 years ago. All of human history was split on that moment when Jesus came. Not only that, but the evidence to his continual work is happening all over this globe in the unseen world. Did you know that belief and commitment to Jesus Christ is growing all over the world except here in the United States? The actual “church”… the family of God, is growing rapidly through the nations. It may look stagnant here in America, but that is not true. And so, we need to see that there is something that is going on worldwide that is advancing the Kingdom of Heaven rapidly and mightily in the lives of people all around us.
- God cares so much for you that He won’t let anything distract you from His greater reality. I will just be blunt here today. Jesus is still in the process of fishing for men. But unlike any fisherman we’ve ever known, he’s not fishing to kill the fish! Right? Jesus’ metaphor about fishing for men, loses its power if we think that this fisherman is going to destroy the fish he’s catching. No. Jesus fishes for you so he can rescue you. Don’t mistake the hook for a spear! The spear comes in many different forms, perhaps it’s cancer, perhaps it’s tragedy, perhaps it’s loss, perhaps it’s suffering, perhaps it’s death of a loved one. The sting of the spear is painful, but I want you to look for the hook. The drawing that happens after the sting of the spear. We need the shock of death to wake us up to the reality of His Kingdom. This is not simply about having hope of an afterlife! THIS IS ABOUT SEEING A KINGDOM THAT IS NOT OF THIS WORLD. And if we do not experience death, or sadness, or pain, or suffering, then we cannot see the Kingdom.
Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. C S Lewis
Seeing Heaven is Closer Than You Think
God designed your life in such a way that He would be able to draw you back to him. It makes us uneasy to think that we shouldn’t get to be comfortable our whole lives. But that is the blindness that we face in this world.
WE ARE ALL BORN BLIND. But God came to give us sight.
WE ARE ALL BORN DEAD. But God came to give us life.
WE ARE ALL BORN SLAVES. But Jesus came to set us free.
It is my prayer as you read this, if you got this far today, that you would be able to see past the difficulty of seeing beyond. There is a reality that we all are being invited into, if we would only allow God to take off the blinders to our souls.
Today I want to offer two books that I believe will help you if you struggle with being able to see beyond. Just click on the links below to order a copy for yourself. The first is called Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus. The second is called Living in Christ’s Presence by Dallas Willard. Both are men whom I respect and believe offer sound wisdom on the ability to see beyond.