Aim at Heaven

March 17, 2019
John 13:34-35
34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  [John 13:34-35] I was reading the news the other day and I started thinking about why things are the way they are.  In my humble opinion I believe the stage is being set for the Great War. The war I see isn’t war between nations, the war is a war fought between earthly ideologies.
 I believe unfortunately it will be a war not unlike the Civil War, not of this country but amongst Christians. We Christians are supposed to have hope beyond this world but we are to also show our faith through the works we produce in this world: not that works proves our faith but that our faith produces works.
We must be careful that as we become sure in our faith we are also watchful for what James warns us of; 22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.   [James 1:22-24]
A large part of the problem of this world is that people seem to be moving away from God.  C.S. Lewis had an interesting take on why that happens. He said; Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither. ~ C.S. Lewis
Unfortunately for all the rhetoric being thrown around by the religious community I see too much of Lewis’ “aim at earth and you will get neither” statement.  I see too many occupied with the things of this earth and not so much the things of Heaven.
What this brings about is a great division between us: the “divide and conquer” strategy. Satan loves nothing more than to cause division because it makes his job easier.  23 So He summoned them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. [Mark 3:23-25]
What then do we do?  Well how about this? 21 And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother.   [1 John 4:21]
Abraham Lincoln said this and I believe on the eve of what could be a coming war this may be apropos: It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom ~ Abraham Lincoln
There are too many saints who have died for us to have earthly concerns tear us apart.  That isn’t what we are supposed to be doing, that isn’t why Jesus died.
Let us strive toward what it says here in Ephesians, regardless of what the current dividing earthly concerns may be.  32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.  [Ephesians 4:32]
~ Pastor Floyd