Friday, March 19, 2010

Death, Heaven, and Hell

Turned 62 earlier this week.  Kind of hard not to think, from time-to-time, about death.  I'd like to ask my Mom (84 in 6 weeks) what she's thinking about death, or maybe some of the older folks in my church.  But I feel uncomfortable bringing the subject up.  Why is that?  As far as I can tell, nobody ever talks about death.

We don't talk very much about heaven.  Even in the church.  I suspect that's because we have so many goodies here on earth that the prospect of heaven no longer offers much tangible benefit.  Sure, no more tears.  Sure, we get to meet Jesus.  But in an age of plenty and toys that are so cool we couldn't have imagined them even ten years ago, one needs a very good imagination to think of how things will be even more exciting in heaven. 

I actually think about heaven.  I read Randy Alcorn's book on Heaven, and I've read numerous other books and parts of books on the subject.  I'm totally confident that heaven is going to be amazing in every possible way, and beyond anything we could imagine in our wildest dreams.  But, I don't wake up heavenly minded. 

A close friend at church lost her Dad last week.  She does not have the assurance that he knew Jesus.  In fact, if he did, it would have been a foxhole confession in the last week of his life.  But what about hell.  If we don't talk or think about death or heaven very much, we sure don't talk about hell.  No more pastors talking about hell and damnation.  Can't go there.  Too tough.  People might leave.  Hmmm.

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