This is Part 3 of The Three Great Miracles of the Christian Life. Part 2 “Off to War” is here.
So we have accepted Christ and literally – not figuratively, not symbolically — actually became new creatures in Christ. We live our lives in the power of God, joining the battle as conquerors. And finally, we come to the end of our battle. The finishing of our life on earth. And the third of the stupendous miracles of the Christian life: you are going to live forever.
There are many people who believe in the afterlife and want to go to heaven. It’s hardly surprising, whether or not we believe in God we were created by God, and the longing for God is still in our hearts with we recognize it or not. But there is no reincarnation. There is no nice happy little spirit world. There is no pagan summer land. There is glorious life for ever with God in a new heaven and a new earth.
Or there’s only cold. And eternal regret in deepest darkness.
If you accept Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and as you live your life for his sake, then when death approaches instead of fear you will see vistas opening in front of your eyes. In CS Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, the final book in the series is called The Last Battle and he uses the story to describe the end the world. When the young king and his friends have fought a final great battle they die, and find themselves in a new land. The great lion Aslan, Lewis’s symbol for Jesus Christ who is the Lion of Judah, greets them and speaks. Lewis writes:
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
This sounds so beautiful, and so unattainable – except it is exactly what will happen to those who believe. The Great Story goes on forever; the story of the Lion and the Lamb, the story of Christ triumphant, and His people – us, me and you – who have won the victory. Won it forever.
And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
This life is important. It’s here that we make our decision for Christ. It’s here that we join the great battle. But however important this life is, it’s short. Never take for granted how much time you have left to serve the Lord on this earth. The side to now, today. Act now, today. So that when you take your last breath you won’t fall into darkness. You’ll run into the light and straight to the arms of God.