Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Perfection of all things

If there's one sobering conclusion I've come to in the aftermath of the Boston bombings, it's that our vision of a "happily ever after" society is far from reality and the truth of the world.  As much as I want tragedy, despair, murder, sickness, and so on, to disappear, I'm reminded by passages in scripture which tell us that we will have tribulation in the world (John 16:33).  It's as simple as that.

I once heard a pastor reminisce that there wasn't anyone who died in the 9/11 attacks who wasn't going to die eventually.  The same is true of Boston, of London, of Madrid, of Atlanta, of Oklahoma City, and of virtually every occurring death that we might consider "premature."  As a result, we often respond to sudden tragedies by saying things like "it was too soon" for someone to die, or that this person "had their whole lives ahead of them."

By that measure, the tragedy is completely ingrained in the fact that the deceased are no longer able to enjoy the "riches" of this life.  That this life is so good, it is devastating to think that they will miss out on it.  Under that purview, there is nothing good, nothing better, nothing perfect beyond this earthly life.  And for those who die apart from Christ, that is true.

But even Christians, who have assurance in Christ, tend to be equally shaken by tragedy as their non-Christian counterparts.  They, too, may lament the lives cut short.  But cut short from what?  Jesus commands us to refrain from storing treasures on earth because it is in the heavenly kingdom which endures (Matthew 6:19). In other words, our treasures, investments, livelihoods, etc. are to pass away (1 John 2:17), as they accompany our bodily death.

Ultimately, God makes all things perfect.  Through Christ's death and resurrection, we are sanctified and perfected.  And through His glorification, we too, will one day dwell in His glory (Romans 8:17).

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