I read recently in a short poster on social media that “Paul walked into heaven to the applause of those He persecuted and killed, that’s how the gospel works”.
I’d never thought of that despite understanding that heaven was a place of untainted hearts, pure intentions and tangible love. Thinking about these things practically as in the post above does something deeper to our understanding of what we already think we know.
The designer of that post stopped at “that’s how the gospel works”, but I wanted to expand it some more, so we understand why a murderer in his past will enter a place to the cheer of the people he murdered.
In the grand scheme of things, as painful as this reality might be, for the believer the only thing that truly matters is Gods plan, Gods desire and Gods purpose. This isn’t to say we do not matter and God thinks nothing of us, it’s to say that God is growing us all to the level where we see and understand it this way, and also see that in what matters is you and I, our souls particularly, at the heart of it.
When we begin to understand this and allow the Holy Spirit grow us into maturity, we will seek and see Gods plan, Gods desire and Gods purpose in all things, especially the times when we feel terribly inconvenienced. The mission to partner with God on His plan, desire and purpose does something so beautiful to our hearts because this mission exposes us to the word which gives the Holy Spirit in us room and power to transform us and conform us to the image of His son.
This conformation process makes us love men, like Jesus, these are men easily entreated and unfazed by offence. God teaches and instructs our hearts to love our neighbour the way He has loved us and there’s no extent too far to go in loving if indeed we attempt to mirror Abbas love to us.
The inconsistency we see in the world today is a limit placed on the love we can offer people. We don’t want to be the foolish ones, taking all of a persons shortcomings, so we give up on people and sometimes cut them off which we justify by our fallen human nature that we don’t even realise is at work.
Paul was truly the most unqualified by all standards to carry the gospel. Remember God stopped David from building His temple because God said David has so much blood on his hand? Interesting that God didn’t say same to Paul because Paul equally had blood (of Gods people) on His hand. And the only reason why God didn’t do same to Paul was because Jesus had come and died & resurrected and had become sin for us, so Paul didn’t have blood stained hands anymore, Jesus had wiped that away after He encountered God and surrendered to a new life. Despite that, by worldly standards, he was still the least qualified.
Gods plan, desire and purpose places a demand on us, it calls us to a standard that’s deeply unfamiliar to the world we live in, but as we answer the call, it gets easier; to align and also to raise and train more people in same standard.
The only new thing we receive at the coming of Christ is glorified bodies. We don’t get glorified minds, attitudes or characters. Only glorified bodies. The making of our heavenly mind, attitude and character is happening here and now in our day to day living. And if we cannot love the ones who have hurt us in less ways as compared to murder, we won’t also applaud them when they repent and are ushered into heaven.
God is doing a thorough work in our hearts on this earth. We must pay closer attention to this working in us because it determines much and counts for all of eternity.
I pray that our hearts will be so untainted like that of those martyred who cheered Paul into heaven. That we align so much to Gods plan, desire and purpose that our feelings find pleasure in seeing His plan, desire and purpose fulfilled.