One author has said that Christians today have a ‘modern evangelical schizophrenia’. And just so we are on the same page, schizophrenia is when you have delusions, and/or are extremely disordered in your thinking and behaviour, so much so that it impairs your daily functioning. This schizophrenia causes confusion, frustration and discouragement. It leaves us with unrealistic expectations and regular disappointment. It makes us search over and over again for what we will not find and spend endless hours wondering why we haven’t found it. It can even result in some of us beginning to doubt the goodness of God.
What is this schizophrenia? It’s that we profess that we believe in forever, eternal life, a never-ending paradise, and yet we live as if this world is all there is. We live as if we are trying to make heaven on earth. We are working to set ourself up here as comfortably as we can ‘forever’ instead of working in and for God’s kingdom which will last forever. Living as if this is all there is but believing in forever are not compatible. Here’s why.
First, you cannot make any sense out of the Christian life without eternity. This is the argument of 1 Corinthians 15. If Jesus, the one you’ve given your life to doesn’t ultimately fix all that sin has broken, so you can live with him forever in paradise, then you faith is worthless.
Secondly, you and I have been hardwired for eternity. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has placed eternity in every person’s heart. That means everyone hungers for eternal paradise. No one is satisfied with the temporary things of this world, the way they are. So, we either try to make paradise here and now and are always driven and disappointed, or we live in this broken world with the rest and peace that come from knowing that through Christ’s sacrifice for us, paradise is coming in our future.
We are sad that things are broken now and so we become agents of change for God, but we are not anxious for we know that God has not abandoned us. We can’t see our future but we know it’s there. God is working it out.
Friends, let’s not forget that our forever paradise is coming and so live peaceful, free lives, as we work for and in God’s kingdom.