Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. ~ 1 Peter 1:3-5
Just this past weekend I took the time to complete a random task I had been putting off for several weeks. I cleaned out my refrigerator. It wasn’t the worst I have seen by any means but it was annoying to be reminded of the food, especially of the produce, I had purchased with the best intentions only to let it get old and begin to rot away in my fridge. If only fresh fruit and veggies would last forever!
The ruined produce in my refrigerator is one small example of how nothing in this world lasts forever. Eventually, everything and everyone succumbs to the fallen world we live. Buildings crumble. Plants wither away. Animals grow old and pass away. Even with all of our advances in medical technology, each of us will one day die and return to the earth from which God initially created all living things. As Paul teaches us in Romans 6, the wages of sin is death. When sin entered the world, so did death and decay. Therefore nothing in this world is imperishable.
I know. It’s a rather sad and depressing reality. Especially for those who believe this world is all there is to life. The popular idea of YOLO embraces this idea of going all out because there is only this life so why not try and squeeze as much as possible out of it? If indeed You Only Live Once, then going all out with little or no concern for long term, eternal consequences makes sense. But what if there is more than to life than this world offers?
For the Christian, the something more is exactly what we should be focusing on. In John 10:10, Jesus reminds us that he came so that we may have abundant life, life to the fullest, life overflowing. Jesus came so that we would be able to experience life which cannot be contained by this perishable, dying world. He came so that we may have eternal life.
Life eternal. So many villains in so many stories are after some version of this gift Jesus secured for each of us with his sacrifice and death on the cross. It is life which is lived outside of the boundaries of time. It’s easy to think of eternity as just before creation to just beyond forever but even that is way too small to contain the idea of eternity. This is the life which is our inheritance. This is the life the Christian should be putting their hope into. This is truly what YOLO should encourage us to focus on.
Focusing on heaven, on eternal life, on God is focusing on something which will never perish. It is focusing on something which will never fade. It is focusing on something which will never let us down, disappoint, or fail us. It is focusing on something that is now alive, forever has been alive, and forever will be alive. It is embracing living hope.
I know I’m still rather young (despite the gray hairs that refuse to be ignored when I look in the mirror!) but I have never understood the fear of death so commonly found amongst my Christian brothers and sisters. I have always been confident of where I have chosen to place my hope: in Christ alone. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not too excited about the process of dying nor am I trying to hasten the day I get to see Jesus face to face, but I’m not scared of that moment.
Ultimately, when Peter penned the opening words of his epistle, pondering the magnitude of one’s salvation, his first inclination is to praise God. It makes me stop and wonder, if I were to take the time really, truly, deeply ponder the magnitude of my salvation, how would I respond?
- The week’s post focused on Tuesday’s theme verse for the summer. Check out the video below to help you commit it to memory!
- Where is your hope for your future? For your eternity? How does your life reveal that hope?