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Friday, December 04, 2015

'Is My Name Written There?'

In regards to the modern evangelical landscape, the implications of Fulfilled Eschatology are not only potentially very dangerous ( damning? ). they're also almost endless! If the descriptions of 'Heaven' ( such as it is ) that we read in say, John's Revelation or in the Hebrew Prophets ( Isaiah, for instance ) is simply referring to the ( spiritual ) abode of our Heavenly Father's people in the here & now, then what does that do to their precious ( traditional ) doctrines of Heaven & Hell? Eternal Conscious Punishment? If the principles of preterism are true, then what about the afterlife? IS there an afterlife?!

Among most Christians today & even among many who would not be considered Christian by most Christians today, the afterlife is probably one of the hottest topics, theologically speaking! Especially when faced with the expiration of a friend or loved one, whether near or far, it is hard to believe that, once the biological body dies, that person is not enjoying some sort of afterlife, whether 'hangin' with Jesus & the apostles or sitting on a cloud playing a harp. The concept of your dear departed as your guardian angel is a by-product of this belief.

The notion that all is fulfilled & being fulfilled, although not a new one by any stretch of the imagination, is one whose time has com! Christians in general are become less & less enamored with 'Last Days Madness'; so many predictions have been made about the end of the world while everything goes on as it has since the beginning of the world ( except for ONE notable 'change' ), that all but the most fanatical believer has abandoned this theory & many have abandoned not only those who taught them, but the Institutional Church that harboured them!

We as a people, have entered upon a new 'Great Awakening'! Every day, more & more people are becoming increasingly aware of, not just their surroundings & of their symbiotically necessary union with all of Life, but that much of what the IC has taught for centuries as Gospel is a farce, nothing but religious fear & fairy-tales. If what the Scriptures reveal to us is simply a Revelation of the End of Israel's Story, the Book of the Covenant that the Creator revealed to Israel from the Beginning, then what does that mean for us? We are Americans living in the Western Hemisphere in a culture much different that that of Israel under that first covenant; on top of that, they were written about people living 2-6,000 years ago!

The question asked in that famous old hymn, 'Is My Name Written There?', is rendered somewhat passe' by Fulfilled Eschatology! If the Lamb's Book of Life referred to in the Revelation of Jesus the Christ was simply a record of those faithful Israelites who honored their Messiah & accepted Him as such when He came, then can we seriously ask that question? Should we even?! Sure, in some sense one could say that this could be applied to us today, for we are 'the Israel of God', but as Christians & believers in the Christ, we should be aware that Book had a Beginning & End, and Alpha & Omega!

As those who live in the New Age, as members of the New & Eternal Covenant, we will never die! These biological bodies will perish, as they were meant to, but our spirits will live on. We are with our God & Father right now & He with us, but when this biology passes away, we can really only speculate as to what our life will be like when we have become pure spirit! Gnostically, some might accuse us of saying that the biology that was created good has become evil & something to be escaped, but this is not what we're saying at all. We're simply saying that our biology wasn't built to last forever; it was made to serve a purpose & once that purpose is fulfilled, we've served our time! Once our spirit leaves our body & this biology returns to the dust from which it came, all we really know about the afterlife is that we are with our Heavenly Father in this luife as well as what may come after it!

Amen.

Charles Haddon Shank

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