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Coming back from heaven, this is what he said...

"It’s all about the love," he said.  

Come and let me tell you bout a man named Michael.


Like yesterday, I remember it. I stepped up to the Post Office window and asked, ‘do you by any chance have any lavender stamps to match these invitations?  See, they are for Bible study, and women really like when things match…’you know what I mean?’  I asked without looking up.


‘Bible study, huh?’ the postal worker asked. To which he said, ‘You know, Heaven is a place of wonder, color, and beautiful music …’ 


‘Uh-huh…I need about 120 stamps,’ I said, approving of the lovely stamps he showed me.  


‘You know, Heaven is beyond your wildest imagination!’ 

 

‘That’s what Scripture says … so, do you have enough stamps there?’ I queried, counting my money.  

 

‘Yes, but when you get to Heaven, you will feel so loved… so warm, you won’t even believe it!’  


Okay, he got my attention, so I looked up and said, ‘Sounds like you’ve been there.’  

Yeah, I have,’ he replied.


Such was the gist of my first conversation with Michael several years ago.  After his comments that day, I ventured, ‘Do you think you would sit down and tell me what happened to you—what you experienced?’  He hesitantly agreed, and we established a time to meet at a nearby Denny’s Restaurant.  


And so began my friendship with a humble Christian man who said he had been ‘on the other side’, following a horrific motorcycle accident about 22 years before, which he should not have survived, and was in a coma for three weeks.  In several coffee shop meetings, I asked leading questions, and he would answer … sometimes apologizing for getting emotional … sometimes having to regroup and collect himself.  Whatever I wrote on my lined paper, I would go home and stack it up against Scripture---did anything Michael claimed to have experienced ‘fly in the face’ of the Word?  Actually, no, it did not.  I camped in Revelation 21 and 22 … and became absolutely enraptured by what we can grasp of Heaven.


Of all the things Michael said—he said that in Heaven, everything surrounds the Lamb of God, and in Heaven, it’s all about the love.’  


For the Christian … whether in Paul’s day in the first century or today, it surely must be all about the love.  Looking at Romans chapter 14—we should not judge our fellow believers on non-essential matters of the faith, but rather love them.  And now, Paul takes it another step----                      


 “Each of us will have to answer to God. For that reason, we should stop judging each other. [again, Paul is talking about fellow believers] We must make up our minds not to do anything that will make another Christian sin.  I am in the Lord Jesus, and I know that there is no food that is wrong to eat. But if a person believes something is wrong, that thing is wrong for him.  If you hurt your brother's or sister's faith because of something you eat, you are not really following the way of love. Do not destroy someone's faith by eating food he thinks is wrong, because Christ died for him.  Do not allow what you think is good to become what others say is evil.  In the kingdom of God, eating and drinking are not important. The important things are living right with God, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Anyone who serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God and will be accepted by other people.  Romans 14.13-18


Essentially, Paul is establishing a new standard.  While you personally may not have an issue with a certain ‘gray area’ of behavior—things like having a glass of wine, gambling, etc. We must consider those who struggle and 'take the high road'. When Paul talks about the weaker brother here in Romans 14, he is talking about the legalist, for goodness sake! How about masks and vaccines--do you remember how divisive all of that was? and in the Church, no less. There are certainly doctrinal matters as well--things like predestination, baptism, speaking in tongues, women preaching, end-times prophecy...pre-Trib, mid-Trip, the Rapture, etc.. Friends, if these things matter to us and I do believe they ought, we must search the Scripture and know our biblical footing. But in all things, love--not arguing or divisiveness in our church or our Christian communities--including those on-line, my friends.


Why?  Because as Michael said, it’s all about the love. Hmmm, yes.



My love to you,

Christine


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