Friday, May 30, 2014

"Imagine a world flooded with powerful happiness...."

-- from Ray Ortlund, Jr.

"Imagine a world flooded with overwhelmingly powerful happiness.  A world with no painful memories for you.  A world where you can drive though any part of town and you feel no negative associations with anything at all.  Nothing is there to kidnap your moment and take you back into sorrow.  It is a world where every new experience, every moment, only increases your joy.

"Imagine a world with a new you.  Not only is your willpower freed from hesitation but even your brain, your chemicals, your psychological pathways all work together to intensify your focused happiness.  You never need to fear yourself.  No more caution.  No more restraint.  Nothing within you but beauty, reflecting the beauty of God himself.

"Imagine a world with no hope of heaven, because it has become heaven.  All hopes are realized.  All the waiting is over.  No more distance.  No more absence.  No more discipline.  Nothing but the happiness of your Father pouring over you in full measure.  You are experiencing the fulfillment — the full fulfillment — of all the promises of the Bible.  The only expectation left is that his presence will keep getting better, exponentially, with asymptotic intensity, forever.

"Imagine a world populated by a vast number of human beings of every race, every language, every culture — the various forms of dress and humor and music and art and play and thought — all represented in the people around you, every person fascinating, every person radiant, every person your new best friend.

"That, for starters, is the world where Jesus will reign.  Imagine!

"For now — this coming Sunday — our privilege is to foreshadow that world, to some modest but felt degree, in our churches.  Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture, where more people can taste the powers of the age to come and join us in Christ."

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