But it started out nice.
Jesus was talking about some really good, exciting things that come in an eternity spent with Him. (Bible: The Book of Revelation, chapter 21) But then He took a turn. He brought up… the Others – those Others who were NOT going to be spending eternity with Him, but instead were going to this horrific place called, “A Lake of Fire.”
I read the description of these Others who were headed for destruction. They seem to be like people who are similar to how I used to be. They seem to be like some of the people I currently know and love, who still struggle with the issues listed by Jesus. My heart broke. Does that mean they are going There? I don’t want anyone going There.
And I know God doesn’t want anyone going There either! (Bible: 2 Peter, chapter 3) Plus He has so much more love than I do, so…. WHY does He say these terrible words???!!!
I had no answer. After a moment, I decided to trust in what I did understand – His love and His goodness. So I put my worry about those awful words away.
Today, I mentioned this whole thing to a friend of mine. We took a brief moment to pray and immediately an incredible, paradigm shifting thought came into my head. Moses! When God said He was going to take out all the Jewish people, Moses prayed and interceded for them. (Exodus, chapter 32 AND Numbers, chapter 14) HOW did God respond to Moses’ prayer?
He changed His mind. Yep. The Big Guy changed His mind.
So here was my next, paradigm shifting thought. WHAT IF those terrible, horrible words in The Book of Revelation were not put there to accuse people or to scare them into heaven? What if those words were put there for… ME?! So that I would take God seriously and be inspired to love and care and pray and intercede for the people HE LOVES.
I’m pretty sure God knew Moses’ heart for the people he led. I’m pretty sure God knew Moses would end up on his knees for them. I’m pretty sure this was a setup so that I could see, 3000 or so years later, that God wants me to know that His mind can be changed.
Crazy, huh? Totally crazy. But what if it’s true?
I remember what it was like being an Other. The sin wasn’t fun (eventually) and my life was one that just kept getting smaller and smaller. I was never satisfied, and had no idea of who I was or who I could be.
And then something happened. Everything was different and I was alive, ALIVE! Somehow I knew too, that this change came about for one reason only. It was a cause and effect chain of events and I had nothing to do with it.
First, someone prayed for me. Then, God changed his mind about me.
And what was so crazy wonderful about this was that He didn’t just change his mind about me. He changed me. I went from being someone who was small, hurting and lost, to being someone created for great things.
When I was a child, I thought Jesus was about fire insurance. I thought eternity happened after you died. But heaven came into my life earlier than I expected. It turned out that Jesus brought me more than fire insurance. He brought me a life worth living and I want others to have that same experience.
So when I think about There now, in this moment, I’m not upset or scared. I’m inspired to change his mind about… who?
Hmm. Well, we will see, won’t we? Right now, it’s between me and the Big Guy.
Here’s to more joy,
Do you have a question for me? Write it in the REPLY box and post it to me in the Comments section!
Carla Porter writes, sings, designs architectural interiors and loves God, all in Los Angeles, California.
© 2013, Carla Porter and Whisper of Grace, all rights reserved.