While my faith is strong, there are still one or two things that trouble me about my God and the Bible…
We all have questions and issues with our faith, whether we admit it or not, don’t we? And that’s not surprising, because as finite beings we only “see through a glass darkly” as Paul put it: there are some things we just can’t know about an infinite and eternal being and the place where he lives. This is where humility comes in, because the man who thinks he should understand and prove everything about God before committing himself is putting up a giant roadblock to his own salvation, peace and happiness. That’s why Jesus said we must receive the kingdom of God as a little child:
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4 NIV)
(Photo by Thomas Schoch)
It doesn’t mean we have to “check our brains at the door” as skeptics try to claim, it means that we have to admit to ourselves and to God that we don’t know much, we can’t do much without Him, and we don’t have any kind of leverage over our own mortality or with him, besides his own mercy.
So the problem I’m referring to here is kids-or rather the lack of them. If, as Jesus said, people don’t marry in heaven, does that mean there will be no children? Perhaps I-we are missing something, and perhaps we will reproduce. But the reason the thought of no children being in heaven bothers me is that I love children. Most particularly I’ve loved having my own, who’ve given me as much joy as anything in life has given me. The thought of seeing no kids in heaven, of never having kids, and having nothing but boring adults around me, really bothers me.
I’ve written about this before, and I know others have also, so the following is likely not an original thought on my part. But if you take away from an adult his fears, his hang-ups, his prejudices, his animosity and aggression, his disappointments, his selfishness, his bad habits and his grouchy attitude; if you could take out of him all the yucky mannerisms and dark, unhappy experiences he’s collected since he left the womb-it’s difficult to imagine I know-you would be left with an altogether different person, would you not? And make no mistake, that’s what will happen when you and I are transformed to be like him. Yes, we who love God want to live in his ways, but we’re still fallible, and we still need a make-over.
On that day when we’re transformed “in the twinkling of an eye”, everything bad in us will be gone, since sinful man and sinful, fallen ways, cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. We will be like Jesus, not in the sense of having unlimited power and knowledge, but in terms of our character. John, writing to believers, said:
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (2 John 3:2).
If you could take away from a man or woman all those ugly ways and thoughts and habits, and the sin-nature that causes such things, then add a new heart, a new environment and the presence of a holy righteous God… you would end up with a loving, caring, light-hearted, happy, joyful, playful, warm-hearted person. Also take away that used, tired, flabby, spotty, weak, fallen physical form and replace it with a brand new incorruptible one-lean, healthy, vibrant, active, energetic, powerful and submitted to the Creator-and the person in front of you would be like a happy, well-adjusted young man or woman, as free in spirit as the most unspoiled child you can imagine.
And that’s no surprise either, because Jesus Christ, the Son of God said:
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).