Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Living the Future

In the teaching of Jesus, the secret to living a right life here is to constantly be considering the future, especially one's future with God.  Jesus' ethical teaching is constantly referring to the future state-- not necessarily "heaven", but the final judgment of God and one's eternal state.  There are three basic principles he refers to:

    a. How we treat others is how God will treat us
    "Judge not lest you be judged" "Forgive and you will be forgiven" "By whatever measure you measure, by that measure you will be measured."  "Enter into the kingdom prepared for you... for when I was a stranger you invited me in."

    b. Whatever we take for ourselves, we will be given the opposite
    "Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, those who humble themselves will be exalted."

    c.  Whatever kind of suffering/comfort we find ourselves in now, we will be living the opposite
     "In your life you received good things and Lazarus evil; even so, now he is comforted and you are in agony."  "Blessed are you who mourn, for you shall be comforted." "Woe to you who are rich for you have already received your comfort; woe to you who laugh now for you shall mourn and weep."

In the end, Jesus' recommendation for us to live beyond the present is to remember the future.  He told us clearly what the future holds (in general terms), if we can remember the future, it will actively change the present.  And this is the most important thing: the point of looking beyond the here and now is to change the here and now.  Because if we do not change the here and now, then our "beyond" will always look the same.

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