by Rex Rouis
This may sound odd, but I like God. I like everything about Him. I want to go to Heaven to be with Him, and not because I don’t want to go to Hell. I would choose Heaven even if there were no Hell. God, or anybody else, does not have to scare the Hell out of me to get me to choose Heaven. My hand goes up on its own.
I was sitting in my study couch the other day, and I say ‘in’ my couch and not ‘on’ it because that’s the kind of couch it is. I call it my nest. It is my quiet safe place. As usual, I had all my favorite Bible study things around me, and I suddenly had the thought – “I like God. I honestly like doing this.” It’s a funny thought really, liking God. I mean, why wouldn’t you like God? But sadly, many do not.
I like Him. I like his ways. I like what He likes. And, most of all, I like spending time with Him. It is the best part of my day. He is my God and my Best Friend. I think it’s amazing that I can personally interact with the God of the universe. Me, a normal guy, sitting in a normal house, can communicate freely with the one Eternal God. I just can’t fathom it. And what is even more amazing, is that He enjoys my company. I have no idea why. I have nothing to offer except my honest enjoyment of Him, but then again what else do friends need? I just appreciate His attention.
I like God. I like everything about Him.If I had the choice between God’s holy Heaven and the world’s image of a bliss filled utopian Age of Aquarius Nirvana future, I would choose Heaven hands down. Why would I want to pretend to be a god when I can be with the real God? The world’s view of eternal goodness is similar to God’s Heaven, yet without the God of Heaven. That is shallow and empty. It is God alone that can satisfy our souls. I don’t understand how we will be able to remain satisfied for all eternity with any one thing or person. Forever is a long long time. But if anybody can pull it off, I’m sure God can. We will enjoy Him and what He will have for us forever.
I believe in a personal faith that can move mountains and change things in this world. Jesus taught it, and it is all over the Bible. But I also believe that at its core the Bible is not about bringing justice or relief to this world. It is all about bringing a just people to the next world. The next life is the eternal one. This life is the test. The things of this life are meant to sort out those who do not like Him and don’t gravitate toward Him, from those who do. Of course, God could reveal the horrors of Hell to each of us and drive us to Him, but why would He want to? God doesn’t want a people who have been forced to be with Him. He wants a people who have shown that they want Him, both by their word and their actions.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.… I Peter 2:9, 10 Berean Study Bible
The grand purpose of the Gospel is not to bring justice to this world, but instead, to choose a just people for the next world.We all have ups and downs, and sometimes we wonder why things turn out the way they do, but through it all, true believers are moving in God’s direction, and the others, in the other direction. Some people simply do not enjoy God. It’s a hard truth, but it is the truth. In this, I have a concern for worldly Christians. Most of them would rather do anything than fellowship with God. They accept Him into their heart but they don’t accept Him into their lives. If they have no desire to spend any time with God now, why would God desire to spend eternity with them later? There has to be more that drives a person to God than the fear of Hell.
God desires faith, and the thing about faith is that it takes time to develop. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine: and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31, 32). He said this to people who already believed in Him. Apparently, a superficial believing is not enough to receive from God. Hearing from God is the basis of faith (Romans 10:17), and hearing takes seeking and seeking takes time. Those that continue on with Him are the ones who hear and receive their answers. And not only do they receive answers but each time they receive something from Him they receive a little more of Him. The process of faith is the process by which we all become more like God. It is the win-win process of God, and He calls it salvation. In the end – in the eternal end – He is the real prize of faith.
“I like God. I honestly like doing this.”God is not a church and He is not a religion. He is not just the creator of the universe or the One who wrote the Bible. He is a Person. He is a Person who enjoys spending time with other persons. This is why He created lots of ‘persons’ – normal people like you and me. He created us in His image so we could relate to Him and be with Him. The purpose and goal of the Gospel is to get us to a place where we can have a special eternal friendship with Him.
So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. Hebrews 2:11 New Living Translation
Jesus is not ashamed to call us family. What a Gift. What an honor. And what a relief! We will be a Family forever. And remember, there is nothing after forever. There is nothing better than that in all the universe.