Sunday, January 13

Interruption

I interrupt this intermission to bring you a musing of mine/a question I have. Happy New Year by the way...

In one of my classes this past week, a belief I had previously assumed was brought into question somewhat indirectly. In this class we were asked the following question: If you had an indefinite amount of time in which to write a book and you did not have to worry about a job or paying for food or anything, what would you write? In essence, what is your dream book to write?
I pondered and came up with the following idea for a book. There are billions of people in the world and each one has a unique story to tell, and each one has an especially unique story to tell of how Jesus has worked in their lives-- how they came to know him, what he has done for them, and so on.
Here on earth, we are called to be God's witnesses, testifying to what he has done in and for us. I have always assumed and believed that this calling to be God's witnesses was one that would last throughout eternity, that we would be able to share our stories with other humans in heaven, as well as the angels and residents of other worlds.
This is the book that I decided would be my dream book; I wanted to write a compilation of people's stories of God, their testimonies. When I announced this in class (we each had to share what our dream book would be), the teacher said to me, "Well, I suppose you've got a thousand years to write that book." And I was puzzled for a moment until she continued, "We'll have the millenium in heaven for reviewing the records. At least that's my theological understanding."
When I heard her say that I began to wonder if she were right. Would we really only have a thousand years to review Earth and all that happened in it? And would we no longer share our stories from Earth after that? I have thought about this and have talked with a few people about it, and I have come to a few conclusions. But I have decided that I want to read and learn more about it and also hear other people's opinions and beliefs. So my question to you is, what do you believe, and why? And if you have any suggestions for reading selections, I would appreciate them.

4 comments:

Edward said...

Yay, thought provocation!

That class was creative writing, wasn't it? :P

Assuming the 1000 years are to be spent in review of Earth, I doubt there would be a statute of limitations on further review. Yet, I can't imagine why anyone would want to examine it further.

Given the ability to view all of human history in detail would reveal indescribable horrors. A large amount of the depravity of Earth can be hidden from us during our mortal lifetimes, simply because we live in a stable country with a system of laws capable of shielding us from the potential brunt of many of the more public sins. 1000 years spent in review of man's perversion seems like more than enough for me. Once can only read so much Satryicon, after all. And while it certainly won't all be bad, once we've waded through it once, and seen that justice has been done, I think we'll be satisfied.

Thus, after 1000 years the painful memories of Earth would no longer plague us. Perhaps we'll carry some pleasurable stories with us to continue witnessing to creation, but I doubt Old Earth will get much air time afterwards. I do believe some earthly things will carry over beyond the 1000 years, such as marriage (ask me about that one sometime, it's a controversial topic for another day...)

Anyway, those are my very verbose thoughts. :)

-Edward

Kristin said...

It was indeed Creative Writing. And I suppose I wasn't terribly clear in my post. I agree with you in the sense that no one will want to wade through all the muck and mire of sinful Earth. I got enough of that through 18th century literature and Ancient Classics to last a lifetime.

I suppose I was referring more specifically to people's experiences with God. Will we remember and continue to share our stories of how Christ found us, ways that he helped us overcome struggles? Essentially, will we still be witnessing and sharing our testimonies to bring glory to God?

Either my teacher misunderstood me and what I wanted to write in my dream book, or she believes that we will not retain any memory of Earth and our lives there.

I will wait a little while longer to post more of my thoughts on this because I have quite a few. But I want to see if anyone else is going to share their opinions and understanding.

Little Christen said...

Well Kristin, I'm trying to think of quotes to back up what I'm about to say, but I can't, unfortunately. However, perhaps once I finish my rant, something applicable will come to mind.

I believe that the 1,000 years will be solitarily to understand why certain people are not in heaven. This is the time when we will decide for ourselves the "justness" of God. It may also be a time to see why some people *are* in heaven. For example, I'm sure Steven might have some questions about Saul. ;) This is the time when all of the dreadful woes and sins of the world will be revealed, and after our judgment is complete and we all concede that God is just, the pain and sin that those not in heaven have caused, as well as felt, will be burned with them and their originator (Satan).
~Revelation 20, part of it

However, I don't believe that the rest of eternity will be an eternity of brainwashing! For if we were to forget our lives on this earth and that we have been redeemed, Christ's constant reminder of His sacrifice would not be as effective. Christ is scarred for eternity, externally, internally, and supernaturally. When came down as a human, He lost his 4th dimension (or whatever dimension that was). Secondly, He was physically scarred with the nails and the spear. And thirdly, the loss of those who will be utterly destroyed will forever be an emptiness in His heart.

If we were to forget these things, would that not lead us to sin again? I believe that eternity will be filled with meeting new people with amazing stories to tell! Why? Because for one thing, God's got to have something to keep us busy while He's making His individual appointments out of the at least 15 billion which will exist by then. ;) And secondly, in hearing the stories of others, our love and excitement for Christ will blossom and grow. If we get excited to hear powerful testimonies now, why would we not feel the same way in heaven? Don't we want to hear about Paul's conversion from his own lips? Even further, think of those people who have never really known Christ, but who are in heaven--those people who believed in a God and lived up to the furthest extent of their understanding. How else are they going to know the God who brought them there except by living examples? Sure, Christ can tell them Himself, and He likely will, but Christ is not proud. He uses us for His work too.

Of course I can't accurately tell you what the content of those conversations will be, however I can give my opinion. I believe that each person who is asked about their experiences with God will only reveal the good. Bear with me. It has been said, by Ellen White I believe, that when Jesus comes, we will all see our lives pass before us and how God was working. Right now, we are only knowledgeable of what we see, and only occasionally are we absolutely certain of how God is working in our lives. In addition, it takes a lot of retrospect to figure it out from the past. But when we talk with our fellow redeemed, we will be able to share what God has revealed to us--that we were in difficult situations but He amazingly did such-and-such. We will not dwell on the negative at all, but will share only that which will uplift Christ. "Here is how Christ changed me, and I didn't even know it at the time. Isn't He wonderful!"

I have heard that we will learn new things about God all the time, and I don't believe that those things will only be scientific. People are the reason why Christ died in the first place. Doesn't He want us to remember that? And each time we share our story or hear a new one, our love for Christ will deepen. Imagine a whole eternity of a deepening love! It's incomprehensible :D

And that, my friend Kristin, is obviously an English major's view (b/c of length, of course ;) in response to your question.

Caitlin said...

I concur, my dear Little Christin.

emphatically.