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The only place to be

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere... Psalm 84.10

Thomas à Kempis said something like; "Heaven is where God is. Everywhere else is death and hell." Isn't that the kind of remark you might expect from a theologian? But wait a minute... Consider the implications... The reference is not to a geographical place. Jesus taught that God's realm is wherever his authority is recognised. So, as long as we are walking in step with God, we are in heaven. But, the moment we go off track, we stray into the darkness of death and hell.

Isn't that why resistance to temptation is so vital? It's for our safety. In the same way that we discipline children so they don't run out into the road or swim in the sea beyond their depth, the Bible cautions us from placing ourselves in unnecessary danger. This does not mean that we shirk God's call to serve wherever he sends us. There is a bigger picture at play, reflected in the distinction between mortal and eternal life. Mortality is the temporary existence we have now, where there are no guarantees. Eternal life is the gift of God which carries with it the promise of life in its fulness forever.

Death has no hold on eternal life, which begins the moment we put our trust in Jesus. This is where joy and security are found. We may - we almost certainly will - continue to suffer as long as our mortal lives continue. Yet our ultimate existence is vested with Almighty God and so we have nothing to fear - in this life or the next.



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