“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” – Karl Marx
I had a dream this morning in which I was taken to Heaven. The experience of this dream did not consist of a “visit” to Heaven after which I was sent back to Earth; for those of you that have a grasp of Christian eschatology, this experience could be placed either after my own death or subsequent to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I didn’t feel like a stranger in a foreign land, but a son that had finally returned Home. I did not know I was dreaming, but was firmly convinced that I was Home to stay.
Was I in that Place where Christ now sits, or in the New Jerusalem? Was I in the present Earth or the Earth made new? I don’t know.
The brilliant Light that pervaded all things, the immense and ancient architectures, the colossal use of space…all were as expected, but no less awe-inspiring. Footless halls of knowledge and data, angels whose lives spanned countless millennia and even the Ear of the Master Himself…all were at my beckoning.
And there were children…many, many children there: playing, learning and resting…beyond the reach of any suffering or abuse.
Others were there as well, from all cultures and nations…each at various stages of Grace (that by which each soul’s likeness to Christ may be measured). Some of these were struggling in themselves with their new surroundings; my heart swelled with compassion for such, knowing that every necessary step would be taken for their comfort and adaptation.
But most of all there was this FEELING…extremely difficult to describe yet critically central to the entire experience: as though there was an invisible breathing tube connecting God’s Mouth to mine, through which every breath of God’s Own Life and Smell was continually saturating my being.
Was my dream a Gift from The Savior, or years of Bible study come to fruition? (Laughing) probably both.
“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 1st Corinthians 2:9
The Real Heaven lies far beyond any description that has ever been penned; yet the Holy Spirit of God sighs and breathes on us from time to time to remind us of our Ultimate Destiny.
Many an existentialist has quoted the last sentence from Marx’s “A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” in an effort to prove that Faith is a gift for weak minds from the hands of of the few that have taken upon themselves the task of controlling the path of human progress.
However, taken in context, it seems to me that Marx is saying that because we understand this world is somewhat askew and not as it should be, we naturally engage our imagination to envision what a RIGHT world would look like.
DOES HEAVEN (and therefore GOD) exist?
The Words of Christ to the Apostle Thomas have been ringing in my mind’s ear all morning:
“Jesus says to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed!“
I have seen the Christ–not in a dream but while awake; I have stood inside of His Divine Being and am a living witness of His Righteous Essence. I have had God throw His Love at me with a force that I thought would kill me. I have experienced for myself the Resurrection promised to the faithful…
…yet before ANY of that happened to me I BELIEVED because I understood that if the existence of “The Wrong” that you and I face everyday is beyond dispute to even the existentialist and the atheist and the agnostic, then so must the Ultimate Right exist without question!
And it stands to Reason and Logic that The Right is better, older and stronger than the wrong–how could it be otherwise???
I once met a young man who, because of the things he had witnessed in his life and in his dealings with the occult, believed that evil was actually stronger than good. It took very little time to persuade him otherwise; I had but to point him to The Cross of Jesus Christ, and the Grace given Therewith that has and can yet turn the most evil human righteous!!!
If evil were stronger, Satan would’ve been able to turn Christ in His Human Form against His Father. Rather, on the Last Day, all that are in Heaven, Earth and under the Earth shall hear these words wrested from the lips and heart of the Father of lies: “Jesus is Lord.”
Jesus did not turn evil; instead, time after time, His Grace has transformed sinners into saints. There is no human other than Christ who has walked into Heaven as a conqueror; we all that are counted worthy of eternal life do so on the Merits of Christ alone and are trophies of His Undeserved Grace.
And those Merits have the power to make us fit recipients of the Divine Nature of God Himself, granting us for All Eternity His Own Uncompromising Hatred of sin.