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Monday, August 19, 2002
- Repent: Heaven or Hell? -
Today the Undergraduate Library re-opens. There is a ceremony, a ribbon cutting, and a soapbox evangelist shouting from the sidelines. For a split second, I understood the church's historical harsh treatment of heretics. As each speaker stood up to speak, their words were interrupted by ". . . indoctrinated by the Koran . . . evil as UNC . . . believe in Jesus Christ . . . repent . . . repent . . . repent . . .” I almost went over to rebuke him with the full Bevill stubborn-wrath when I realized a university official was already speaking to him. To make matters worse, all the TV cameras there for the opening ceremony were turned on this man's redden face and six-foot banner declaring judgment.

All I could think of was "What a mockery of Christ!" How small the gospel is if it only secures your place in heaven. Praise to the Lord Jesus Christ whose blood turns sinners into sons, murders into saints, and whose gospel redeems our entire lives. The whole point of judgment is to drive us to the cross - not to construct blameless lives! This is good news! In light of this, this man should construct a new banner reading –

” Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity joined with pow'r:
He is able,
He is willing; doubt no more.

posted by Jamie 12:06 PM

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- Come and eat from heaven's store -
It's funny. Sometimes skills or just parts of your being that you never thought would apply to a situation are the very ones that allowed you to do anything at all. I spent this weekend with my grandmother whose health is declining. My mother has been worried that she is not dealing with end of life issues, but hasn't known how to help her in this. Then enter the 24-year-old granddaughter known for being serious, "heady," and theological.

I don't remember how, but somehow our conversation turned towards the endtimes, the hope of heaven, and what we can expect there. I told her that I haven't studied "endtime theories" enough to hold a position on any of them, but I do know that Christ will not forget us. He will return and bring us to a place he has prepared for us. We will remain physical beings, but with redeemed bodies. At least some of the joys we have known on this earth will exist in heaven, but in perfect form (like the banqueting table). Also we will still recognize our loved one and that there will be many "raptured greetings on Canaan's happy shores." She reminded me that this applies to everyone - no one knows when their time will come. She talked about people she misses and hopes to see one day. Then she talked about how amazing it will be to actually gaze on Christ one day.

I guess there's not much baggage between grandparents and grandchildren - at least in my family. We don't tell each other what to do, how to improve, or any of those things that tend to ruffle people's feathers a bit. I've been thinking through how does one minister to someone so much older and wiser. Turns out, at least in this situation, the requirements were just to speak genuinely and to be yourself. Of course, it wasn't a heavy conversation, but I felt it did her some good (as well as myself.) It makes you wonder how long I've been unknowingly prepared for that one hour.

posted by Jamie 10:18 AM

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