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Sunday, May 8, 2011

No tears in heaven

We are told over and over again that the Christian life is to be one of
indescribable joy; that we are to have life more abundantly (John 10:10); as
well as have a peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). That is
certainly true, but I'm wondering if we, at times, carry that too far. Has
the concept of "no tears" in Heaven (Rev. 21:4) caused us to become too
dry-eyed here on earth? Is there anything that really bothers us anymore? I'm
not talking about when our favorite team loses, or when politics doesn't go
our way. I mean spiritual things like sin - - does that really bother us
anymore? It seems we have developed a subconscious attitude that, "I'll go
ahead and enjoy this sin today, and repent tomorrow. Is there really any
fear of God in our heart? (Romans 3:18). Do we ever NOT do something because
we know it would displease God? On a larger scale, has the church of our
Lord lost its willingness to morn at sin? (Matthew 5:4).
Certainly, there will be no tears in Heaven, but even Jesus, on at least
three occasions while in this physical life, found cause to weep: (1) at the
tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35); (2) In the Garden of Gethsemane (Hebrews
5:7); and (3) as He entered Jerusalem during the last week of His life
(Luke 19:37-44).
All the people were singing and rejoicing - - except Jesus. Why?
Because He knew their praise for Him was very shallow (cf. John 2:25). He
knew that this same crowd who was shouting "Hail Him," in just one week
would be shouting, "Crucify Him!"
Jesus wept because the people refused to accept their
opportunity to be saved (vs 41-42). It should stir-up some deep thinking
within our own minds that Jesus would weep over the prospect of people going
to Hell. Jesus knows that Hell is a reality, He created it! (John 1:3 with
Matthew 25:41). Not only does Jesus know Hell is a reality, He knows that
real people will be sentenced to go there to endure never-ending torment
(cf. Luke 16:24-25); a torment of eternal darkness (Matthew 25:30); a
torment described as being thrown into a lake of burning lava, "fire and
brimstone" (Revelation 21:8).
As Jesus views spiritual Jerusalem today (His church), what does
He see? He sees many who acknowledge He is King of kings, yet they refuse to
listen to His words. He sees the church He established divided into 400+
religious bodies even though He commanded there be "no divisions among us"
(1Corinthian 1:10). He sees indifference toward worship and evangelism. He
sees and hears smiling preachers saying, "Don't worry, be happy;" "Peace,
Peace, when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14; 1Thessalonians 5:3).
If the impending judgment of so many who had not obeyed God
caused Jesus to weep, how can we who are "in Him" (cf. Galatians 3:27), be
unaffected by the same? Have we become spiritually "dry-eyed?" Have we
become too unconcerned about the lost?
Certainly, there is only so much we can do to encourage some to
obey the Gospel (Matthew 7:6), but let's make sure we've done all that we
can do lest irresponsibility falls upon us.

Toby Miller

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