Heaven Begins Today
Jan 12, 2016 1321
For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died (2 Cor 5:14, RSV).
This verse is saying that when Jesus died, we died. When the first Adam sinned, we became sinners. We inherited his guilt; we inherited his twisted nature when he lost the indwelling God. But there’s a second Adam come, the Lord Jesus Christ. He, too, is our Representative. While we were ruined without asking for it, we’ve also been redeemed without asking for it. One died for all. All have died.
Get this good news, and your troubles will shrink away to nothingness in comparison. You died for your sins 2,000 years ago in your Representative. You don’t have to be anxious about what God thinks of you, only what he thinks of Christ, your Substitute. You are not called upon to make your peace with God; you’re called upon to accept Christ – who is your peace.
Whatever the flooding waters, whatever the bitter waters of your experience, if you will accept the man whose name is “the Branch,” the rod out of the stem of Jesse, the man of the tree, the man of the cross-if you will accept him, and put him and his cross into your suffering; if you surrender your self-will to God, and believe that he makes all things work together for good, that not a hair of your head will perish but by his permission, and for your ultimate good; if you believe that nightmares never last, that nothing happens by chance; that God does not originate evil, but does overrule it, that it can be turned into good for you; that you are never alone; that God loves you, and that the trauma of earth is only permitted to make us homesick for heaven; if you believe these things and find in Christ your righteousness – then, my friends, heaven begins today even if it seems to you that you are living in hell itself.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32 (from “The Mystery of Suffering”)