“We ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we are saved for this hope … we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Romans 8:23, 24, 25)
If Paul could visit our contemporary Christian Church he would probably be terribly grieved in his heart. So few of us know what he really meant. We have little or no experience of what it is to eagerly wait for Christ’s coming and the new creation and neither do we “groan” under the weight of sin, decay and death in the world.
The things that many of us seem to be eager about today is our boy/girl friend, prospective marriage partner, career, super and retirement, or the next holiday to see the world.
Paul says that this world groans to “be delivered from the bondage of decay” and that it “groans and labours with birth pangs.” Both people and the physical world we live in are “groaning” under the weight of evil and degradation more than ever.
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It would seem that the hearts of many Christians are not eagerly waiting for Christ’s return and for the new heavens and a new earth. For many our treasure is earthly and not heavenly. Millions are still going into eternity without having the opportunity to even hear the Gospel. They are dying in natural disasters, wars, famines and through sickness, many while still children, but our concern is more focussed on our own comfort and well being. We hoard so we can live comfortably in retirement. We build “barns” to hold our ever increasing material goods, we worry about our earthly investments with only a modest thought to heavenly investments.
We have become replicas of Jonah who refused to take God’s message to Nineveh preferring they perish without God’s grace rather than that he obey the Lord and warn them of the judgment and destruction to come.
We are not called to change the world by argument or force. We are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ and prepare them for His invitation to “Come up here.” Heaven is being with Jesus.
If Jesus were to come to you and say, “Come up” would you falter or would you eagerly press into His presence?
You have answered the question in your heart. If there was a “what about …” or “who would care for …” or any other thought other than “lets go” then your treasure is on earth and you are not “eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of your body.”
You can do something about that.