In our final discussion on Galatians 6:11-18, we considered Paul declaring that “the world has been crucified to me, and I am to the world” i.e. the world is dead to Paul and Paul is dead to the world, implying that the world has no more claims on him, and he no longer lives to please the world or for the pleasures and ‘rewards’ of this world.
In the discussion, we looked at why believers still look to this world for their ‘pleasure’ and ‘fulfilment’, even equating exotic holidays like ‘being in heaven’. Then we looked at what we can look forward to in the ‘new heaven and new earth’ – remembering what the psalmist declared that ‘in the presence of God, there is fullness of joy, and pleasures forevermore’.
Ponder over the following: Hopelessness is hell – God made us as creatures for whom hope is life and and whose lives become living deaths when we have nothing good to look forward to. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever – we must appreciate more and more the infinite value of life in the new heaven and new earth – the exuberant and energizing hope of joy with Jesus in the Father’s presence forever (reflecting the love and harmony in the Trinity).
Whereas those without Christ are without God and without hope, Christians are already rejoicing in ‘Christ Jesus’ – heaven begins here and will be consummated in all its beauty and glory when Christ comes again. If our hope in life is false (i.e, ‘happiness through having things and ‘luxuries; endless good health) or we feel we have ‘no hope’ in this life (total pessimism and despair), we need to enter into the experience of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). In this regard, Paul boasted in the gospel – he was not ashamed of the marks of being a true disciple of Christ – to him “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. The world was dead to him and he was dead to the world.
If the world today still ‘enchants’ us and gives us much ‘joy’ and ‘pleasure’, perhaps we are not ready for, or looking to the ‘new heaven and the new earth’. If we desire to live forever on this earth (which will pass away), are we truly looking forward to our hope in Christ, the object of the ‘new creation’ in him?