Archives For On Earth

Posts about bringing a bit of Heaven to Earth by living in God’s presence, obeying His will, and advancing His Kingdom.

“At the root of the Christian life lies belief in the invisible. The object of the Christian’s faith is unseen reality.”
AW Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Tozer, on the Invisible Kingdom (2)

“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.”
AW Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Tozer, on the Invisible Kingdom

Jonah and the Vine

Phil —  March 1, 2013 — 2 Comments

But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” (Jonah 4:10, 11 NIV)

Sometimes, I feel like Christians in the US have more concern for the “vines” in their lives than for the people living and dying in spiritual darkness. This applies to me, especially. I get wrapped up in side projects or ancillary details all the time, neglecting much of what is really important in life.
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The Myth of “Christian Love”

Phil —  February 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

I was doing my devotions the other day, and I saw a verse—sorry, I can’t remember where it was, and I didn’t write it down—that used the term “Christian love.”

Instantly, I was struck with a thought that startled me: “‘Christian love’ sounds kind of weak.” Woah! Where did that come from?

I don’t like to admit that I felt this way, but I bet that you, like me, have that same line of thinking bouncing around in your head somewhere. No? So, it’s just me? Dang. Well, please allow me a chance to at least explain myself.

I Love You…But Only Cause I Have To!

We all have people we don’t like; people that we would do anything to avoid. It’s not that we hate these people per se. It’s just that if God gave us a choice between years spent living them on a deserted island or a marathon swim through shark-infested waters…we’d be putting on our swim fins before He finished talking. These are the kinds of people that we feel forced to love by God. So, we don’t love them like we love our family or even our friends. We love them with “Christian love.”

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New World, Old Materials

Phil —  January 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal….The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone….The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. (Revelation 21:9-11, 18, 19, 21 NIV)

Heaven Comes Down to Earth

Phil —  January 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

When Christians talk about “Heaven,” we need to realize that God’s goal is to bring Heaven back to Earth, to return, in a way, to Eden. Our desire for Heaven should not lead us to escapism. Rather, it should fuel us in our mission to bring Heaven to Earth now by expanding the Kingdom of Heaven through humble, love-fueled evangelism.

What is more, as the evil of this age escalates and sin becomes the norm, let’s remember that we belong to another Kingdom. Though this Kingdom has not yet manifested itself, it is the only Kingdom that will last into eternity. We live now by this Kingdom’s laws, having been saved from this present, moribund kingdom.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8 NIV)

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Romans 8:18-25 NIV

Waiting for the Glory Yet to be Revealed

Meanwhile the cross comes before the crown and tomorrow is a Monday morning….[i]t may be asked what practical use there is in the speculations which I have been indulging….It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.

CS Lewis from The Weight of Glory
Preached as a sermon in the Church of St Mary the Virgin
Oxford, England, June 8, 1941
Published in THEOLOGY, November, 1941
Download it here!

No Mere Mortal