Love Last

Love last

Earlier I have written posts called Love First and Love Now. Now I have to write a post called Love Last. This is probably for some the most controversial of the three posts, since it communicates an inclusive view on the afterlife and eternity. So if you want to hold on to your traditional view of Heaven and Hell, or if you would like not to be provoked, read no further. And for the rest, keep your minds and hearts open.

We have heard that the Christian message is the Gospel, also called the Good News. Now in my later years after going through valleys of darkness, the thinking, reading, listening and rethinking has brought me out into an open landscape of, in my view, truly good news.

Karl Forehand, a friend of mine and an author of several books, and among them the book Apparent Faith, asks the question, can God’s love be any less than the parent’s love for his child? The point is that a parent would do anything for his/her child and never give them up or leave them for good. Why would God leave people for good and let them go to a place called hell? A parent would never do that. Why our Creator?

Let’s get things out of the way, I do not believe in hell as a place in the afterlife anymore. I believe there are enough hellish experiences and suffering in people’s lives and in our world. Going to hell for an eternity (eternity!!) makes no sense. And heaven for just a few chosen faithful people, is that truly heaven Off course both Karl and I are only trying to find answers that make sense, and off course we do not have “God’s mind” and understanding. So we can’t claim we get it right 100 percent. But some would not even want to work with the question, and some would rather hide behind the biblical phrase, “God works in mysterious ways”.

I already mentioned Apparent Faith by Karl Forehand. Another good read is Love Wins by Rob Bell. I think Rob has the same message in Love Wins, that I try to communicate in this post, Love Last. I would also say, for the Gospel to be truly good news, it must be good news for all, it must be all inclusive. Love must win in the end. I do think Richard Rohr’s book The Universal Christ also speaks about this.

I say, we are created by love first, to live our lives in love now, and early (for some too early) or late we will find rest in eternal love at last! People and the Bible talk about the good road to be a small road. But what if this small road actually is very wide, if we only had a change of heart and understanding? I will not go into details here in this small text, but also remind us all, of the words of Jesus, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms”.

Off course not everyone chooses the path of love in this earthly life. There are many reasons and explanations for that. And there’s only one Judge. Yet, can you imagine being judged by the Lover of Souls?

If there’s any truth to going to a spiritual reality in the afterlife and for an eternity, I do think people also somehow choses their direction after death. And for those now living a life in pain, of evil and destruction, why would they not choose or search for love and restoration in the spiritual realm? Would a God of Love really close the door for all eternity? Sorry, if this makes you think, I am lost and far gone. I feel safe that I am not, and that’s enough for me.

I believe we are eternal souls and the bodies are our huts. Our deepest selves are also the Spirit of Love and of God. This Spirit will, at least when it freely can, and when it is released from our decaying bodies, travel back to the Loving Source it came from.

Love first, Love now, Love last, I do believe this is for all of us. Yes, it is all inclusive! Yes, the Bible even talks about a new heaven and a new earth, a great recreation. So salvation is not only for you and me, but for all, even for the whole Earth and the whole of creation. The Colossians talks about everything (every single thing!) coming together in Christ! This for me, is the good news. This gives me hope. This casts out fear of living and fear of death. It is true freedom! I truly believe in a loving Creator or even Creational Energy loving us all. This love is as the Bible talks about, strong enough for a earthly life, but also even stronger than death.

Last I would add that coming to these thoughts and conclusions in such a way that I can see this as the Truth I believe in, has not been an easy road. Still, I do believe it is a road from fear to love. It also is a road into freedom and the joy of living now and with a real hope for the future. It’s like the the prodigal son coming to his senses and knowing he had always belonged to this his Loving Father. It is the greatest news for all! All you truly need is love, and love is first, and it is now and yes, it even is the last there is and will forever be!

Blessings!

Love First

Field of flowers

You have probably heard it said, you are loved through Christ. Since Jesus paid the price you may walk free. You say, amen hallelujah, thank God for His love and sacrifice. God hates sin, but now, by His grace and because of Jesus on the cross, He can now look at me, accept me and love me. All this because Jesus became the perfect offering. When God looks at me, He sees the Lamb of God. God loves you in and through Christ. Surprisingly I am asking you if this message can in fact be harmful? How can this message really limit your self love, self respect and then your love for your neighbour? When the message is that God can’t love you if it wasn’t for Christ, there may a problem.

Yet, the Bible also tells us to love God and man, in the same way we love ourselves. But do you really, truly love yourself? Self love is a bit of a taboo, and often looked upon as egotistical. But what if it is crucial before all the other fruits of the Spirit to grow is that you begin with love, love for self, love for God. Can you see that if God can look at you only through Christ, he is not looking at you at all!? And how can you love yourself alone, if God needs Jesus to do so? But what if Love came first? Love for creation, and Love for you, since you are a unique part of it?

Genesis explains that God created life and everything. He breathed His very Spirit into us through our nostrils. This is how you became alive, God breathed is Spirit of Life and Love into you. Now this Spirit flows from your within. That’s the Good News! God loves you from within!! You have this River of Love within you!

Remember, Genesis also tells us that God’s creation was good, and even when man was created God said it was very good. Can you say that to yourself, I am very good!? Can you truly say that? Isn’t that what God is saying? Humans are the greatest in my creation, it is the crown? Is that how you look upon yourself, God’s crown? If God was asked, show me what you are most proud of and fond of, when it comes to your artistry, your creation, what would the Divine say? Wouldn’t He point His finger in your and other people’s direction and say, YOU!?

God loves you, He, She, the Trinity, They love you! In 2.Peter it even says that we are partakers in the Divine Nature! How can that be? These news, are almost too good to be true! And isn’t that the surprise of grace, it is almost too good to be true? But that is if we think in our human way. That God loves us and looks upon us as very good, is God’s true perspective. Love always comes first! But wait, you say, you are only telling half truths, your missing the greater picture. You, say, man is sinful, and every evil desire lurks within man. God hates sin, but loves sinners/humans.

I ask you, does God only love what is perfect? And does God need someone perfect to die, to love us? Whatever God did, He did it because He already loved us, right? Still, maybe we are the ones that need this scapegoat? Do we need someone to put the blame on, so we don’t have to face our own sin and darkness? I am not saying man is all light. I know that for sure, just by looking into my own heart. But I am saying we need to get the start right, for you, for me, for our children, for everyone.

God loves mankind, He LOVES you and He loves His creation. It is His pride! With this Love He breathed Life into your very within, before you were sent into this world to live your unique life, the best way you can.

I ask you to sit for a few moments in silence. Ask yourself, do I love myself, in the same way God loves me, His crown, His masterpiece? Then let yourself sink into His love, a Love that embraces you in your completeness (goodness and badness), in order to free you into true self love and love for others.

It is there for you, the River within, the River of Love.

Love first, always…

Are you a listener and likes to be read to – go here to find an audioversion of this text:

Love First audiofile

Note: If you are interested in the topic of scapegoating books by René Girard may be of interest. Poems of Rainier Rilke are also great, and even his book “Letters to a young poet”. Last, but not the least, I would recommend reading Richard Rohr’s books, i.e. Fallling Upward and Immortal Diamond. Even though I don’t quote any of these authors directly, I think I am indebted to them.