Recently, I was working on a eulogy for a funeral and I stumbled upon some old notes. I am not sure where they came from but I found them to be very enlightening.
Did you know we will all live in three separate worlds?
The first world, which we have already lived in is our mother’s womb. You don’t remember it because you were never meant to stay there. You were preparing for the next world where you will experience biological life. You are dying as you go down the birth canal, as you leave your first world. Philip Yancey illustrates this well:
“Your world is dark, safe, secure. You are bathed in a warm, cushioning liquid. You do nothing for yourself. You are fed automatically, and a murmuring heartbeat assures you that someone larger than you is meeting all your needs. Life consists of simple waiting – you’re not sure what to wait for, but any change seems faraway and scary. You encounter no sharp objects, no pain, no dangers. A fine, serene existence.
One day you feel a tug. The walls seem to press in. Those soft padded walls are now pulsing wildly, crushing you downward. Your body is bent double, your limbs twisted and wrenched. You’re falling, upside down. For the first time in your life, you feel pain. You’re in a sea of roiling matter. There is more pressure, almost too intense to bear. Your head is squeezed flat, and you are pushed harder, harder into a dark tunnel. Oh, the pain. Noise. More pressure.
You hurt all over. You hear a groaning sound and an awful, sudden fear rushes in on you. It is happening – your world is collapsing. You’re sure it’s the end. You see a piercing, blinding light. Cold, rough hands, grasp at you, pull you from the tunnel and hold you upside down. A painful slap. There is crying.
Congratulations, you have just been born.
Death is like that. On this end of the birth canal, it seems a scary, dark tunnel we are being sucked toward by an irresistible force. None of us looks forward to it. We’re afraid. It’s full of pressure, pain, darkness…the unknown.
But beyond the darkness and the pain lies a whole new world outside. When we awaken after death in that bright new world, our tears and hurts will be mere memories.”
We go from out mother’s womb into the second world. It is the world we live in today. It is a much longer life than we live in the womb, yet it too is very temporal. Our bodies slowly but surely deteriorate. As the Apostle Paul puts it, “outwardly we are wasting away” (II Corinthians 4:16) Sadly, we all know that this is true.
As someone once said, in this earthly life, we are in the land of the dying, but we are
going to the land of the living. It is the third world, where we will live eternally.
In the third world you will either live in the presence of God, or you will be separated from Him. The main theme of the Bible confronts this issue. If you read the four gospels in the New Testament, you will notice two phrases that Jesus uses over and over.
These phrases are:
The Kingdom of God
Notice that Jesus places special emphasis on the importance of obtaining eternal life
and entering the Kingdom of God.
He makes it obvious that you enter through Him. He is the door. He is the way. As we
put our faith in Him, we are allowed to enter.
So, what is our final destiny? Eternal life in the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ.
This is God’s great desire for all of us. However, He will allow us to reject Him and He will allow us to go our own way. It is our choice.
Richard E Simmons III is the founder and Executive Director of The Center for Executive Leadership and a best-selling author.