Salvation in the Unseen

Periodic table of the chemical elements Españo...

What does reality consist of?  What’s real to you?  What’s the world made up of?

What are you made up of?

Am I made up of the same stuff as a rock, a table, a chair?  A pair of expensive shoes?  A piece of technology?

Wikipedia says that “almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of the six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.”

Every substance on earth is made up of molecules, which consist of atoms, which have different configurations of sub-atomic particles that form different elements.

Google defines an element as “each of more than one hundred substances that cannot be chemically interconverted or broken down into simpler substances and are primary constituents of matter. Each element is distinguished by its atomic number, i.e., the number of protons in the nuclei of its atoms.”

As far as we can see — there’s no further way of breaking down existence.

One university website says this about atoms:

“What is an atom?

An atom is a fundamental piece of matter. (Matter is anything that can be touched physically.) Everything in the universe (except energy) is made of matter, and, so, everything in the universe is made of atoms.” [Source]

Is that absolutely true?  Is everything in the universe made of matter?

God steps in to this picture and says no.  It’s not true.  There’s something more than matter, molecules, atoms, and elements.

In John 4:24, Jesus Christ said to the woman at the well that “God is spirit.”  You can’t contain Him in anything that exists in the periodic table.

In Spanish there’s a saying – every mind is a world.  There is great truth to that statement.  The way you see things in your mind is your world.  And in many minds, most people’s worlds are made up of only matter.  Physical, material existence.  What’s real is what is tangible, what can be sensed, tasted, and touched.

But God speaks into that world and defies it.  God whispers to us that there is more.  More than matter.  More than mere, mindless energy.  God declares that He is.  He exists.  He is real.

But many of us live in a world where the things we can see are the only things that matter to us.  Even as we claim to believe in God, the world of our mind is a godless one, a world where only the material matters.  We focus our attention on our possessions and our own gratification because they are what really mean something to us.  We live to mold ourselves to the world’s standards, and live like there is no God in our world.  Because if there were a God in our world, wouldn’t He come before all that stuff?  Wouldn’t He be our life?

No, all too often, if we really paid attention to ourselves and the choices we are making, we would see that we still live in a world where everything that exists consists only of matter.  By denying God entry into our mental world, we become idolators.  Are we not idolators when all we care about is what we can see?  When a God who is Spirit doesn’t figure into our daily lives or plans?  When our trivial interests matter more to us than His interests?

The apostle Peter says that a day is coming when the “elements will melt with fervent heat”.  What will become of our world then?  When the only things we truly believe to be real melt away in a supernatural blaze?

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:10-13.

The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”  Isaiah 40:6-8.

Are there things you care about more than you care about God?

When what you care about most are your material possessions, you don’t possess them – they possess you.

When the choices you make center around the opinions and acceptance of others, you have fashioned your own gods made of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Your gods are visible, and they leave no room in your world for the God who transcends the elemental, whose substance we can’t encode on a chart.

There is a cure for seeing the world like the university definition.  We find it in 2 Corinthians 4:18:

“… while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:18

To open our eyes to the world in which the invisible God dwells, He bids us to look at the invisible.  Focus more on what you can’t see than on what you can see.

The things that you can see are temporary.  They will pass away.  They will amount to melted, dissolved, disintegrated nothing.

It is essential, imperative, absolutely critical that you set your eyes on the things that you can’t see, for only those things are eternal.  Only in that world can you connect with the only true God, who is Spirit, who transcends the elements on the periodic table, who is invisible.

When your eyes are focused on the things that are visible, you have reason to fear.

When your eyes are focused on the things that are invisible, you have reason to hope.

If you think you believe in God, but the choices you make every day reflect that you don’t care about Him in the least, you are focused on the things that are visible.  When God asks you to honor Him, and show that you love Him and that He is first in your life by keeping His commandments, you will be incapable of doing so.  When the day comes that the physical melts away, you will melt away with all the things you set your heart upon every day of your life.  You gave yourself to those things, to a world in which Spirit cannot exist.

The word of God tells you that you can choose what you will set your focus upon.  If you want to live in the world where the true God, who is love, dwells, change your focus.  Lift up your eyes.  Dare to look at what you can’t see.  Look for the invisible God.  Let Him in to your world each day.  Then, “when Christ, who is [y]our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:4.

Don’t focus on the things that you can easily see, taste and touch.  Remember that those things are temporary, but the Word of God, and those who abide in Him, moment by moment, will last forever.  “Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is… set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”  Col. 3:1-2.

If you choose to heed the Word of God in this, your destiny will not be tied to the destiny of the elemental things of this world; the day of fire will not harm you, and you will remain forever with God, even when all the elements on the periodic table are dissolved.

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25 NKJV

Do you have a life?

I heard some of the New Year’s performances that were broadcast last night.  Beyonce singing about how she wants people to know and never forget that she was here.  Another artist singing about how they just want to celebrate and “live [their] life”.  There’s a lot of “pride of life” going on in these songs.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  (1 John 2:16)

One of the major themes of the first angel’s message in Revelation 14:6-7 is that God calls human beings to recognize the distinction between their Creator and themselves.  Worship God as the Creator and Source of life.  God calls us to acknowledge that we are not equal to Him as part of our act of worshipping Him.  After all, you can’t worship God if you don’t also acknowledge that He is greater than you.  And yet, people like Beyonce blast the message that they equate themselves with God.  If that sounds exaggerated, take a thoughtful look at the song lyrics of some popular songs.  Far from worshipping God, popular artists frequently worship themselves (and each other).

In a very real way, we can’t really say, like Bon Jovi, “It’s my life.”  It’s not our life.  Sorry to break it to any of these famous artists, or anyone else for that matter, but we really don’t own our lives.  As much as those who don’t choose to love, worship, and give their lives to God might want to express their rebellion and disdain toward Him, they still can’t escape the fact that their every waking moment happens only by His power and because of His grace, that they draw every breath they breathe from His nostrils.  The God they despise and seek to disgrace is the only reason they can exist.  There is no possibility of life apart from Christ, because He is life.  Every human life is a tangible, visible monument to the continued grace of God.

Sorry, Beyonce, Bon Jovi, and anybody else who uses the expression, “It’s my life,” to excuse their wrong behavior.  It’s not your life you’re living.  Your life is borrowed, not owned.  It’s ownership resides with the One who made it.

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  (John 1:4)

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.  (1 John 5:11-12)

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7)