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Bittersweet Refinements: Chapter XXV

Posted by Jerry E Beuterbaugh Labels: ,

Chapter XXV
Some Choice
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 glorious freedom of the children of God. [Romans 8:20-21 NIV]

No, none of us are given a choice of whether or not we want to be physically born into this world as we naturally are, and if what is of this world was all that there would ever be to our existence, our outrage would be most justified.  For it is written: The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless!  Meaningless!” says the Teacher.  "Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless."  What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?  Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.  The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.  The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.  All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.  To the place the streams come from, there they return again.  All things are wearisome, more than one can say.  The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.  What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.  Is there anything of which one can say, "Look!  This is something new"?  It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.  There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.  I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.  I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven.  What a heavy burden God has laid on men!  I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.  What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.  I thought to myself, "Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge."  Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.  For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. [Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 NIV]

On the other hand, we are given a choice of whether or not we want to be one of our Heavenly Father’s children by faith, and with this comes a promise of much glory.  For it is also written: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. [Romans 8:28 NIV]

Therefore, let us not tarry.  For unless it is personally revealed [Luke 2:25-35], no one knows when their own end of this world will come to pass [Ecclesiastes 8:7]—let alone when it will be too late [Matthew 25:1-13].

Yes, this is a choice that is needed to be made.  For only those who truly want to spend all of eternity with our Heavenly Father in His Kingdom of Heaven as an heir to all that is His in glory will be welcome to do so after their own time as a part of this world has come to an end
[Revelation 20:11-15].

No, it is not good enough just to want to escape eternal damnation.  For to think in such a way as this is (in effect) the same as to think that it would be better to be a member of a family (any family) than to be alone [Romans 8:15-17].

In other words, the choice that we are given to make is personal—both for our Heavenly Father and ourselves.  For it has always been His desire for as many as will to want to be one of His children by faith [John 1:12-13].

No, this world has never been about giving us opportunities to prove ourselves as being worthy of our Heavenly Father’s favor.  How could it be?  For aside from being a work of His hands [Philippians 2:13], He has known everything that there will ever be to know about each and every one of us since before we even came into existence [Jeremiah 1:5].

It is, however, about giving our Heavenly Father opportunities to receive love that is freely given from us all, which certainly includes us wanting to give Him the full benefit of our considerable doubts.  Hence, the real choice that we are all given to make [1 Timothy 1:5].


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