Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Occupy Heaven?

By now you have heard about Occupy Wall Street (OWS), a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan's Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States. Among the numerous issues that are being protested is economic inequality.  The protesters' slogan, "We are the 99%", refers to the difference in wealth and income growth in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population.

Presumably, the protesters assumption is that society would be better off if everyone enjoyed economic equality.  Secular utopianism suggests that human happiness is accomplished through some sort of redistribution of wealth resulting in an engineered economic equality.

But is this true?  Does human happiness come from everyone having the same thing? 

Forget the pipe dream of secular utopianism for a moment and let's focus on the future glory of those whom Christ has redeemed.  According to the Scriptures, one day, every beleiver will stand before the judgment seat of Christ:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Cor 5:10)

Scripture also teaches that there will be degrees of reward for believers.  But wait a minute; won't our reward inequality affect our future happiness?

I find Wayne Grudem's comment very helpful here:

"But we must guard against misunderstanding here:  Although there will be degrees of reward in heaven, the joy of each person will be full and complete for eternity.  If we ask how this can be when there are different degrees of reward, it simply shows that our perception of happiness is based on the assumption that happiness depends upon what we possess or the status or power that we have.  In actuality, however, our true happiness consists in delighting in God and rejoicing in the status and recognition that he has given us."  (Bible Doctrine, Zondervan, 1999)

Be at ease dear saints; there will be no need for a Occupy Heaven movement:

 "…in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps 16:11)

Pastor Van

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