Passing Through

Daily Prompt:  Passport

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I’ve never applied for a passport, because until now, I didn’t really feel I needed one.  With no plans to travel outside my home country, it seemed just a hollow gesture to apply.  In this way, I am not unlike millions of people who go through life without a passport, since they feel the same way I do.  This is a perfect analogy of life in general, and life after death specifically.  Some people are not interested in having another life after this one, they don’t wonder about the future, they see no need in believing it’s true, because they don’t intend to go there.  Ignorance is not bliss.

Believing in the “hereafter” in many ways requires a spiritual passport.  A person has to first become convinced there is a life in the hereafter, and that they want to go there.  This step alone is a tiny act of faith, since none of the current world religious systems offer any clear evidence of another life after this one, except Christianity.  The Case for Christ movie begins next week, and in my opinion is a must-see for every person wanting more information about why Christianity’s claims are true.  Here’s my shortened version.

God offers every person a passport to the life He designed for us to have, with a place for us to live in constant community with Him.  The passport fees have already been paid by His Son, Jesus.  The passport is issued with a NEW NAME, because we are going to a NEW COUNTRY.
Revelation 2: 17
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
Revelation 3:12
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

Old Testament patriarchs, kings, and prophets all new the truth of this place and this passport found in a person called Messiah. David and Isaiah wrote about God’s provision for His people.
Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Isaiah 43:1-2
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.

These Old & New Testament verses help us understand that God has made a provision to take every believer to a newly created place that was very much like Eden, yet entrance is attainable only through a specific faith statement.  Jesus gave us the specific criteria for our application on this spiritual passport.
John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

This understanding helped the apostle Paul to write words of instruction and clarity for us about our future home.  Except for the Hebrew people of the Old Testament (Jews of the New Testament) all other people groups were foreigners, strangers to the “covenants of promise,” without hope and without God in the world.  In Christ, all of us who were “far off” are brought near by the blood of Jesus.  Our faith in Jesus transforms us from aliens to citizens in the Kingdom of God. [Ephesians 2:11-22]
Ephesians 2:19
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household…

This kingdom of God, the next life after this one, is described in at least a few details, in the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation.  Revelation 21 describes a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem.  Revelation 22 describes two attributes of this new earth, that sustain life for all who dwell there:  the River of Life, and the Tree of Life.  In the last few verses of the last book in the Bible, Jesus gives a very interesting command to John, who is recording all this information for us.
Revelation 22:10-13
And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.  Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.  Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

This one phrase “do not seal up” means that the main message and theme of the Book of Revelation can be read, and understood, by those who seek truth regarding the consummation of human history and what happens when this life is over.  The spiritual passport that God makes available to every human is clearly seen in this book.  The hope of an afterlife that is real and desired is clearly seen in this book.  If you would like to know more, there is a bible study book available by clicking here.  Want hope for the afterlife?  Find it in Jesus!

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