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Introduction: On Death, Dying, and the Future Hope — 7 Comments

  1. Hope for the future is something that is running a little low in society in general at present. While it appears the world may be emerging from pandemic, what it is emerging to? Suggestions of potential economic collapse and mortgage foreclosure. Suggestion of insufficient affordable energy for the upcoming winter. Food insecurity. Significant adverse weather events of increasing frequency and intensity to the point that insurance companies are no longer providing coverage for some events in some locations. Intensification of conflict with re-introduction of threat of nuclear weapons. Increasing rates of domestic abuse and neglect. Increasing physical and mental health problems. And what is the hope that the world is offering amid this emerging situation? Just like the toilet-paper shelves in my local supermarket, authentic hope appears to be continuously in short supply or out-of-stock.

    Against this background, I am looking forward to revisiting scripture this quarter to look again at the rock-solid, reality-based hope that it offers. But I am not merely looking to find confirmation of what I already assume I know. I am looking to see if there is more to be understood that can be understood and is intended by God to be understood. And I am not doing this merely as an intellectual exercise. For what I believe to be truth is what my mind will use to craft my perceptions, thoughts, attitudes and actions - both of and towards God and of and towards my fellow humans.

    As I look at the world and people around me at present, I can see that I will need to continue to be 'yoked' ever more closely and strongly with God via the Holy Spirit to grow in faith, reality-based hope, compassion and beneficence. That is what I see will be needed to journey through what lies ahead - and that is what I am seeking as I embark on this quarter's study.

    What are you seeking for as you embark on this quarter?

  2. There is no other way for the faithful to have life and live than to apply that which we heave heard and learned from Scripture depicting the life of Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Spirit.
    Rev.12:11 - ”And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to death.”
    Has not Jesus Christ lived the heavenly Hope for us? Has He not shown us that faith in the Word of God and His Righteousness, His Wisdom and timeliness in all things – His Love for His creation - gives us this Hope which sustains us in trying and difficult times?

    “Enduring harmony and joy” is the Holy Spirit’s gift for a surrendered heart. Though we might not always ride the crest of its wave, we will always aspire to remain hopeful when living the Truth and Light our heavenly Father gives to those who love Him with all their heart and being, expressing our love for Him by loving our fellow man as He has loves us.

    I have not seen the movie, but would think that ‘Shangri-La’ is the best version we can imagine people living together in harmony and without strife. The real New World governed by the Spirit of God will not come about until our Lord and Savior makes the new Earth and Heaven.
    In the meantime, we who believe, live our life here on earth as if His kingdom was already established. We have chosen to entered and live in His spiritual kingdom and live in it by faith; actively applying its values and precepts which our heavenly Father revealed to our heart and mind.

  3. The biblical version of a kingdom of love and peace is far different from "Shangri-La" in "Lost Horizons"!!!
    Shangri-La seems more like a new age type of supposed utopia where there is no law and all things are lawful as long as they are done in "moderation" and humility, without strife and without greed for materialism. Example "moderate adultery" is OK?

    It's good to read that the present Bible study guide deals with the subject of the great controversy between good and evil. Sin is the problem, and while God's law is all about real love, it also alerts us to sin, for sin (no matter how much it is rationalized or practiced in moderation) will never contribute to a kingdom of peace and harmony.


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