Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010

"Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him." II Peter 3:11-14
Halloween has become one of the most popular holidays in America. Like most of our holidays it melds the sacred with the pagan and morphs into the worst of both.
Christians never quite know what to do with Halloween. Do we celebrate it or not? What message are we sending when we celebrate it? What message should we send? Should we just ignore it?
As I wrap up this seven week series on "Happily Ever After?" let me offer some observations on Halloween from the perspective of this study.
First, death is scary.
God wired us for life. Death was never part of His perfect plan for us. It came as the result of sin by Adam and Eve. Therefore, death became God's enemy. But because of God's mercy and grace and because He is absolutely sovereign He conquered sin and death through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus!
Because of what Jesus did, death has become less frightening. But still, death usually comes as a result of pain and suffering. Not only is death painful but it is lonely. It is unfamiliar because life is all we have known. Death separates us from our loved ones.
Having said all this, death is still scary and it holds our human race hostage to fear.
Second, spirits are spooky!
Fear and humor have a common thread, there must be a kernel of truth in each for them to work. For example, there was a time when you worried about the monsters under your bed because you believed they existed. Once you understood there are no monsters that fear evaporated.
The spirit world DOES exist! It is every bit as real as the physical world of sight and sound and senses. In fact, it is MORE real because the spirit world exists eternally. You and I will spend more time in that world than we will in this one.
Spirits are all around us all the time. Angels guard us and minister to us and demons oppose us. But they ARE NOT the spirits of dead people. When a person dies his spirit goes straight to heaven or hell. There are no dead people "stuck" between this world and the next. That is the myth that propogates all the spooky stories. The spirits that surround us are angels and demons (fallen angels). Angels and demons are very real, very powerful and very active. While they are creative beings just like us, they were created as spirits rather than human beings. When you or I die we do not become angels or, God forbid, demons. Once you die and go to your eternal destination then your will be surrounded by one or the other and you will see them and interact with them.
Spooked out yet? Don't be scared! Just be prepared! The most powerful spirit is the Holy Spirit and He dwells in believers.
Show up Sunday to find out how you can prepare for a "Happy Ever After" and be sure that you spend eternity with the right sort of spirits!