If a Christian does not want to live forever, can he or she opt out of the eternal life thing?
At first blush, this may seem like a rather bizarre question. After all, who doesn’t want to live forever? But ask yourself, is there anything you could imagine doing that would be so wonderfully exciting that you would want do it for eternity? Personally, I get tired of vacationing after just a few days. Am I the only person on the planet who thinks that spending forever anywhere, even paradise, is a terrifying prospect? Perhaps I could tolerate a few hundred extra years but eternity scares the “you know what” out of me.
I suspect the problem is I’m thinking of Heaven like an amusement park or some tropical getaway. I imagine that in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth. Heaven is completely beyond my pitiful human comprehension. This is why, I suppose, Jesus only spoke publicly of it in parables as far as I know (see: What Is The Kingdom of Heaven Like?). There literally aren’t words to describe it.
So fear of the unknown (and, quite possibly, the unknowable) is my real problem. What I need is a stronger faith that I will love it and continue to love it even after I’ve been there awhile. God knows what he is doing, after all. 🙂
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. [Proverbs 3:5-6]