In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions!
The above words of Jesus, are also the words of a lovely gospel
song, sung by Elvis Presley which is well worth typing in to ‘Google
Search’ so as to both watch as well as listen to. Indeed, such a song
reveals a Jesus compatible to New Testament teaching and far removed
from the dry and drab theology of both traditional Catholicism and
also its opposite: depressing and dogmatic Calvinism. Both extremes
have, regrettably, something in common: animals are rejected as being
soulless creatures for which there can be no place in their Heaven!
Well, I ask in all fairness: who in their right mind would wish to
end up in either the Heaven of a Thomas Aquinas or that of a John
Calvin? Or – to bring it up much closer to our present era - the
Heaven anticipated by an aging Benedict or that of an equally aging
Paisley? Indeed, the biblical exegesis, slants and biases of both,
are as unattractive as their opposites! Therefore, to find on Utube
the late Elvis singing a biblically based gospel song accompanied and
illustrated by Jesus being with both children and animals, was a real
breath of fresh air to me.
I sense that the only other bright
illustrations depicting the Hereafter of the Believer as a place where
animals are accompanied with children, is in the publications of the
Seventh Day Adventists and the Watchtower publications of the Jehovah
Witnesses. Yet the latter is as ‘off beam’ concerning what happens
after death, as is the former. Both of these Sects wrongly affirm
that there is neither a conscious Hell awaiting the wicked, or a
conscious Paradise immediately following death for the practising
Christian! Yet Jesus clearly spoke to Moses and Elijah - who’d
physically died many centuries previous! - while He was in a trance
upon a mountain side. Indeed, He was also shortly to tell a truly
penitent thief on the first Good Friday that He would shortly be with
him (spiritually) in Paradise; but obviously not in body!
Indeed, the belief that to be absent in the body was to be present
with the Lord Jesus was that of the early church. The apostle Paul,
for example, said he was pulled between two ways: ‘to be absent in the
body so as to be present with Jesus in the hereafter, which was far,
far better; or to remain suffering in the body on earth, while helpful
to struggling fellow Christians!: The implication is that while the
body sleeps on, awaiting future transformation appropriate, that
meanwhile the soul or spirit is undoubtedly exceedingly conscious.
Indeed, is this not so in many an earthly dream state, not to mention
the ‘proven’ contributions of psychic research?
Go on to
A Compassionate Stand To Assist
Return to Winter 2013 Table of Contents