Inspired by an excellent reminder by stephchensays, I revisit an old album I used to listen to often:
What if God decided humanity had rejected him so completely that He just… disappeared? What would become of mankind if God chose to “die,” to “go to sleep forever”? That’s the idea explored with gut-wrenching detail on the mind-bendingly cinematic and horrifically apocalyptic concept album from Zao, “The Funeral of God.”
— PureVolume.com’s description of Zao’s Funeral of God
Now, we typically think of God being dead as the world coming to an end, the sky on fire. Judgment. But what if God died and… everything continued? What if, all His blessings remained, His miracles; eternal life, even? Would you trade a Jesus for a heaven without Him?
In other words, what I’m really asking is this: How much do you love God for…
- The things He’s done for you, versus
- Who He is?
Understandably I speak to those who have known Him for a long time. For of course we love because we were loved first, and it is because of what He has done that we (could even) have come to Christ .
But have you grown beyond that?
The disciples knew that as long as they followed him, their needs would be more than satisfied. Christ would take care of them no matter what happened. They wanted a relationship with him that was more than a one-time miracle. Then Christ invited them to become part of the greatest task in the world: “I’m going to make you fishers of men. You are going to share my Good News with other people.”
— God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions by Rick Warren
You know, come to think of it, Jesus would often ask people to come and follow Him after He had done a miracle in someone’s life. And time and time again, people would just leave it at that, sins unforgiven, life fundamentally unchanged.
The blind man whom Jesus gave sight sees no more. Lazarus was not saved from the grave a second time. Will we just go through life, accepting single miracles, single good “coincidences?” Or will we surrender our Sin, our lives to the Lord of all to whom all things were created and all things belong?
When Jesus called the disciples, they were the world’s nobodies, yet they were able to give up everything in the perishable world and know that the imperishable of the next would be given to them in place of the perishable. And because of this, they were used mightily by God to do the most important work. His work: to redeem the world from themselves and their self-destructive lives away from God.