I was watching TV this evening and during many of the commercial breaks, the announcer would tell the viewers, “Details at 11”. Of course, there was always a teaser line first – something to whet your appetite so you would want to learn more and tune in for the full news coverage later in the evening. Throughout the years, I have found this somewhat annoying. Of course, then you tune in and the stuff you are interested in hearing about is always last in the newscast. And that is even after they tell you that the story you want to hear about will be run “when we come back” or “it’s up next”. Blah, blah, blah…
I probably pay more attention to this than most people – because I find it a real irritant. Why can’t we just get the full story and be done with it? It’s probably because the owners of the station want to hold our interest and keep us coming back for more – watching stuff in the meantime that we really could care less about – all to get to the meat and potatoes of what we want. Smart marketing, but still annoying.
Come to think of it, the same thing is true of the Bible and our faith. There are thousands, if not millions, of opinions as to what will happen when we die and go to heaven. What will God look like? Will heaven have streets of gold? Is heaven on earth or is it somewhere else. Does Jesus really come back to reign for 1000 years? Is there really going to be a rapture?
And there are just as many questions about our loved ones – and what happens to people we love who aren’t believers? Would it really be heaven for us if they weren’t there? Do departed loved ones look down on us and participate in our daily lives? Oh – here’s another one – will our pets be in heaven with us? You wouldn’t believe all the questions I get about the future and what all these things will be like.
There are many different views on what happens in all these areas. That’s why, throughout the years, we have had so many churches split and create other denominations. Because people get stuck on the individual themes of what they believe and somehow think that they have divine revelation as to the “correct” answers. But this side of heaven, we don’t know for sure what the future is like. Sure, we have some idea, though. Jesus and His Father promise certain things to us – rock solid things and biblical truths that have withstood the test of time.
And while I know that we would like to have definite answers about so many things we are curious about, I think we focus too much of our time looking for the details. The truth of the matter is that we don’t need to have the “details at 11”. Suffice it to know that God loves us and He has given us the essential elements that we need to know to carry on. We’ll find out the specifics when we get to heaven, so let’s not have that stuff divide us.
The verse for this evening is the most foundational verse in the entire Bible – John 3:16. The apostle John tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son; that whosoever believes in Him will never die, but will have eternal life.” That’s the message – the rest of the detail isn’t important if you believe what God tells us. My encouragement this evening is to focus on the big stuff – not the small details. And my prayer is that the promises of God will be enough for you – after all, some day you will have all the answers – in God’s perfect timing. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…