[forthright] Removed From Time

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 16:28:16 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Heavenly Connections

Removed From Time
by Tim Hall

The scene struck me as beautiful. I was hiking in
the woods with my camera, ready to shoot anything
that caught my attention. When the trek began, the
sky was filled with dark clouds. Now cracks began
to appear in the clouds, and sunlight filtered
through the forest canopy. One sunbeam lit up a
rhododendron bloom in unusual fashion. My camera
leapt to action.

In taking the photo, I removed that scene from
time. Time would quickly change what I saw. The
sun would change its position in the sky, and
clouds might again block its light. In a day or
two, the blossom would begin to fade and its
petals would fall to the ground. Never again would
this particular view be seen in this particular
place. By recording it to the digital chip in my
camera, however, I will enjoy it for years to
come.

If we could remove ourselves from time, what might
happen? Our bodies would no longer age.
Appearances would remain the same (for better or
for worse!). Loved ones wouldn't grow up or move
on, but would remain ever close. (How often
parents have wished they could remove their little
ones from time's distancing effects!)

But this method of time-freezing isn't really what
we're seeking. In the photograph no fragrance can
be enjoyed, no breezes felt. Much of nature's
allure is its life, one thing photography -- not
even videography -- can capture. I can see
evidence of life in the picture, but I can't feel
life.

How much better is God's plan for removing us from
time. John wrote about what lies before us: "And
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor
crying. There shall be no more pain, for the
former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4,
NKJV). How can it be that "there shall be no more
death"? Death is natural in this world, even
though it may be undesirable. But God will change
all of that. The "former things" (including death)
will pass away. The dimension of time will be
taken away.

Paul also referred to this truth. In 2 Timothy 1:9
and in Titus 1:2, he used a hope-filled phrase:
"before time began." Early in the process of
creation, God inserted something that had not
formerly been present: time. And one day in the
future, the Bible tells us, that same phenomenon
will be removed. Life will not be removed.
Immortal spirits will not be removed. But time
will be taken out of the equation.

The clock and calendar rule this realm. But it
will not always be so. The day is coming (an
endless day!) in which time shall be no more. The
beauty given by God will never fade.

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