If I Were "God". . . by Stephen Thomas
If I were God, who would I choose to share the rest of eternity with me?
Firstly, I would choose those who know and love me. They would show this by wanting to spend time with me (in prayer) and would listen to what I had to say (my Word). I would not want to spend time with those who drop off to sleep while speaking to me, or repeat themselves over and over, or who only ask for things.
Next I would want happy faces around me, not those who can always find something to be miserable about and focus on the negative. I would want joy around me.
Then I would want to have a peaceful eternity, not spent arguing, or with hurt feelings, or with wild mood swings, or offence all the time.
They would also have to be tolerant of my likes and dislikes, and be able to take things in their stride. Friends should be longsuffering, ie take all and come back friends.
If they took pleasure in unkindness, or in deliberately hurting and in doing bad things, then their company would just be obnoxious and anoying. I want good people around me.
I would want meek people, ie those who do not want to possess and control others, forcing their will on me and others.
They would have to be normal, ie not immoderate or unbalanced or perverted, overdoing everything. They would have to be temperate.
They would have to be trustworthy, and believe that I am too. They would have to have faith in me and what I say.
They would have to be nice people to be with!
What many do not realise is that the 10 Commandments are only tools or means to achieve the above aim. Take the Sabbath as an example. That command forces people to set aside time for God. Let us suppose that a person then spends half and hour, or an hour of the Sabbath talking to God (praying)is that person keeping the Sabbath? Let us further suppose, that of the hour spent in prayer, 15 minutes of it was sincere, worth listening to, not repetitive, and not gimmee. We are left with 15 minutes of value obtained out of that Sabbath. Has that person kept the Sabbath? If I were God, I would say "No".
Even if that person goes to church, sings hymns, hears a sermon (that may be good, bad or indifferent) and reads a few scriptures, if I were God, would I say that that person achieved a closer relationship with me that day? In his chasing around, did that person meditate on what I as God want of him? Did he draw closer to me by falling on his knees and telling me how much he loved me, begging me to overlook any offenses he might have done, and assuring me of his loyalty and devotion. If I were God, and this did not occur, then I would say that although that person went through the motions of keeping a Sabbath, he might as well not have.
But let us suppose that there is a Sunday-keeper, who on Sunday, fell to his knees, and for 1 hour poured out his heart to me with tears, spoke to me as if I existed, discussed things of interest to me, and assured me that anything I commanded, he would do. Even though this person in all sincerity did not know about the Saturday Sabbath, I as God would know, that he would change the moment I told him (because everyting else I tell him to do, he has done). This man is devoted to me, but ignorant of the Sabbath as yet. Even if the man died, I as God could resurrect him, and know, from his past record of obedience and devotion to me in other areas, that he would keep the Sabbath.
Other questions areWill there be Sabbath-keeping when we are spirit beings? Will the command not to murder still exist, when we cannot die? Will the commandment not to covet have relevance, when we own all? Will the commandment against blasphemy have any relevance when we share that family name? Will the command not to steal have any meaning when nothing can be hidden? Will the command to honour parents have meaning when parent-child relationships come to an end as spirit beings? Will the command not to commit adultery have meaning if we neither marry nor are given in marriage?
Do we see that the 10 Command-ments are tools, not ends in themselves. The Sabbath was made to help man develop, but the godly person is the purpose of the Sabbath. To some of the Pharisees, keeping the law to the nth degree was all they aimed for and not being individually a nice Pharisee.
Can I write this without people saying that I am trying to minimise the 10 Commandments? For too long now I think we have boasted about our tools. "I keep the Sabbath," we boast, "and you do not." So what have we got to show for it? Are we nice to be with? I think God values love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, meekness, temperance and faith as of supreme importance, and the 10 Commandments as means of getting us to these ends.
Can someone slip into the kingdom of God, as a Sunday-keeper? Can someone slip into the kingdom of God as a covetous person?
Are any of us not covetous, idolaters, adulterers (do you watch TV?), blasphemers (by being a disgrace to God at times), murderers (every time we go into a rage), dishonorers of parents, distorters of the truth to our own advantage, or even Sabbath breakers (how much undivided attention do we lavish on God that day)? If you are not, then you are a lot better than me.
The churches of God, and myself, remind me of a Bible-story. "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Church of God member, the other a Sunday-keeper". Luke 18:10. "And the Church of God member prayed with himself, God I thank thee that I am not as other men (outside the church) are".
God bounced this prayer back.
The big question is, "If I were God, would I want the person I really am to be in the Kingdom of God?" &
We do not think that Stephen Thomas is God, nor do we necessarily agree with every minor theological point here. But if we are developing the mind of Christ, this is a question that we cannot ignore: What kind of people would we want with us for eternity? NSE