A very temporal edifice of man
An eternal creation of God!
THIS REVELATION OF TRUTH WAS INSPIRED BY THE LORD as we gazed out the window of our train upon the ruins of castle after castle, and great house after great house, palace after palace, of the ancient Roman ruins as we wound through the hills of Italy. These great buildings, these glorious edifices, these grand creations of man, had all fallen into ruin and decay with the passage of time.
AS I WATCHED THESE HISTORIC HILLSIDES with their once proud structures of man, now in ruins, I could see again the glories of the past, the armies that had swept across these hills, first one way, then another--the legions of Rome and the hordes of her enemies, changing ever changing the face of history--one constructing, another destroying, building and tearing down, creating and demolishing, in the changing tides of history. Nothing was ever permanent, but each new regime washed away all but the meager vestiges of the past, so that there was little left to brag about--sometimes not one stone standing upon another that's not cast down--giant blocks of useless rock of interest only to the historian and archeologist, cluttering up the landscape in the way of progress.
MAN'S GREATEST PRIDE IS IN HIS BUILDINGS "the works of his hands," and they have always been his downfall, from the towers of Babel of yesterday to the temples of Mammon of today. Man glories in what he has made and prides himself in what he thinks are going to be his everlasting works, to influence with awe and wonder the generations to come.
BUT THEIR END IS ALWAYS THE SAME--the wreckage of centuries, meaningless to the present, and unmourned by their children, the debris of years, oft cleared away to build a new monument to man's futile endeavours and classic failures, all going the "way of all flesh" into the grave of oblivion, monstrous reminders of man's transitory tenure, classical testimonials against his puny efforts to eternalise himself without God.
This is why, from New York across Europe and all the way to Israel, people have asked us, "Have you seen this?" "Have you seen that?" "Did you go here?" "Did you go there?" "Did you see this sight?" "Did you view that creation of man?" such and such a building, such and such a tower, and we've usually had to say to their astonishment, "No!" even to the commonest points of interest on most tourist's sightseeing lists--the things everybody comes to New York or to Europe to see, we haven't even bothered to go around the corner to give a passing glance, because the dead, temporary buildings of man do not interest me, for they are only here today and gone tomorrow--dead burdensome, costly, lifeless piles of junk! What interests us is seeing the eternal creations of God, in coming face to face with the infinitely more fascinating, everlasting souls of men--that heart-to-heart contact of spirit with spirit, that feeling out for the "touch divine", in His creation, His handiwork, His most eternal workmanship, the immortality of the human soul that is glimpsed in every person we meet, everyone with whom we come in contact, and thrilled in every intercourse of the spirit--the vibrant eternal, immortal, marvel of human spiritual life from the Hand of God!
THIS IS WHAT IS THRILLING! THIS IS WHAT IS EXCITING! This is what sends us across continents and oceans to faraway lands to seek and to save that which was lost--not to tour and to sightsee at the fantastic failures of man to even begin to approach in his pitiful creations the unchangeable, eternal, immortal, living realm of the spiritual creation of God! This is what is worth seeing--that longing look deep in the eyes of a frightened young girl, that searching spirit felt in contact with a wandering boy, that deep hunger in the heart of man, for his Creator--the immortal spirit, the everlasting life, the spark of eternity, the creation of God, in the hearts of the living, not that dead, ridiculous rubble of the things of the past!
THEREFORE WE HAVE COME TO HATE SIGHTS AND SIGHT-SEEING AND THE TOURS OF MAN! We have come to scorn his ridiculous creations, so lauded and heralded by the children of men--so praised by man's worshippers--the Age of Man--"Man and His World"! In every city, in every land, in every great fair, it is always the handiwork of man which is most praised as man pats himself on the back for having arrived as gods!
PLACE WORSHIP IS MAN WORSHIP--THING WORSHIP--TEMPLE WORSHIP--NOW AN ABOMINATION TO GOD, but this is the worship of man--his religion, his purpose, his life, his death, his "death's work"--not the work of the Life of God!
WE WANT TO SEE LIVING CREATURES, LIVING CREATIONS, LIVING BEINGS, HUMANS FROM THE HAND OF GOD! We want to see the people, the children, the boys, the girls, the men, the women, the human beings! We want to look on the land of the living--not the creations of the dead; the homes of the spirit, not the tombs of the past! We want to see life, and to live, to touch, to warm, to woo, to win the living--not the dead! Let the dead bury the dead! Let the dead go sightseeing to see the sights of the mausoleums of dead men! As for me and my house, we will live in the land of the living--the land of the Living God--the hearts and the souls and the lives of the immortals--the temples of the Living God-- the throbbing, pulsing, exciting, thrilling, ecstatic spiritual orgasms of spiritual intercourse with the temples of His Holy Spirit--you and them--all of them--everyone of them! "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature and make disciples of all nations"--not sight-seers, but seers --prophets--of the wonders of the Children of God!
"FOR THE THINGS WHICH ARE SEEN ARE TEMPORAL, BUT THE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT SEEN ARE ETERNAL. "Set not therefore your affections on the things which are upon the earth, but the things which are above in the realm of the Spirit and the hearts of men--the Kingdom of God whose building are ye, lively stones, living organisms in a spiritual house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. "For whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever." Therefore, "seek ye first the Kingdom of God".
Therefore, to those who are continually asking us: "Have you seen this or that sight?" we have come to literally relish and enjoy replying with an emphatic "No, we are not even interested!--We are only interested in you! We're not interested in the dead, but the living!"
ARE YOU A SIGHT SEER OR A SEER OF THE SPIRIT? Are you a tourist of the tombs or an evangelist of the living? "Let the dead bury the dead and come follow Me and I will make you fishers of men!" Hallelujah! In this whole world there's not a more thrilling sight than one single saved soul!
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this Man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He Who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but He that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house; as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a Son over His Own house; Whose house are we." (Heb.3:1-6)
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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