The Seen or the Unseen

     Thus far we’ve discussed the unredeemed vs. the remnant, i.e. the majority vs. the minority; the world vs. the Kingdom; and worldly wisdom vs. Godly wisdom.
     Another differentiation is the seen vs. the unseen, i.e. the visible vs. the invisible.  The visible relates to the world while the invisible relates to the Kingdom. 
     The Bible has much to say about the two and their differences.
     “While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:18
     The appearance of Christ and the New Testament presented an entirely different mindset to mankind, i.e. the world.  The focus switched from worldly perceptions of wisdom to the reality of God’s spiritual Kingdom embodied in Christ.  Even the pious had difficulty believing.
     Recall Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus:
     “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”  John 3:12
     Jesus began to teach His disciples about the reality of the invisible Kingdom.
     “…the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”  John 14:17
     The world offers rewards here and now while the Kingdom offers unseen rewards in the future throughout eternity.  The choice is one or the other; there is absolutely no in between.
     “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.  One cannot serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24
     Mammon in the Greek means wealth, possessions, and/or material value.  In the present context then, mammon represents tangible and transient.  It means to have plenty in this life and to prosper currently.
     Consider Eve’s thoughts when confronted with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
     “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”  Genesis 3:6
     Eve was more concerned about satisfying current perceived needs and desires than the consequences of disobedience.
     The Apostle John stressed the same immutable truth relative to satisfying natural or worldly desires and temptations.
     “Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  1 John 2:15-17
     Jesus summarized the destiny of those who choose the present worldly life instead of the unseen eternal life.
     “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”  John 12:25
     The above verse states that one who expends their effort to preserve the life of the world in which he was born will subsequently lose it forever while the one who hates the life of the world will preserve his life into eternity.
     Jesus encouraged His followers to focus on the unseen.
     “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys…”  Matthew 6:19-20
      In view of the eternal consequences of losing one’s life, Jesus came into the world with the free offer of redemption to deliver His Father’s chosen out of the world. 
     “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16
     The great truth is that everyone born into the world that rejects God’s free gift of deliverance from the world will perish with it.

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