If, when Jesus returns, he asks all of us, his children, what age we want to be for all eternity, what age would you pick?
On one level, that’s a fairly easy question: I think I’d go for 29. Old enough to know a few things, but not old enough to feel too much pain. (Plus, I’d still be in my 20s, and my wife would already be 30. I love those times that happen once every ten years that allow me to remind her that for eight months, we are in different decades. For example, in a couple of years, she’ll be in her 50s; I’ll still be 40…something. But I digress.)
If 29 is my perfect age, that leads to another question: how different am I now, as a 47-year-old, than I was at 29? Gee, let me count the ways…. But even though I am different in many ways, it’s still me. And when Jesus returns and makes everything new, I’m confident he’ll have just the right age for me.
But imagine your dog shows up for Eternity and wants to be a 29-year-old human That’s completely different. For the 29-year-old me and the 47-year-old me are different, but still me. And no matter how much I change, it’s still me. But the dog becoming human is a complete change.
When Jesus returns, who you are now will be directly connected to who you will become. The you that you are now will be consistent with the you that you will become. So, if you’re a person who trusts the Lord and lives a life a love, that is who you will become. Complete, whole, brand new — but still in line with who you are. Not unlike the 47-year-old you and the 29-year-old you.
But how many are expecting to waltz into God’s presence with hardly a thought, assuming God will make something new of them — something they haven’t had any desire to become in this life? Just as a dog can’t show up at the gates of heaven expecting to become a human, so a person with no desire for faith and love in this life should show up expecting to become a person of perfect love in the next one.
In 1 John 3.23, we are told that God calls us to do 2 things: believe in Jesus, and love one another. In other words, trust that the real me is found in Jesus, and then live like it. And when Jesus returns, I will be like him. Me, completed, whole. Different from what I am now, and yet, what I will be will be consistent with what I am now, for what I will be then will be the completion of what I am now.
In other words: the perfect version of a very imperfect me; forever! If I may say it: that’s some dog-gone good news!