Vision in the Night
It was pitch dark and I was lying comfortably in my bed. It had been a hard day, working with mentally handicapped children and young adults, who's behaviour sometimes caused me a lot of anxiety.
Suddenly the atmosphere became overwhelmingly bright and I saw Jesus, not only standing there in front of me, but also behind me – all around me at the same time! I couldn’t see his facial features because of the brightness, but I felt as though I’d been transported right from my bed into His Presence.
In the few moments I was with Him, I was acutely aware of His love and acceptance of me despite my prevailing weaknesses. No words were spoken, but knowledge was imparted to me that I will never forget. I suddenly understood without any doubt whatsoever that so long as I stayed close in my walk with Him, there would be nothing to fear because He is all powerful, all-loving, and in control (despite how it may seem at the time). His power is in fact outstanding in its totality – something that's terribly difficult for us to grasp!
These are things I came to know through that Vision...
- This did not mean I would never experience pain, hardship, hurt from others, physical sickness and anything else that comes my way as a mere mortal, but it did mean that ultimately, I need not fear these things in a morbid way, because there is another side to all this that we cannot fully comprehend in our mortal state.
- The Scriptural Truth in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” suddenly became very clear to me – the first part of it had often been quoted ad-hock to me by well-meaning Christians, yet had meant little… until now.
- As a naturally fearful person, it was quite a shocking revelation that in fact, my fear existed because I had always been judged guilty by people such as my father, before I could ever even begin to prove my innocence. I was therefore always expecting unpleasant consequences for anything I did, whether good or bad in my own understanding!
- God does not see us in that light. He does not in fact even see our sinfulness, because Jesus Christ paid the price of sin (the wages of sin being death) on our behalf, and in the process his Blood, taking the place of every sacrificial lamb before Him – the Perfect Blood – was sprinkled over all our records of wrong-doings, blotting them out completely! (Did you know that the blood passed on to the child is determined by that of the child’s father? How amazing then to realise, that this means that Jesus’ own Blood was that of His Heavenly Father – it wasn’t even human blood!)
- Not only did I know beyond a doubt of God’s magnificent power and love, but I also felt total security within them, because in the light of eternity, the difficulties and pain we suffer during this life are but a tiny speck in the overall picture, and are “as nothing” when this life is over. I just knew in that short space of time, that I need never fear anything God might ask me to do, no matter how difficult or painful it might be at the time.
- I also became aware that this perfect love was not just for me, but for all humankind.
However, there’s a catch! (Isn’t there always one of these?)
- Once we have heard about Jesus, and found some understanding of Who He is, we are required to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, and have that special close walk with Him. The choice is ours to make, and is an ongoing choice we make each moment of each day…
- When Jesus died on the cross of Calvary, He died to remove the sins of the whole world! That is all-inclusive, but we were created with the Gift of Free Will.
So what happens to people who either never hear of Him, or who cannot make that response because of things like mental incapacity?
Do we not accept that God is a Just and Righteous God? (This is not the same as what we call “fairness”!)
He has surely made provision for all who will come to see Him on the Day of Judgment. He isn’t going to condemn any child, or mentally sick or physically weak person to an eternity of suffering, neither will He do that to people who have not heard, or who have simply not understood the Message! But if we have heard and fully understood – and this is the one qualification to watch out for – then it is definitely down to our own choice as to whether or not we will accept what we have come to know, turn away from our old ways, grow in our faith (which is also one of the Fruit of God’s Spirit and also a Gift from God), and keep short accounts of our wrongdoings, walking ever closer with Him.
Jesus made a Will on the Cross. It was this: ”Father forgive them for they do not know what they do!”
This Will came into effect as soon as He had died in the flesh and left His physical body, because that’s when all wills come into effect!
There is, nevertheless, a stern warning to those who have known and understood the Truth and been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, who then turn away…
Hebrews 6:4-6 says ”It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away*, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
The question always remains for speculation, however, did those people really know God in the first place to have made such a serious and conscious decision? If they did, then their choice was out of the sheer wickedness of their own hearts and they have heaped condemnation upon themselves by their own actions - for Jesus did not come to this earth to condemn us, but to save us all!
*Fall away - to renounce one's faith and deny God's existence, whereby one totally annihilates the Presence of the Holy Spirit of God from within one's self.