I want to talk about the inner man. We have an external man – the one that corrupts. Our activity, life activity, mixed with religious spiritual tasks, mixed with our survival, our being – everything will corrupt.
We have an inner man. This inner man interests God. God sees him. Our wrong outward works damage the inner man, but God looks at him through all of that. God is interested in the inner man: it is he who will go into eternity. You can’t give anything to God that could go to heaven, except yourself. We give Him only ourselves.
What kind of ourselves shall we give to God? – This question is important.
When you make an inner journey, your inner movement, even the terminology changes. It becomes less accurate. We have many terms that tradition has given us, but they are no longer suitable for those who advance further.
I will share thoughts of the eternity and from the eternity, so that we may receive communion in the Spirit. I heard about one man who didn’t preach. He met with people and people got enlightened. His words had not as much meaning, his words were few.
We have switched everything into words. And the words of Jesus are not so many, you can read all the words of Christ in half an hour. We, as preachers, speak a million times more words, which are a million times weaker. Words cease to have weight and meaning, because they are not sustained by the internal condition, internal position.
Jesus was the Word Himself. Therefore the Apostle says, “Let your words be few.”
I would like to reflect on eternal topics so that we have inner beauty, inner radiance. The Lord is interested in “the hidden person of the heart in the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.” This beauty should not be made external, as the Apostle says: “not merely outward – arranging the hair.” It should not be aggressive or lead to manipulation. You know that today manipulation is one of the laws of modern days.
“Behold, I tell you a mystery…” I love this! I could talk about this for hours. Apostle Paul revealed the mystery. Why is he talking about it? Because he knows it, he dwells in it. Mystery is his habitation. Why does he tell it? Because it was entrusted to him.
Apostle Paul knew the mysteries, the mysteries of God. He revealed them to the people of God. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: we will not all die, but we will all be transformed.” This is where we must turn our attention, set our will. Where will we be transformed to? Since this is inevitable, we can cooperate with this inevitability. Of course we talk of the eternal things.
And since we will all be transformed, we must accept this inevitability, when something stronger than you and me affects us in such a way that we all be transformed.
Today, when we talk about Christianity, we often talk in a social sense – an earthly sense: Christian communities, church buildings, membership numbers, conferences… What do you imagine when you say “Christianity”? But there is no such term in the Bible. Here comes the idea of something like a system: a crowd that thinks alike. God does not call us to be a crowd that thinks alike!
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52). Both the living and the dead shall experience this. Even the dead in Christ who have died before us, if we don’t see the coming of Christ, they too will hear the voice and be the first to go there, which is inevitable. And we, whether we like it or not, will experience the last trumpet. The trumpet will sound, and we will enter into incorruption.
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53). When this happens, then what is written will come true: “Death is swallowed up in victory”!
We swallow food, the sea swallows the land, the mortal will be swallowed by victory. This will be the moment when death disappears, it will never be again, there will be only immortality.
The Prophet exclaims saing: “Death, where is your sting? Hell, where is your victory?!” I thought death had a sting. When it comes to an unprepared person, it stings. The person who is dying is at the threshold, he is afraid of the sting, he is afraid of the bite. Death and hell will lose their sting and victory. Today we are on this path.
I used to remember things by dates and events, but now I have a different season – when I want to remember something, I recall the spiritual path. And on the basis of experiencing the spiritual path, I put a mark in my memory that matches the reality. I follow not chronological years, but my inner path, my inner calendar. Inside each person there should be an internal calendar – a calendar of your development or journey. What marks in this calendar are significant for you? Where are the red, blue, green days in it? What do you celebrate there? And what did you miss to mark, but it was much more significant for eternity?
Some time ago I spoke to the youth and suddenly I felt that I was speaking correct things, but from one-side. I said that I wanted to speak to the older people as well. Old age is misestimated, and today being old is almost a sin, an evil. Old people are hidden, not listened to, pushed aside and neglected. And sometimes they just hand them over and betray.
Old age should be honored, respected, rewarded. A man has lived his life and can’t be humiliated because he has gotten old.
The Lord began to put this into my heart. I don’t consider myself old, but on the opposite, a naughty teenager lives in me, and I stop being ashamed of him, I understand that this is real me.
My heart is captured by this topic of human life at its sunset, not because I am getting old, but because I am very interested in where we will all arrive.
The theme of aging and the theme of death. This is not negativity, not pessimism, this is not a topic for the elderly people, but for the young, for lads and girls, for all of us, because we will be armed on this point through all of our lives.
Man’s greatest fear is the fear of death. And young people often die, this is no secret. But to live your life with the fear of death is a lot for those who haven’t been acquainted with it. I want to get acquainted with death together with you, to have a dialogue with it. Because there are a lot of “scarecrows” around it, and we keep constantly running away from it. If we stop running away from it, it will be a great success for us plunging in this knowledge today.
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come and the years draw near, when you say: “I have no pleasure in them!”
… and they are afraid of height and of terrors in the way; and the almond tree blossoms, and the grasshopper is a burden, and the desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets; … before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bow is broken, and the pitcher shattered at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was; and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12).
What is death? This is the ceasing of life on earth. This is the completion of the movement of the life of the body. This is the leaving of the soul of our body, when the body is left by the soul. This is when the spirit goes to God.
Oftentimes they register a man’s death from a disease. They always have to record what a person died of. But often a person dies not because of illness, but because he stopped living. This old 95 year old lady had lived all her life with a disease and suddenly she died from the disease.This is nonsense. People die of getting old, of bad injury in an accident, they die of supernatural judgments when they come upon a man and he dies for an unknown reason. But sometimes man dies for the Lord, when He takes him, and people with no understanding start to make claims: “Why did God take him from me?” But it was God who sent him with a certain purpose, and He took him when He wanted! We are not taught to give our loved ones to whom we have become so attached.
Preparing for the transition is important. So that man is always prepared for this. If he is prepared, he will spend his whole life in a different capacity – he will take more risks, he will not be afraid of danger, he will be more bold and courageous, because his attitude to life will be adequate. The transition is inevitable. And life is given to us to live it worthily.
Accepting the inevitable is the first step. It is foolish to be afraid of the end station. Usually people’s panic fear is caused by the process itself. What kind of transition will it be? “O Lord, please, only not in bed!” Well, if it is God’s will there will be those who will help you to handle that. Even if it has to be a “duck” for a paralized man in bed – this does not mean that he was a bad person. So many lies there are around this because of fear! And here we are scared by the transition process.
We are also afraid of pain, how painful this is going to be. Pain often accompanies the dying, which is part of redemption. This is redemptive pain. If you try to reject it and live escaping the reality, it will be difficult to truly appreciate it.
Man is also afraid to live with pain. If someone is given to live with pain, he has to learn to cope and live with it. A doctor’s reaction is always to help you get rid of pain, give some pain reliever, but one can receive a totally different approach here.
The moment of transition frightens us: “What will happen after? What will happen to me?” One lady was very much suffering at the transition, as if not able to die, because, as she confessed, she was afraid her body would be eaten by worms. As soon as she received assurance that nothing of the kind would happen in case of cremation, she passed away very soon.
What am I talking about? – That we may live without the fear of death.
Jesus was not afraid of death. It was His friend. It helped Him to accomplish what He was to accomplish. Such an assistant, perhaps not quite pleasant, but it served on His side.
Fear of pain. They say old age causes pain, but many old people still live without pain. But even if it’s there you need to learn to live without feeling ashamed of pain. I believe in healing and pray for healing. But I know, it’s the power of light that removes the sting. When you live in a life-giving spirit, then your attitude to these things is completely different – attitude to corruption. Pain is a sign of corruption. It is a healthy thing when your body is struggling with the problem. Do not be ashamed of pain, do not join it with faith in God, that it is something shameful, that you are sick.
It’s an art to live with pain. Because we are all strong until it comes.
It is very important to understand people who live with pain. We need to receive the grace of God to go to the sick on the bed and feel a little imbued with what awaits us. This is a man who lies on a bed. I know that the smell of medicine, aging flesh, the seal on the face – scare us away, like darkness behind which lies the unknown. We hurt. But the man is in this.
We are afraid to be infected by this fear. But try to cast away this fear and simply be there, get connected, listen, just stay near.
Compassion will give the key to penetration and our own liberation. The fear will go away. Someone said that man’s greatest fear is the fear of fear. Be afraid to be afraid! But don’t be afraid!
Have compassion. This is one of the characteristics of Christ. This compassion will open us to understanding – the key to understanding eternity. God is compassion. The Father is the Compassion for creation. Christ is compassion. Compassionate Christ, compassionate God, compassionate Holy Spirit, compassionate church, compassionate you, compassionate me.
Be compassionate. Let’s wear it! Let’s penetrate all those who suffer: old people, misunderstood people, teenagers. Who should have compassion is the Bride of Christ. The strongest quality of a woman is kindness. “Who has found a virtuous wife? Its price is higher than pearls!”
So, living without fear, living in freedom, living in the reality of understanding that we will all enter this gate. The corruptible will turn into the incorruptible. A life full of compassion.
“The mystery – we will not all die, but we will all change.” So let’s prepare ourselves for this change and liberate ourselves from fears. Harvest the wheat without the tares.