In chapter 3 of Francis Schaeffer's book "True Spirituality"
he writes about what it would be like to experience what Paul speaks about in 2 Corinthians 2:2-4:2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.Schaeffer states:"Can't you imagine this man as he came back from heaven? He had seen it as a propositional truth, as a brute fact. He had been there, and looked at it, and then had come back. Would anything ever have looked the same to him again? It is as though he had died. It is as though he had been raised from the dead. Just as the Mount of Transfiguration gives us a different perspective when we are in the perspective of the kingdom of God, how different this man's perspective would have been all his life. The constant pressure to conform to the world about us, the social pressure and every other kind of pressure of our day-surely it would have been broken. How could he conform to this, which is so marred, so broken, so caught up in revolution against God, so disgusting? How could he, in comparison with what he had seen? What would the praise of the world be worth when one had stood in the presence of God? The wealth of the world, what would it look like beside the treasures of heaven? Man longs for power. But what is earthly power after one has seen the reality of heaven and the power of God? All things would look different. Surely all of this is involved in the statement that we are to live by faith now, as though we had died already, and already been raised from the dead."He goes on to make six basic considerations for the Christians life:
- Christ died in history
- Christ rose in history
- We died with Christ in history, when we accepted him as Saviour
- We will be raised in history
- We are to live by faith now as though we were now dead, already have died
- We are to live now by faith as though we have now already been raised from the dead
The last point is the one that has gotten me thinking. What would my life really look like if I saw what Paul wrote about? God can do what he wants, when he wants, but I don't foresee visiting the foot of his throne anytime soon. I'll just be content with praying for the faith to live as though I have and came back.