Clergy Corner: Soul what?

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Susan Beckett.

■ By Susan Beckett / Contributed

I’ve always thought it would be cool to be able to visit heaven and ask God about some intriguing questions I’ve always had. I’ve never heard them addressed by anyone—ever—and would love to get God’s take on them.
For instance, why seven days in a week? I’m thinking that if we could have eight days, we could have a five day workweek plus always have a three-day weekend. Sounds pretty good to me!
And what about when Cain killed Abel in Genesis and Abel became the very first human to die? Did Abel have to wait for centuries by himself, sitting in paradise all alone before the next person died? Or did God assign an angel to sit and keep him company? Don’t forget, Adam lived to be 930 years old!
Speaking of angels, I believe that each one of us has an angel—a guardian angel if you will. In Matthew 18:10 (Mess) Jesus says: “Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don’t you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?” Many scholars believe this is evidence that we have an angel assigned to us at birth.
So, with that in mind, can angels be recycled? I mean, once a person dies and goes to heaven, does that angel stick with that particular person forever or is he re-assigned to a new person here on earth? And, if that’s the case, can I request a specific angel? Can I have the angel Moses had? The one who was there when Moses confronted the mighty pharaoh of Egypt, who was with him when he parted and crossed the Red Sea?
How about having the angel of Elijah? His angel witnessed Elijah calling down fire from heaven on Mt. Carmel, and then defeating the wicked prophets of Baal.
Or maybe I can have Peter’s angel? The angel who was there when Peter briefly walked on water—holding his angel breath as Peter stepped out of the boat and made his way out to Jesus during a storm.
Where are the angels of Isaiah, Esther, or Ezekiel? These angels were assigned to amazing men and women who no doubt kept their angels on their angel-toes!
But then again, thinking it over, I sure don’t want my angel to be bored. I don’t want him sitting on my living room sofa, twiddling his angel thumbs, wondering when in the world this gal is going to get things moving. I mean, it seems to me that these angels who buddied-up with the saints of old had their hands full. These Bible heroes were gutsy people—valiant, courageous, and fearless for the things of God and his kingdom.
So did these men and women know and understand something that we don’t? Did they somehow realize this isn’t just a struggle between good and evil, light and dark, life and death, but so much more? That literally, something of extreme value is at stake here; that it’s about a struggle involving the eternal destination of a soul? I think so.
Jesus asks the question in Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his life in the process? What can a man give in exchange for his immortal soul?”
The word of God makes it clear that your soul is the most valuable possession you have—worth so much that God sent his only son to die so that our souls could be saved. This is something that none of us can do ourselves. As Psalm 49:7 tells us, “Truly no man can ransom himself or give to God the price of his life.”
We have just celebrated Easter, but the hard reality of that amazing day of sacrifice seems to have been lost on so many people today! Yes, we got dressed up and may have gone to church on that special Sunday, but why? Mainly because it was Easter. For so many, it was nothing more profound than that. We hunted for Easter eggs, ate chocolate bunnies and maybe had the family over for an afternoon barbecue.
But was that really all there should have been to Easter? What if, even now, we just stop and take the time to remember and truly honor the one who paid the ransom for our souls? Has any gift in your life ever come close to the amazing gift offered to us by Jesus Christ? Why don’t we take the time to celebrate the worth of our souls and celebrate and honor the one who has offered us salvation for our souls.
It reminds me of the opening lines of a song by Russell Fragar: “Can’t stop talking about everything he’s done. It’s the best thing happened since the world begun. It didn’t come cheap, but I got it for free. It’s the hope of glory, Christ in me!” Amen and Amen to that!

Susan Beckett and her husband, Bob, pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard St. in Hemet. Visit www.dpcitychurch.com for more information.

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