New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 19

      We want to have good friendships, strong marriages, happy children. We want to succeed in work and in the other important jobs in our lives, but at times we go about achieving these goals by means that guarantee failure. Whenever we try to go about things in a manner that is contrary to the Lord’s order, lasting success is impossible. Choices that are flawed by the darkness of evil and false ideas just don’t work. The Lord looks at us when we are making choices that will hurt ourselves and others and grieves. He has no desire whatsoever to judge or condemn us for the evils and false ideas that we give life to by our choices. Contrary to the appearance the apparent destruction wrought on the evil in the Book of Revelation is not from the Lord. Each and every step spoken of in this book represents another aspect of the Lord showing reality in the light of heaven. Whenever destruction is spoken of, it is never something real and useful being destroyed. It is always a fantasy that has been shown for what it really is. As in the example read as a lesson, the magnificent shrine with the statue of a woman wearing a scarlet dress was imaginary. In the light of heaven, the reality present was a ruinous building holding a hideous beast. The opening of the seven seals, the sounding of the seven trumpets and the pouring out of the seven last plagues all represent the Lord revealing afresh what was true and good. The growing light of truth showed the imaginary cities, trees and other landscape for the blacked and deadly evil they really were. Just as the shrine and statue of a woman were fantasies so many things in front of our eyes can appear falsely. Revealing the light of truth re-established the freedom of people to choose what they wanted. Those who, at the core of their life, loved good and useful things could be gradually led to heaven. Those who, at the core of their life, love evil and destructive things fled from the light to the darkness of hell. The consequence was a separation of the good from the evil. A separation that the Lord wanted not to punish the evil, but rather to protect the good but relatively ignorant people from being led astray and being hurt. The Book of Revelation has been a powerful guide to us. It presents an image The Book of Revelation has been a powerful guide to us. It presents an image of the birth of the New Church and its descent to this earth. Having read its pages and considered its meaning, what are we to do as individuals and as a congregation? 195