Family Reunion

Posted: January 30th, 2014 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a family reunion. I think the last one was about twenty-five years ago. Since both of my parents have passed away, I haven’t done a very good job of staying in touch with my extended family.

My mom’s side of the family is spread out now. My dad’s side of the family is mostly in Pennsylvania. Robyn and I have lived in Arkansas for the past twenty-five years, which has made it difficult to visit family or attend reunions.

Two of my children, Rachel and Erica, are already married and live far enough away that we don’t see them very often. My daughter, Amy, is about to graduate from college and is most likely headed to Europe to serve with Young Life for a few years. And my son will soon be enlisting in the Navy. It’s not like I’ll never see my children again, but it’s not the same as when they were little.

A number of years ago, it occurred to me that up until a child graduates from high school, you see him or her almost every day of their life. But after they graduate, there are many more days you will not see them for the rest of their life. At least that’s been the case for me. After high school, I went off to college and spent very little time in my hometown after that.

I think it’s good and healthy to establish a new life, independent of parents. That’s especially important when a child gets married. Being overly bonded to parents is not a recipe for a healthy marriage.

And yet, I do hope Robyn and I can live near our children some day. I want to know them and enjoy a relationship with them as adults. I want to know my grandchildren when they come along. And if I live long enough, I’d like to meet my great-grandchildren.

And that brings me to something I am beginning to pray. My prayer is that Robyn and I would be able to have a family reunion some day with all of our descendents and their spouses. I did a little math…if our four children were to each have just two children of their own and then those eight children got married and had two children each…after ten generations there would be over 8,000 of us.

I want all 8,000+ to come into a relationship with Jesus, to walk with Him and serve Him and to raise the next generation to do the same. And one day when we’re all living in heaven, I want to have a family reunion. I want to meet my great-great-great-great-great granddaughter…and her husband…and their children. I want to meet all of my descendents and their spouses. And for that matter, I’d like to meet those from whom I descended. Have you ever stopped to consider that all of us have descended from Noah and his wife? In that sense, we’re all related.

By the way, don’t think of a heavenly family reunion as floating around in the clouds as spirits. That’s not a biblical view of heaven. Read Genesis 1 and 2. Then read Revelation 21 and 22. Heaven will be on earth one day. Sure, the earth is a messed up place now, but it won’t always be this way. God is going to restore it to His original design. He’s going to make it new again, the way it was supposed to be before sin entered the picture.

Heaven will be on earth, where we’ll live together with God. We’ll work. We’ll play. We’ll eat and drink. We’ll learn and explore and discover. We’ll worship God. And we’ll live in relationship with each other.

I’d love to take a walk with one of my daughters and her daughter and her daughter and her daughter…

I’d love to grab a football and throw it with my son and his son and his son and his son…

I hope we get to have a family reunion in a meadow with a hill nearby so Robyn and I can walk to the top of it, look out over our descendents and rejoice at how greatly God blessed us.

Screen Shot 2013 12 17 at 3.27.23 PM 300x235 Family Reunion

My family...many years ago...


2 Comments on “Family Reunion”

  1. 1 Jeff Garner said at 6:46 PM on January 30th, 2014:

    I always enjoy your articles Gregg. They are something I look forward to reading. Great stuff. On this one, though, I think you are wrong on the “heaven on this earth” view. I don’t think the NT supports it. II Peter 3:7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
    10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

    Of course, this is a study unto itself…but I don’t think the bible teaches that Heaven will be on this current earth. Jesus went to prepare a place for us. This earth and the heavens will be destroyed at his second coming according to scripture.

    I Thessalonians 4:16,17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with him in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
    Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (NIV, Revelation 21:1-4)
    I know…it’s complicated. One thing I have faith in…God has our back if we believe in Jesus…heaven, wherever it is or whatever it is will be a great place to be!

  2. 2 Gregg Stutts said at 7:29 PM on January 30th, 2014:

    Jeff,
    Thanks for reading! Here’s where I’m coming from on this…

    God’s original design was for us to live on earth with Him. Adam and Eve were given physical bodies and placed in a physical realm.

    The prime directive was to, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

    Satan’s rebellion and subsequent deception of Adam and Eve brought death and decay to creation, but prior to sin, there would have been no death. And mankind would have lived on earth with God.

    In Revelation 21 and 22, I see God restoring the earth. Yes, He will do away with the present earth (whatever that looks like), but I don’t believe He’s giving up on the original design.

    In Revelation 21, I see John describing New Jerusalem coming down to the new earth. I believe the place Jesus has gone to prepare is New Jerusalem. And one day He’ll relocate it to the earth.

    I think where the church has gotten off base is in adopting a Greek mindset that views the spiritual as good and the physical as bad or corrupt. It led to the idea that we would be liberated from our bodies and exist as spirits.

    Have you read Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven”? I think you’d really like it.

    I’m with you though…whether heaven will be here or some place else, it will be awesome!

    Gregg


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