Eternity and marriage


Love everlasting

Those who are in love know it. The poets write about it. We even watch movies about it. But rarely do we find a church that teaches it– that is, that true love is everlasting. It cannot die. The Writings of the New Church teach that those who truly love each other will dwell together in heaven after death. Their love and their care for each other remains, and grows. Their joy in working together in service to God and to other fellow human beings flourishes, and takes on a newness each day. Swedenborg’s description of the afterlife is a complete picture and makes sense. He says that all who die enter into the other world safe and secure. Heaven is a very real world, more real than the world of appearances around us, for everything in heaven corresponds to deeper loves within ourselves. We have homes, gardens, and friends. Heaven is not a cloud upon which we sit and play harps or continually adore God through endless worship. True worship is a way of life. People are very active in heaven. Everyone there performs a function or “use” which they love to do and become more proficient in each new day, and what they do benefits everyone around them. “Heaven,” Swedenborg says, “is a kingdom of uses.”

This concept holds true of marriage as well. Good marriages are active marriages. In heaven, each partner works in harmony with the other in acts of charity and love. An idle life is not only a dull life, but it can lead to lethargy and self-centeredness. People who view life as only a means of self-fulfillment create a hell for themselves which they take with them after death. Hell is not a place of punishment where God sends a person for not following His rules. Rather, hell is a place where people freely go who have stubbornly refused to let love into their lives, and who do not wish to help others. It is a frustrating life and truly is a state of hell, for evil brings upon itself its own punishment, and a selfish life leads to dissatisfaction and eventual gloom. Those who approach marriage as a means for self-satisfaction alone will find this same dissatisfaction with their relationship, and the hell that is often created in a marriage is the product of a selfish heart that acts contrary to true marriage love. Marriage brings blessings, but the blessings come into their fullness through acts of unselfishness and charity to the neighbor.

New church. Org

Spiritual awareness and insight


There is a curious passage in Holy Scripture (Rev. 2:11) that states, “He that overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death.”

Are we to suffer two deaths? Isn’t one enough?

We all worry about our physical death, so why does the Bible say that it is another death that we are to be more concerned about?

Actually our common language shows an intuitive acknowledgement that we can indeed experience two kinds of death.

We can also die internally if some idea or passion we cling to is proven wrong. In that case we see ourselves as “goners” even though our physical bodies may be quite healthy.

The Bible merely acknowledges that we have both a physical or outer life and a deeper inner life and that our inner lives are the most important. Unfortunately our inner lives often carry negative baggage, which must be removed so that new life can take root. When individuals say they are “reborn,” they are referring to the fact that something old has died within them and that something more important and vital has grown out of this “death.” A new inner life is the key to enjoying eternal happiness.

It is this same other death that Adam and Eve were warned about when they ate the Forbidden Fruit (swallowing whole a deluded worldview). Although they remained physically alive after that event (and thought they had dodged a bullet) something much deeper inside them was killed off.

If one doesn’t become more spiritual (overcome one’s inner flaws) this second death will be eternally hurtful because nothing noble has replaced it.