for we walk by faith, not by sight– (2 Corinthians 5:7)
If we truly want to follow God we must seek to be other-worldly. This I say knowing well that that word has been used with scorn by the sons of this world and applied to the Christian as a badge of reproach. So be it. Everyman must choose his world. If we who follow Christ, with all the facts before us and knowing what we are about, deliberately choose the Kingdom of God as our sphere of interest I see no reason why anyone should object. If we lose by it, the loss is our own; if we gain we rob no one by so doing.
The ’other world,’ which is the object of this world’s disdain and the subject of the drunkard’s mocking song, is our carefully chosen goal and the object of our holiest longing. But we must avoid the common fault of pushing the ’other world’ into the future. It is not future, but present. It parallels our familiar physical world, and the doors between the two worlds are open. ‘Ye are come,’ says the writer to the Hebrews (and the tense is plainly present), ‘unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel’ (Heb 12:22-24) All these things are contrasted with ’the mount that might be touched’ and ’the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words’ that might be heard. May we not safely conclude that, as the realities of Mount Sinai were apprehended by the senses, so the realities of Mount Zion are to be grasped by the soul? And this not by any trick of the imagination, but in downright actuality. The soul has eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear. Feeble they may be from long disuse, but by the life-giving touch of Christ alive now and capable of sharpest sight and most sensitive hearing.