THE JOY OF HEAVEN
BY PASTOR GLENN PEASE
Two friends were walking along a country road and precisely at the same moment that one saw a lovely wild flower the other spotted a poisonous snake. When the one had killed the snake and the other had put the flower in his button hole, they walked on in silence for a while, and then the one with the flower said, "I wonder which one of us is a realist." The other man thought for a moment, and then replied, "I suppose I must admit the flower is as real as the snake." The study of heaven is an emphasis on that very point--the flower is as real as the snake.
There is a popular philosophy aboard that makes people believe they are only being realistic when they face up to the fact of evil. Snakes are real and only the foolish who want to escape reality deny their existence. But this kind of thinking leads to the promoting of evil under the guise of realism. A realistic love story, to the world, demands some immorality, for immorality is real. Swearing is popular on TV because real people do swear, and so to be realistic we must hear it on TV. Real people today do everything that real people did in ancient Sodom and Gomorrah, and since modern people want to be realistic they argue that it not only should be done, but it should be promoted in movies, music, and literature in order to make our art and culture realistic.
The Christian can have no quarrel with the desire to be realistic, but he does have to disagree with those who limit the real to the negative. The flower is just as real as the snake. You do not have to pour forth the poison of hell to be realistic, for the pure and pleasant springs of heaven are just as real. Those whose vision of the real is so narrow and limited that they must promote what is evil to be realistic are extremely unrealistic, for true realism takes in the whole picture of reality. True realism recognizes that evil is real, but also that it is only a temporal...