This post was originally published on December 11, 2013.
From this morning’s Facebook update:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:38-39
If there was anybody who checked my timeline on a regular basis (which even I don’t do), they would notice how often I paste the same Romans 8 passage into my status. Every time it’s for a slightly different reason. But it’s always from a sense of marveling. I mean, there’s all these pairs of opposite things—a Hebrew literary device, by the way, expressing the entire gamut of possibilities, a concrete expression of infinity that can be expressed as effectively no other way.
- Death, life.
- Angels, demons.
- Present, future.
- Height, depth.
Then, in case he left anything out:
- “Nor anything else in all creation.”
The red dot on the white background
But notice the one phrase in the middle that has no opposites.
It is the red dot on the white background:
- “Nor any powers.”
That includes God’s powers.
And my powers.
And your powers.
One of the traditional definitions of hell is eternal separation from God. If that’s a valid definition—even if inadequate—it tells us something about the security of our future as new creations in Christ:
No matter how we fail. No matter what decisions we make. No matter how we rebel or shake our fists at God, if we have ever belonged to him. If we ever been changed by his hand. If our sins have ever been cleansed and we have been redeemed—truly, genuinely redeemed—
We will never be apart from his love.
We will never be apart from him.
Ever again. No matter what.