Have You Been Smoltified?

    Salmon are amazing creatures. Several years ago, our family vacationed in Alaska in August, the prime season for salmon migration. I was enthralled with the sight of rivers, so teeming with salmon swimming upstream, that they gave the appearance of white water rapids, when in fact it was all salmon creating the disturbances in the water.
    Salmon are born as fresh water fish. As they grow, they become more streamlined in their appearance, their color changes, their endocrine activity increases, and their gills are altered to allow for a greater tolerance to sodium and potassium, all the while they are migrating downstream towards the ocean. Through a metabolic process called, “smoltification”, they adapt to life in saltwater. Scientists still aren’t sure of all of the biological intricacies involved, but somehow these freshwater fish not only learn to survive in saltwater, they actually become saltwater creatures who thrive in their new environment. Once adapted to salt water, fresh water kills them.
    And yet they return to the fresh water to spawn, reproduce, and thereby, die. The freshwater is death to them because it is no longer their home environment. They become creatures of the sea.
    Next week, Easter Sunday, I will be launching our next sermon series: “HEAVEN.” I’m excited about it and I hope you are as well. Because you see, while we live here, this earth’s current environment is death to us. None of us are going to get out alive. But God invites us all on a spiritual smoltification journey to transform us into creatures that thrive in another world…heaven. Those who are transformed by the resurrected life of Jesus are forever changed. This world, with all it has to offer, will never be our ultimate home. For the Christian, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).
    C.S. Lewis said, “If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
    This world is not our home, it will not satisfy. We were created for something better. We were made to be in the presence of and in fellowship with God. For those of us who have been reconciled to Him through Jesus, heaven is waiting. And only then will we realize all that it means to be fully human and fulfilled in our existence.
    But not everyone has this hope. You live near, work with, and are related to others who are still trying to find satisfaction in a world that only ends in death. If you’ve experienced the new birth that God offers through Jesus, why not eagerly share it with others? A great opportunity comes this week with Easter Sunday approaching. Let’s make every effort to bring others to hear what the Bible says about heaven, and the good news of it’s availability to them.
    Invite everyone you know this Easter!

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