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Reality of Salvation|
The Feeling Part
Q. I don't really feel a "connection" with other people or even my own family. Furthermore, I accept the intellectual part of Christianity - that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead. I accept Jesus' historicity. But, I'm lacking any connection with the emotional part of believing. Do you think I can be "saved" if I feel like this - even though I don't "feel" it? (K.D.)
I'm glad you asked this question because it describes a state of being that many people experience in our world. Most individuals don't admit to these feelings or their sense of unreality. So I believe your question will help others who feel just as you do but who cannot put it into words.
Often those who have suffered some form of mental or physical abuse have a tendency to "disassociate" from daily life. Many artists feel this way, too. In fact, a rather notable artist, Van Gogh, is thought to have suffered from schizophrenia because he suffered from an extreme sense of unreality.
In fact, it is so common that I suspect some of it is a "gift" that God gave us to help us cope with difficult trials in our lives in a broken, hostile world.
World a Digital Simulation
Dr. Missler brought something to light that may account for some of these very real feelings of unreality. He points out that quantum physicists state we are all living in an elaborate "digital simulation." Our current universe is just a subset of a larger reality - just a reflection of what is truly "real."
Reality as a Dim Mirror
Scripture bears out this fact, too. 1 Corinthians 13:12 notes "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known."
Shadows&Copies of True Reality
Hebrews 8:2 states that we have a minister… "in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man." It reveals that earthly high priests "serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things…" (Heb. 8:5).
This is something C.S. Lewis frequently wrote - Narnia and England is the Shadowlands of the real Narnia and England.
There is a strange verse in 1 John that hints at our inability to "see" the real truth or reality. It says,
"We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is" (1 Jn. 3:2).
A New Dimension
In other words, it seems we will have an extra dimension - at least one - added to our state of being in heaven. When Jesus returns for us and we are "changed" into incorruptible physical bodies (1 Cor. 15:51), then we will be able to "see" Jesus as He really is. We will not be limited to our current four dimensions of height, width, depth, and time as we experience it now. Right now we are "naked" and long to be "clothed" with new bodies in heaven (2 Cor. 5:2-4).
Life is But a Dream
Many of us have felt we were living in some kind of weird "dream" throughout our lives. Perhaps we shouldn't call it a form of "disassociation." Maybe we are just feeling what is reality - that things are not as "real" as they should be and that our lives consist of something like C.S. Lewis' "Shadowlands."
Fill your Mind with His Thoughts
In this sense your faith is probably "genuine." Only God can disclose the motives of our hearts as He suggests in 1 Corinthians 4:5. I can't do that. But, I suspect your faith is probably as "real" as you can receive and perceive at this point in time. The Lord loves us even in our weaknesses and knows that we are frail beings, just "dust" or a "vapor" (James 4:14, Psalm 103:14).
Reset our Mindset
Remember to replace your thoughts with God's thoughts on a daily basis. We do this by "reprogramming" and "renewing" our minds through the study and memorization of Scripture. (See Romans 12:2).
Be sure to gather together with other believers in church weekly. This is also how we "reset" our minds with the truth. Don't forsake "our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another…as you see the day drawing near" (Heb. 10:25). Attending a good home bible-study is an effective way to connect with others, too.
These are ways to reset our mindset.
None of our deadened feelings or sense of unreality will be completely overcome in a sin-destroyed universe. But, we can learn the truth - that we are living just shadows and copies of a glorious world to come. We can believe Jesus when He said, "My kingdom is not of this realm" or "world" (John 18:36).
Perhaps Yeshua meant this reference to "another world" in a more literal way than we know or imagine.
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