Heavenly Incentives with Earthly Images I remembered reading "In Harm's Way", the story of the sinking of the Battle Cruiser Indianapolis in the last two weeks of World War Two, and the subsequent ordeal of drifting for four or five days in the ocean, mostly raftless, in some cases even without life-vests. By the time they were rescued only one-fourth of the crew was alive. Over 900 had died, either in the initial torpedo attack or due to the later ordeal of shark attacks, exposure, dehydration, succumbing to wounds, and other tragedies. When help finally came, many, amazingly, could not be coaxed onto the rescue crafts! They thought they were the enemy, that it was some kind of trick. So the rescuers had to do some quick thinking. They said that the sailors were being invited to an "ice cream party". They need to get in line for this. In other cases they used other incentives. This reminded me of the incentives that God uses when He speaks to us of heaven, He refers to a Supper, a Wedding, to receiving Crowns and Rewards. It seems to me that these are all incentives to those whom he has called, to associate earthly desires - the better kinds - with an essentially unspeakable heavenly reward. It is unspeakable because we have no frame of earthly reference. Perception and understanding, after all, are built largely from experience and observation. (Yes it is true that, as Christians, we have the mind of the Christ, the Spirit of Christ enlightening for us all the riches we have in the Savior. "We have the mind of Christ.") However, getting back to those earthly images: There are many who focus too specifically on those images used (crowns, supper and so on) and don't see the underlying truth. For instance there are some who speak of one type of crown versus the another, not seeing that all of these crowns (sic) are all just referring to our being glorified in Heaven. This mistake comes from overvaluing the "Golden Rule" of hermeneutics, imposing a literal grid over certain truths that are better taken spiritually. God uses these incentives because many are way too comfortable with the familiar sin-infested waters of this present age and don't realize the pressing need to change our thinking and all of our energies to our Heavenward calling. There are other ways that God changes our desires, of course, but this method used here seems to be one of them.