By Neil Anderson
3 John 2
That is some huge question – and one a lot of us really don’t want to think about – Some skeptics, agnostics and of coarse ‘true’ atheists would tell themselves and us that no such thing is possible.
I wonder though that at times especially as they get older if they let their minds wander to to the vaguest possibility of ‘just maybe?’
Christianity is the only faith that can give its followers absolute and sure confidence of this amazing promise – A promise?
Yes. Awesome when you think of it – a promise of eternal life – given through one man – the perfect Son of God – the God/Man Jesus – the only sinless person who has ever walked on the earth.
If you take a moment to look at the beauty around our world, the birds, the trees, flowers, anything you may name – the whole universe in fact the stars and planets – everything literally cries out to us of the Creator – it couldn’t possibly have just happened – the intricacies of the human skin, the bold colours of the tiger, the amazing fur covered polar bears – the awesomeness of a great and mighty Creator becomes undeniable.
It says in Psalm 111.10 and also on Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
So should we rightly fear the God of Creation? The sheer magnitude of His holiness is in itself overwhelming.
He is often represented as a kind old roly-poly wizard of Oz in the sky, granting wishes to good boys and girls – smiling condescendingly at our mistakes and patting us on the Head saying is is OK, run away and be good.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The God of creation, the uncreated Lord of the universe is rightly to be feared and revered – we can only possibly approach Him through one person – and one way only.
Every person, no matter who they are – rich or poor – black or white – all have sinned and fallen short of God’s yardstick – we can’t possibly save ourselves – it would be like trying to pull ourselves up by our boot laces – impossible!
We are doomed – destined to pay and pay heavily for our selfish lives – what we have done and how we have done it – we have ignored our God – put Him last in our lives – if we think of Him at all that is. Turned our back on Him completely and even mocked the God of creation, using His name in vain and dragging His righteousness in the mud.
Because our mighty yet loving God is so holy – so perfect – he can’t possibly even look on our sin-laden loves – so, on the face of it we ARE doomed – there appears no way out.
It says in Romans 6:23
The wages of sin is death!
Couldn’t get any plainer than that – but what a death! – It doesn’t bear even to think about it. As sure as there is a holy God in heaven there is also Satan or the devil waiting in the wings. The Bible calls him the ‘prince of darkness’ – and the ‘ruler of this world.’
He too has been made by the world to look foolish and innocent – a figment of our imagination. dressed all in red with horns and a pitchfork when in fact he can appear to be our best friend telling you that all is well – do this – do that – don’t believe what God says, enjoy this time – there is nothing after death. he is also the king of liars.
1 Peter 5:8 tell us to:-
Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Again, you couldn’t hear plainer words than that – the more we ignore and despise our Creator God, the more we play into the hands of Satan and the more we get hooked into our sin selves and the more ‘comfortable’ we appear to get with our little self centred and unholy lives.
So it appears we are doomed BUT…
Because God is so awesome, loving and yes – JUST – he knows that all sin has to be paid for and we cannot escape the punishment of our sin-burdened lives. God cannot bear to even look at sin – so just how are we, in the state we are in, possibly come to God?
There is just one way and that way is through the sinless Jesus – He actually came to earth for that very reason – born in misery and poverty – brought up in a rough carpenters workshop – ordained by His heavenly Father – and died to take away the sins of the world.
In 2 Timothy 1 v 6-12 when Paul was writing to Timothy, we read:-
He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
Paul was utterly convinced of the saving power of Jesus – we can be as well if we only trust Him to do what he has promised and that is to wash our sins away and make us acceptable to God.
In other words, God has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and now when he looks at us – God doesn’t see our sin-soaked lives. He sees us through the sacrifice of Jesus and we can be holy and righteous and acceptable to Him.
Amazing and awesome is our God, so just, so merciful and so loving. And yet the alternative is also very clear – if we reject Christ’s offer of salvation, then we can be justly terrified to meet such an awesome God.
Our sin WILL be punished sooner or later – we have two alternatives – we can accept Jesus’ offer to take our sin away for us and be put right with God or we can reject the offer, scoff at Christ, turn away and eventually pay the price – The choice is ours to decide which way we are going to go.
Jesus is willing and ready to accept our sin for us – in fact He already has – all we have to do is to trust Him and by faith accept this amazing gift.
I have heard some say – but I am free – I can do anything I want – I can go anywhere I choose – I can watch anything I want to. All that is so true, sad but true, all these so-called earthly pleasures we are bombarded with constantly aren’t really pleasures at all – where do they ultimately leave us? – just wanting more and more – it never ends – never satisfied – always craving for something else to make us ‘happy’ and fill the void in our lives.
We can become addicted, depressed, frustrated, angry, jealous – the list goes on – all because we are never really satisfied with the lives we are living – searching for a happiness that is fleeting at best. Always wanting to achieve more, own more, give our family more – the search for happiness, security and satisfaction will never end unless it ends in Christ.
The only way we can be truly free, satisfied and actually happy – is in handing everything over to God – Give God all the Glory and he WILL give you all the help – He is just not interested in lip service – he wants our whole life.
So is there life after death?
I can certainly say a resounding YES! – Jesus came to this earth to make sure of it – His desire is that we all share with Him this astounding promise that “Where He is we will be there also”. But unfortunately it depends on us and the decision we will all have to make at some point in our lives.
Will you accept Jesus offer of eternal life?
For a few minutes I sat in silence shedding tears over the unknown and then started to feel some anxiety due to my concern and fear about a mammogram test I have to retake. I realize that I can’t just TALK the talk, I have to WALK it as well. I know God has me in His hands and I shouldn’t fret over anything.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
I believe He is allowing storms to come into my life to build me up. My character is developing more and more on a spiritual level. This I know. It’s just taking those storms head on and not giving way to my emotions for I should not let them rule over TRUTH. God’s Word is bond.
I stand on the promises for my life that He has already put in place for me. I refuse to let the enemy use a weakness I have to consume me. No matter what the outcome may be, I know God is with me. Thinking back to a Bible lesson my husband taught recently, the scripture verses apply to what I’m feeling and thinking at this very moment. Thank you Holy Spirit for bringing this back to my mind:
He was far removed from what most would have considered his prime. ’Feeble’ and ’out to pasture’ would be more likely descriptions of the aged old man. But he still clutched the promise.
He was a much younger man when he first heard the promise, but he’d listened to it repeated several times since then. There were times when he thought it impossible to retain his hope, but here he was, now nearly a hundred still clinging to the words given so long ago.
She was broken… How did her life come to this? Once, her world was so colorful, but now everything was black with tints of gray. She had heard the promise… but she could barely find the strength to remember it. It was far from her reach.
This is a superb post about the grace of God, His forgiveness extended to all. Nothing is big for our God to forgive. God’s promises are always true. To receive your dose of encouragement head on over to Resting in His Grace and read this insightful article.
You can read it here, Promise Rings… but not at Macy’s