2007-04-19 - Two Exits
Heb 9:27-28 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (NASB)
A few days ago in Blacksburg, Virgina, 33 souls entered eternity rather suddenly. They have been described as bright, vibrant young people. I'm sure that none of them could have imagined that morning they would leave this life forever and step into eternity. How many of them were ready? How many of them had been asked to think about this inevitable future? It probably seemed so distant, that it was not a priority.
The husband of a dear friend of mine was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. After surgery it was confirmed that the cancer had spread to his liver. The doctor gave him between three and 12 months to live. I don't know him well, so I am not sure he is ready either. Will he be ready? He has a little time to consider eternity staring him in the face. The priority is built in. He is going to fight, and I'm so glad to hear that he is not just giving up. But, even if he beats this cancer, and he has my prayers in his battle, something will eventually pull each of us through the veil of death into a life we can only begin to understand. I will make time to talk with him this week.
There are two eternities - two exits if you will. One with God in Heaven forever. The other is eternal separation from the presence and the love of God. One is unimaginably amazing, the other is unthinkably terrible.
We who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord have an obligation to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us about our faith and what wait for us after this life. We have the greatest news anyone could ever receive. The world system struggles viciously at times against us, refusing to accept that they are not "good enough". Only perfect is good enough, and none of us is perfect - except Jesus Christ who came, lived a perfect, sinless life and died - in our place - so that we could live with Him in eternity if we will only humble ourselves and ask.
Consider, the work is already done by Jesus on the cross. He died to cancel the power of sin. He rose again defeating death and open the door for us to Heaven. If we will accept his free give - His perfect life in exchange for our imperfect life, and Him as Lord - knowing that He has our best interests at heart. We were created by Him to "have fellowship", to enjoy each other's company.
Consider this - today, now.
None of us knows if we will be here in the next five minutes, or we will live to be 110 years old. We have no promises other than the fact that we will die. We are not given even a rough estimate, but the event is certain. If we must walk through that door someday, doesn't it make sense to be prepared?
Lord Jesus - I am not perfect. I have not always followed your rules, and I am sorry. But I trust You now completely to take away my sins, my imperfections, and give me Your perfect, eternal life so that I can live with you forever. I will do my very best to follow You. Thank you.
If you can ask this with a sincere heart, please do it now. Find a local church to learn more. Maybe a friend has invited you before to come visit with them. Please don't put it off. We have no way of knowing if we will leave this life very suddenly, or if we might get a little warning that the days are short. Questions are welcome.