Now Is the Time For Eternity

There’s really nothing more important than salvation and our eternal destiny. If we really stop and think about it, it’s horrifying to picture someone cut off from God forever, lost and suffering in hell. It’s almost too awful even to imagine it—the thought of eternal suffering with no end in sight.

As humans, we cannot fathom eternity. Even if we live a long life by human standards, most of us would be fortunate to see a century of life on this earth. This length of time in no way compares to eternity. We have no experience that can give us an inkling of what that is like.

But when I begin to think about eternity, I don’t want anyone to suffer for that duration. And I don’t believe God wants that either.

That’s why He sent Jesus, his Son, to be our Savior. He made a way for us, His creation, so that we might live with Him forever. He did that because He loves us, even though we are imperfect sinners.

We don’t really deserve God’s mercy and love, because of all the wrong things we do each day. Yet, he loves us anyway, despite our flaws. 

Because of Jesus’ human birth, death, and resurrection, we have access to God’s saving grace. Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins once and for all when he was crucified mercilessly on the cross 2000 years ago. 

If you’ve never accepted this grace, then now is the perfect time to do so. All you have to do is believe that Jesus is Lord over all and came in the flesh, invite Him into your heart as your Savior, repent of your sins, and ask Him to help you live a sin-free life.

Then, find a Bible-believing church to become a part of and get baptized as a sign of your renewed life. It will be the best decision of your life. You’ll then be a believer in Christ and can rest easy at night knowing that your eternal destiny is sealed.

Becoming a Christian won’t make all your trials and challenges magically disappear, as many times in the Bible we’re told that we’re likely to suffer for the sake of Jesus if we’re his disciples. 

But you’ll have the reassurance that God is with you every step of the way, through the good times and the bad.

I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Heb.13:5b

What could be better than that?

With God on our side, life can be a wonderful adventure each day, no matter what we’re faced with.

So, go ahead, make the decision to let Jesus be Lord of your life. There’s no better time to do it than now.

Thinking about Genesis…

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As I sat in the Easter service this past Sunday contemplating the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, I had a thought. What if God gave us the creation account as the first story in the Bible so as to set the bar for the entire rest of His narrative? It makes sense to me.

If we know nothing about the Bible and the first thing we do is pick it up and start reading at the beginning with Genesis — BAM! it hits us right in the face.

You mean God created the whole universe from nothing? He just spoke it — and the world was formed?

The Genesis account is no doubt difficult for human minds to grasp, especially our western, educated, logical minds.

However, if we can wrap our heads around what the Bible tells us regarding the world’s creation, or even just suspend trying to understand it at all and just accept it on faith, then we allow ourselves the possibility to believe the rest of the miracles in the Bible.

Surely, if we accept that an eternal, timeless God created the world from nothing just by speaking what He wanted, then surely we can go on to believe that He can part the Red Sea and allow His people to escape to freedom.

Surely if we we’re OK with the fact that God created the first woman from a rib taken from the first man, the we can accept something small such as His son turning water into wine.

Healing leprosy? That’s nothing compared to populating the entire animal kingdom at will and then saving it by sending a male and female of each kind to seek refuge from a worldwide flood aboard a huge ark that, incidentally, took 120 years to build.

Of course, there is no way to prove my theory, but maybe if God has a Q&A session in Heaven, I’ll get an answer.

 

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Jesus is Just Alright, or Which Came First — The Easter Bunny or The Black List?

undercoveragentAt the very end of “The Black List” recently, Liz lays her head on Red’s shoulder. Acting as a father figure, he holds her and gently places a kiss on the back of her head. She cries from the unimaginable facts she has recently discovered about her husband.

Red has just completed building a music box for her. It plays the same song as the one her father gave her when she was a little girl. Liz realizes that just as her father played it for her when she needed someone there for her, Red has made it so that it would be ready for her when she finally reaches the point where she would have to face the facts about her husband.

It was touching. At that moment she was completely cared for, completely protected. Red knew what Liz needed and he had prepared for it in anticipation of what was to happen.

Out of nowhere I realized that is exactly what I wanted:  to be a little boy again, held in the arms of my mother when all the world seemed against me. When all I wanted to do was ball my eyes out, she would hold me, stroke my hair, and tell me everything was going to be OK. I didn’t have to be strong at that moment. She was. My father was. They provided for me and protected me. It was a strong, solid safety net — one that kept me from certain tragedy (or so it seemed to my young mind).

I’m beginning to see how God is that safety net for us, His children. I’ve known for a long time that He wants to be our Comforter, our Protector, but it’s taken me an even longer time to turn that head knowledge into heart knowledge — to accept the fact that He really is there, no matter what. He longs to have us rest in Him: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

I recently heard Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, teaching on Jesus’ ascension. One of the verses he references is John 10:17. Here, Mary Magdalene has just discovered that Jesus has risen from the dead. He says to Mary, “‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

As Keller explains, Jesus tells Mary not to hold on to Him, that He must go. The ascension was a good thing, because only by ascending is Jesus able to sit in His place of honor, at the right hand of the Father. After His resurrection, but before His ascension, he walks the earth just as any ordinary man might do. By ascending to Heaven, however, He is able to assume the role He was always intended to hold.

Because Jesus is in His seat of power at the right hand of the the Father, He watches over us continually, interceding for us, no matter what.

Certainly, Jesus had power when He was in human form. After all, He was still King of Kings. However, all the final pieces fell into place when He assumed His intended role.

It’s been a difficult journey for me, trying to grasp how much God truly loves His children. Even though the analogies we might make through stories like the ones on “The Black List” can spur us toward thinking about God’s vast love for us, these comparisons can never begin to illustrate all that He has in store for us. “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

My belief is that we’ll never really under God’s immense love this side of Heaven. We simply have to trust in Jesus, patiently waiting until we’re able to worship Him in person and experience His full glory.

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