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Death & the Proof of Your Untimely Demise

Uh oh, maybe titling a post in such a way was a bad idea, maybe not.  The ultimate statistic in life is that 10 out of 10 people will die!  Sadly, it’s one of the most predictable stats, yet for many people one of the least cared about facts of life.grave 1

We don’t know our expiration date.  Sure would be nice, then I could be sure to get all my housework done beforehand.  Or maybe I could be sure to finish off my bucket list in the nick of time.  So, why do we often seem to brush off the idea that we will die and replace it with the notion that we have lots of time left?  Do we think it’s too morbid to consider our own death?  I think it’s quite the opposite.  We need to be aware and we need to be ready.

No matter your spiritual beliefs or thoughts on the afterlife, or lack thereof, something will happen upon our time of death.  From the Christian perspective it’s very clear, but I wonder how many Christian’s are confused about death?  The Bible (God’s word) clearly proclaims that “the wages of sin is death” and “all liars will have their part in the lake of fire” and Jesus told a man “you will be with me in paradise”.  How do we reconcile these thoughts?

First, we must understand sin.  Sin isn’t exclusive to convicts in jail, child molesters and plain old “mean people”.  Sin is a part of everyone’s daily life.  Yes, everyone.  Think of the basic moral laws summed up in the Ten Commandments.  Do you know those laws?  Don’t steal (no matter the value), lie (a lie is a lie), murder (hate), take God’s name in vain (GD), covet (be overly jealous), commit adultery (lust), you know some of these, right?  Well, God is so holy that we cannot be in his presence even if we have broken one commandment one time.  Whoops.

grave 2So, how do we deal with this fact?  Personally, swimming in a lake of fire sounds pretty hot.  I’ve lied too many times in my past.  Now, what’s to be done?  Ah, here’s where your Christian training comes into play.  This Jesus thing, right?  Jesus took our punishment so that we CAN be with God.  We just need to humble ourselves and place our faith and trust in Jesus as the Lord (leader) of our lives.  Once we are baptized into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are “new” people with “new” desires.  To some this all seems foreign and confusing, but in actuality it’s quite simple.

In the end, we all die.  Do we plan to enter the afterlife standing on our own grave or on the empty tomb of Jesus?  Die hoping our own lives will merit some inclusion in “heaven” or die knowing Jesus has already prepared a place for us in heaven?

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Not His way…

Drink wine, not grape juice!  Okay, that has nothing to do with this post…  Here we go…It is repeated in various ways in the Bible that “God’s ways are not our ways”, “We cannot know the mind of God”.  These are paraphrases, of course, but a reading in John made me think of these verses.  In John 2 Jesus turns water into wine; His first miracle.  The master of the banquet then makes a poignient statement.  He says to the bridegroom something like this, “Normally, people serve the best wine first, then the cheap wine after guests have had too much to drink, but you serve the best wine last!”.  I see this as an example of one doing something in a different way, in a way that makes people not understand, much like the paraphrased verses at the top of this post.  I had never read into this story that it just might be an analogy of how we tend to expect the best first, only to be disappointed later (like at a car dealership, or at Sam’s Club upon seeing “just the perfect thing to buy”, then getting home and it’s not all it was cracked up to be).  In this story, it’s the opposite, everyone expected the bad wine, and now they had the BEST of all.  I see our lives on earth as the so-so wine with an expectation that as we get older things might not be as “good” as they were when we were 20 and had no arthritis.  We don’t have the expectation to be rid of aches and pains as we get older unless we are in the extremely minority.  Then, of course, we die.  This story represents the opposite, it represents the BEST coming later, and as Christians we know this is heaven.  God brings out the BEST wine last, for us, for those who believe.  Not what we may have expected, but definitely true!

In Christ,

Jeff