Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Today we remember the deaths of thousands of Americans. None of them expected to die on December 7, 1941.
My dear, sweet Ohio Sister-in-Law knew her time on this earth was short. Lisa, when her leukemia returned after the first rounds of chemo, also knew. Where do the rest of us stand? On sands of time, running out.
Oh, we don’t want to think about it, do we. How many of us have taken time to have a will written, to see to our earthly possessions? I remember having ours written when our children were young, to be certain they would be raised with the Christian conviction we felt were important. As you can tell, it was never used, but we did make plans, preparations, in case it became necessary.
There are other preparations that some people put off, even when they understand that our time in this world is without guarantees, and that the inevitable awaits each and every person.
Only Christians who believe in what is termed ‘rapture’, the removal of Christ’s church before the tribulations described in Revelation, have a hope of missing physical death. That particular hope should be fleeting, for Jesus said:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36 KJV)
The true hope of a Christian is built on much, much more – Christ’s resurrection. Paul was a Pharisee who believed in an eternal soul. Sadducees of his time, did not. For them, life ended in death. Christ spoke time and again of eternal life:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:15 KJV)
How is that eternal life achieved:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
Perhaps it’s not as simple as knowing God exists, that Jesus walked this earth and preached:
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19 KJV)
I know people, some I love dearly, who have heard the gospel message and have put off making a decision regarding how they will respond. Which, in and of itself, is a response – they are ignoring Him.
My concern is they will continue in ignorance, in that state of ignoring Him, until the decision is no longer theirs to make. Thus my question:
How much time remains for each of us to respond to the jailer’s question and Paul’s answer:
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30-31 KJV)