That Jesus came into this world is biblically SIGNIFICANT but why He came into this world is paramount to our Christian faith.
Man – as the Bible reveals – does not have a choice as to when he is born or when he dies (yes, even death). That’s because our Sovereign God wants us to see that one’s physical birth and death are but shadows of true (spiritual) life and death. It is this life and death that He wants us to choose by faith in Christ.
In this wonderful country of ours, that allows all Americans freedom of religion, some people believe the Bible was written by inspired men. They believe it describes a God who created man, the earth and the entire universe. They also believe it contains God’s plan of redemption, from the Old Testament through the New Testament culminating with Christ’s death on the cross. In God’s plan, Jesus lives a sinless life and was sacrificed so we can have forgiveness of sins. The New Testament also describes the establishment of the Lord’s church, and the spread of the gospel throughout the known world. We believe the New Testament reveals that men will be judged and will either go into heaven to be with the Lord or suffer in hell with the devil and his angels.
There are other people who choose not to believe in God. They refuse to believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and that when we die there is no life after death. There are still other people that believe in parts of the Bible. They believe there is a God and some of the Bible is inspired by Him, but some of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, was written by uninspired men and is mostly composed of myths and fables.
Now let’s consider the above scenarios. I believe with all my heart the Bible is from God and that we will be judged for the way we live. But for this discussion, let’s say there is no Heaven or Hell, when we die, all ends. Those individuals that followed the Bible lived a wonderful stress free life. They did not cheat on their spouses; therefore they were not eaten up with guilt, always afraid of being caught by their mate. They did not cheat on their income tax; therefore, they are not afraid of an IRS audit which would catch them. Because of their spiritual training before they married, they do not commit sexual sins that might lead to a pregnancy or contracted some type of sexually transmitted disease. If they get sick or become incapacitated in any way, their brothers and sisters in Christ will take care of them. When they lose a loved one, their brothers and sisters in Christ will be there to comfort them, prepare food for their family and many other acts of kindness. There are many more reasons I could give why being a faithful Christian results in a wonderful life on the earth.
Now for all those that reject God and his Bible nor accept God as our Creator but reject parts of his Holy Scriptures, would their life be as happy as the individuals described in the above paragraph? I have personally known some that I worked with that rejected God and his teaching. They decided to enjoy the worldly life style. They wanted to have a good old time doing what they wanted to do. Some were having affairs, always lying to there mate, always worrying about getting caught. I have known others addicted to drugs and alcohol that lost their family and jobs. They were mental wrecks. I have known others addicted to the internet and all the things it had to offer, i.e., pornography and other impure things. They would spend hours on the computer filling their mind with filth and garbage found there. How could anybody be happy with this life style?
Now let us fast forward to the end of time, and we find out there is a God, there is a judgment day when all people will be judged for the way they lived. We find out there is a Heaven and a Hell. What happens to those that loved the Lord and lived their lives as His children? We read in Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are those who do my commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and enter through the gate to the city.” Also in Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe away every tear from your eyes there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
This is what happens to those individuals that reject all or part of God’s Holy Scriptures, and lived a life contrary to the scriptures. We read in Luke 13:27-28, “He will say I tell you, I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from me all you workers of iniquity. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the other prophets in the kingdom of God and yourself thrust out.”
Also, in Revelation 21:7-8, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But the cowardly, unbelievers, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstones, which is the second death.”
What if you make the wrong choice???
Let us make a deal. You read this short article concerning the reality of life and how we look at it and accept it. If it does not create some thoughts as to how we view our lives while on earth, then my time writing this would not have accomplished what I would have liked. On the other hand, if these few thoughts will cause even one person to look at the events in their lives and consider what the point of this article is, then I would have accomplished my intended purpose.
We prepare and train for important contests; it does not matter the type. We push ourselves; we sweat and suffer through rigorous daily routine preparing ourselves to meet our or someone else’s goals. How much effort and energy do we put into training and preparing for jobs and careers. Don’t we think ahead and make plans for our children and their future education?
Do we ever plan for a vacation? Wow, the thought and planning that proceed this coming event. Just think of the time and effort that goes into making sure the event goes well and is well remembered by all those involved. When it’s over, it’s back to the regular and normal life after having enjoyed that for which we made so much preparation.
May I redirect your thinking with this question. Is there a place that you and I will be going to and never return? You have heard this statement sometimes in your past: “From the cradle to the grave.” This is certainly a true statement concerning man’s existence on this earth. It is an accepted truth that we are not immortal; we don’t live forever in this earthly body. Simple evidence: look at the records of our relatives or, more simply, look around and see the evidence of natural aging up to the point of one passing from this life and not being here on this earth anymore.
By observation and plain understanding, we see there is a place we are going and will not return. Shouldn’t we make plans and prepare for this last trip before our existence here on this earth ends.
Let’s see what the Scriptures say in Hebrews 9:27, “And it is appointed for man to die once but after this the judgment” (NKJV). In Revelation 20:12, “And I saw the dead small and great before God and the books were opened and another book was opened which is the book of life and the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books”(NKJV). Certainly the question arises, how does my name get into the book of life? The context of the verse is those who labor and work in the Gospel are there.
Is this not a reasonable conclusion that we prepare and make plans for trips in this life but neglect to make plans and prepare for the journey that we will not return from? These Biblical instructions are for our thinking and consideration. May God give us ample opportunity to consider these most important matters as we live.
My wife Linda and I were sitting by my ninety-five year old aunt’s bed. She had suffered a heart attack several days ago. Her condition had worsened over the past few hours; she was struggling to breathe as her lungs were slowly filling up with fluid because of her failing heart. I was thinking to myself how long she had lived. She was born in December 1913, and what amazing things she had witnessed in her life. Going from horse and buggy to regular space flights. Then I remember James 4:14 Which says “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even as a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanisheth away.” This verse made me realize that ninety five years is actually a very short time when compared to eternity. I thought about my aunt and uncle’s lives, and felt good. You may question how anybody could feel good when you are watching someone slowly die. The reason for my happy feeling was that I knew that my aunt had obeyed the gospel at a very young age, and served the Lord her entire life. A few days before her heart attack she told some one that she was ready to go home, I knew exactly what she meant. She was not talking about going back to the house that she and my uncle lived in; she was talking about going home to be with the Lord.
Aunt Claire and her husband, Uncle Ed, who passed away 5 years ago, had been married 63 years. They both had made a decision to serve the Lord all the days of their life. They kept this vow. Although she never said how much she missed my uncle, because of her failing mind, I know she missed him very much. They never were blessed with children; they only had each other and their Christian family.
Linda and I decided it was getting late. We would go home and return to her bedside tomorrow. We left our loved one with the very caring Hospice nurse. Early the next morning I receive a phone call from the facility that my Aunt had passed away. Linda and I did not shed many tears because we knew that she had departed from her old worn out 95 year old body. She was now living peaceful in Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22).
I would like to think of another scenario. Suppose my aunt decided at a very young age to do what many other young people do, she would reject Jesus and enjoy the things the world had to offer. Suppose she spent her entire life searching for the pleasures the world had to offer her. She let the devil control and direct her life. She never wasted her valuable Sundays worshiping the Lord God. She enjoyed sleeping in, and having a late breakfast, and going to do the fun things the world had to offer. How would one feel sitting by the death bed of that aunt. You would have to remember what is said in Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say unto them on the left depart from me, ye cursed unto everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” When one puts the pleasures of the world ahead of our service to the Lord, we will receive this judgment. On the other hand if we, like my aunt, serve the Lord as he would have us, Matthew 25:34 would apply: “Then shall the King say unto them on the right hand; Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the earth.”
I urge every one to think very seriously about what path you have chosen in your life. Have you chosen to serve the Lord or have you chosen to enjoy the pleasures of this earth for a season. When you stand before the Lord on the judgment day, and you will because we see in Romans 14:10-11, “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
Where will you spend eternity??
I read something this morning that made me think. In order for me to live, something else must die. I’m supposed to meet a friend for lunch today. I know I’m going to have some chicken. Where did that chicken come from? Not a Star Trek food replicator. That chicken was born, lived and then died so I could live. Before PETA has a cow, even if I go vegetarian, something has to die for me to live. We don’t eat inanimate things. No one eats rocks, plastic or metal. We eat living things, even if its fruits and vegetables. If I’m going to live, something must die.
I should, perhaps, not let those things die lightly. I should, perhaps, have a great respect for what God has done in this creation. When the cow, pig, chicken, fish, or lamb dies I should have some respect for that. It is not an easy thing for me to live.
However, these in a small, physical way simply call to mind the great spiritual truth. For me to live, someone had to die. The wages of my sins is death (Romans 6:23). The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). This was why God established sacrifices. Death was required. Since life is in the blood, the sacrifice took the place of the sacrificer’s death (cf. Leviticus 17:11). For the Jews, in a real sense, life was sustained by death. If God had not allowed them to kill animals as sacrifice, He would have judged and destroyed them.
Yet, we press on to the even deeper spiritual truth. We seek eternal life, spiritual life. For me to live, someone had to die. That someone was Jesus. Jesus died for us, so we could live and not die (II Corinthians 5:14-15).
Perhaps it doesn’t matter if I respect the circle of life and all that dies to sustain my life on a daily basis. However, I had better respect the life Jesus gave so I could live and not die. Living isn’t free. It cost someone something. Jesus paid that cost.
Thank You, Lord!
I dreamed I was missing;
You were so scared.
But no one would listen,
‘Cause no on else cared.
After my dreaming,
I woke with this fear;
What am I leaving
When I’m done here?
So if you’re asking me I want you to know
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done,
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed.
Don’t resent me
When you’re feeling empty.
Keep me in your memory.
Leave out all the rest.
“Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed.” What a powerful desire. Do you feel that desire? Do you hope when you’re gone folks will remember you with longing? Do you hope they’ll miss you? I don’t even really have to ask that question. I’m sure you do.
When I hear this, I can’t help but think of Tabitha in Acts 9:36-42. In Acts 7:60, Stephen, an evangelist and deacon, was stoned to death. The disciples mourned and buried him. In Acts 12:2, the apostle James is killed with the sword. I presume the disciples mourned and buried him as well. On the other hand, in Joppa, Tabitha died and the disciples mourn and send for Peter saying, “Something has to be done about this. Bring her back.”
Apostles die. Nothing. Evangelists die. Nothing. Deacons died. Nothing. Tabitha dies. We need to change the laws of nature. Tabitha was missed. But why? Had she proclaimed the gospel with such eloquence they couldn’t live without her teaching? Was she a leader among women that they felt lost without her? Did she vacate an office in the congregation for which they had no successor? No. None of these. She was a simple servant. The widows gathered around Peter to show the tunics and other garments she had made for them.
What is most amazing is the people didn’t just ask for her resurrection, God granted it. God saw the need for Tabitha as well.
Do you want reasons to be missed when you’re gone? Don’t strive to be a leader of men. Don’t strive to be an excellent orator. Don’t strive to be the pre-eminent spiritual mind in the congregation. Strive to serve. As Tabitha did, do what you can when you can for whomever you can. Don’t wait for the elders to start a program. Just serve.
As I was returning home not long ago I passed several horses in a field. Even though the temperature was in the high 40’s, the horses had blankets covering them that were made especially for that purpose. Some one added this protection anticipating a change in the weather. The horses were certainly given natural protection against the elements. They did not need any additional covering considering the circumstances as they were, but man made the changes as he saw need. These changes were well within the judgement of the owners and showed concern and preparation for the horses.
We have been blessed with good weather in our area. Allowing us to go about our daily activities and enjoy life as we have been given it. Recently as we watched the local weather forecast the weatherman said, “Folks, our nice weather is coming to an end. There is a cold front dropping down from Canada bringing with it extremely cold temperatures and will effect our area for the next 3 or 4 days.” His advice, check the heating system, the antifreeze in the cars and the animals that stay outside. This advice from the weatherman will be well received and acted upon as preparation for our physical well being.
Man is to be commended for his ability to make preparation for his own family’s comfort as these changes occur. He will adapt and adjust to living conditions that will assure his survival and prosperity if at all possible. This is one of the amazing things about man. He is able to think and make provisions for his family’s comfort.
May I direct your thinking to the change that will effect all mankind at sometime in their life. In Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV), the Scriptures states, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement.” Yes this change is coming. No one will escape this event.
We are surrounded each day with the physical things in life. This is what we use to understand our worldly existence, the pain, sorrow, work, sweat and tears and the joy of accomplishing something positive. When death comes, we will begin a different existence. This is something we cannot relate to with our physical comparison. We must seek another source of information. That source is the Bible. Each one of us is able to read what it says about this change.
Yes, man is a clever creature. God has given us the ability to think and make life on earth as comfortable as we can. Our ancestors are gone from this life, one day we too will be gone. So, what is the conclusion? Man that is created by God will face a change. Do we face this change based on our knowledge of our physical world or on our confidence of our worldly accomplishments?
The Bible states in Romans 3:23 (NKJV), “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” Therefore we need something as a guide, God and His Word, to help us when we sin and fall short of his will.
Consider John 14:6 (NKJV), “ I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Open your Bibles, read and study what it says concerning this change in your life.