Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stepping Into Eternity

Sometimes, it comes with advance warning. But it can happen in a moment's notice. At any age. Tonight, when your head hits the pillow, please give this some thought: if you were to die tonight - if your time is up - what would happen to you? Where would you go?

At the time I write this, few people actually read this blog. But who knows who'll stumble across this little chunk of cyberspace. I don't know what you believe. Maybe you believe in a Creator who created all things, or maybe you don't.

I want to talk for a minute to those who don't. Consider this: if you're right, then when you step into eternity, there is nothing. You're buried in the ground and that is it. So am I. No matter what I believe, right?

But what if you're wrong and I'm right, and there is a God who created the Heaven and the Earth and you and me. And He will judge us one day by His perfect standard. We all get the same test. It's open book, too. Hitler took the test. So did Mother Theresa. So are you, and so am I.

Maybe Hitler gets a zero. Maybe Mother Theresa gets a 95 (I doubt it, but maybe) on the test. Maybe you get, let's say, a 75. And I get a 5. F. Guess I'm grounded.

But this isn't High School. The score to pass the test? 100. Even Mother Theresa fell short. Ever lied? Stolen? Lusted? Hated someone? Used God's name instead of a four letter filth word to express disgust? You wouldn't use the name of your worst enemy as a curse word, but you've used the name of the One who gave you life, breath, loved ones, chocolate, beautiful sunsets, and so much more?

If you don't get 100, you fail the test. God is perfect, and you must be perfect. But God is rich in mercy, too. He must punish the wrong things you have done, but He offers a way out. He paid the fine Himself 2000 years ago by coming to this Earth and dying on a wooden cross to take the punishment for your sin upon Himself.

After doing that for you - offering Himself as a free gift - why should He forgive you if you call Him a liar and say that never happened? Worse yet, if you deny His existence despite the evidence that is cearly seen throughout the order of creation all around you?

You and I are without excuse. When you look at a building, you know that someone built it. It didn't just appear by accident. You look at a painting, and you don't say, "WOW! What a coincidence! Isn't it neat how those paints just happened to fall on the canvas in such a beautifully ordered way?" How much more rediculous is it to look around you and insist that this world, and you, are just a cosmic accident?

All I'm asking you to do is to think about it.

This week, my grandfather took his final breath and stepped into eternity. I may live another hundred years. I may not live to see tomorrow. But one thing I know is this: I am a wretched, filthy sinner who deserves Hell. But God loved me so much, that He stepped into my courtroom. There I stood, guilty as sin. And He stepped into my courtroom and paid my fine with His life's blood. I'm free to go, because my trust is in Him.

What are you trusting in? Church? Good deeds that can't eliminate the crimes you've done?

Here's a riddle:

If I attend church on Sunday, murder on Monday, help 5 old ladies across the street on Tuesday, volunteer at a homeless shelter on Wednesday, and go to trial on Thursday, what will happen to me?

If justice is served, I will be found guilty of murder and be punished. How many murders make you a murderer? One. How many lies make you a liar? If you're anything like me, you're guilty of many, many lies over your lifetime.

Please, I beg you: flee whatever you're trusting in and cling to the Savior. He died for you. Place your trust in Him. He'll forgive every sin you've ever committed, and grant you everlasting life. He'll give you a new heart with new desires to please Him and truly love others. He'll give you love, joy, peace, and so much more.

But if you won't do that tonight, at least think about this. Give it some serious thought. If you're right, we're in the same boat. If I'm right, you and I are in big trouble unless we place our trust in Jesus and surrender to Him. Won't you consider this tonight, before your head hits the pillow? Every day, thousands of people step into eternity. Young people and old people. Healthy people and sick people. And then it's Heaven or it's Hell, for all eternity. Please think about it.

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