Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is It True?

        Our friend, Lucille, died yesterday. She KNOWS if it’s true, or not.
        You and I are still here, and we don’t know what Lucille knows.
        What happens at death? Where did this vivacious woman go? Her worn out body is left behind, but she is not here.

        Some years ago she heard the Gospel and surrendered her life to God, believing that Jesus was her Savior.
        Either Lucille has entered into the awesome presence of Almighty God, or she is gone, extinguished like a candle, never to shine again.
What do we know?
        Throughout the ages people have struggled with the profound finality of death. What really happens? Does the spirit live on?
        We believe that there is a Holy God in Heaven who communicated to us by His design of creation, and by His story written in the starry constellations, and then by the hand of inspired men who wrote what they saw and heard.
        What about the other “great religions” of the world? Solemnly consider, can there be gods in every bush and tree and cow? Did God create the universe just so we could enter a nirvana’s nothingness? Could we become gods? Could Jesus be a “great teacher” and also a liar? Would God contradict Himself? Would He lie?
        Can we just wait and see? No. All logic now compels us to examine the question and the evidence so that our minds are settled. If you and I are honest we will admit that we long to know the truth.
Why don’t we think about it?
        We don’t think about these important things because we’ve allowed every-day trivia to consume our time and energy. Now is the time to settle the question. Later might be too late.
 What’s the crux of the matter?
        The issue is simply this: if there is one Holy God who made everything, then He is great enough and wise enough to communicate with humans. If He IS, then we must find out and do what He says. He made the laws of gravity, cause and effect, and how we are to live now to please Him. Heaven is His. To displease Him is to risk losing our only opportunity to live with Him later.
        By setting ourselves up as the sole arbitrator of life we do not need to bow the knee to anyone. We can imagine and dream and play to our hearts’ content. That is, until we die.
Why do we shy away from truth?
        God is holy, magnificent and majestic in His power and authority. He created us in His likeness, so why do we seek excuses to live in sin? Our lukewarm attitude towards Him is counted as rebellion.
        If we sincerely considered God then we’d want to worship Him. If we seriously believed what He said we would want to love Him.
        The Bible tells us that God tolerates no sin because He is holy. We can never be good enough to earn our way. Why would God have sent Jesus to die on the cross to redeem mankind if there was any other way?
        In humble repentance a person can pray and ask God for forgiveness, for salvation. Then that person must live for God by the power that God alone supplies. Why would God give His Holy Spirit to indwell the hearts of believers if there was any other way?
Won’t it just be automatic?
        Some have suggested that God is so loving He will automatically accept us into His eternal glory. To believe this is to reject God’s Word, and His Son Jesus, and His Holy Spirit.
What does the Bible say?
        “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.
        Did you see that word "perish"?  What kind of punishment does that entail?  Why wait to find out? Why reject love and embrace rebellion?
        Does the soul sleep? To be asleep is to be oblivious to the passing of time. “Time” with God is not limited to our earthly 24-hour days. The saved dead are already in the presence of God, their bodies to be raised at the Rapture. See 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.
It is, or it isn’t.
        Dying is not optional. What happens to the “real us” is going to happen one of these days. We can’t rely on out-of-body experiences that others relate. Our eternal destination hinges on what we believe to be true.
        So, ask yourself, “Is it true?” and get ready to stake your life on it.
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by Elaine Hardt ©2000