Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love Me or Leave Me

Last night Stephen and I and the kids were on our way home from a restaurant for dinner when, much to our horror, we drove past the body of a 45 year old woman laying dead in the middle of the road. Apparently she was trying to cross the road when a car struck her. She was supposedly killed instantly, though the car carried her for 100 feet (or maybe yards) before being struck by another car. It was not a pretty scene.

However, it got me thinking. I am not often mindful enough of the fact that such things could happen to any of us at any given moment. I take it for granted that I will see my friends and family again and they me. What a dangerous way to live, especially given my beliefs that all those who die without Jesus will spend eternity without Him. Of course, I believe that reality is in Hell, a word so many Christians these days hate to mention. However, if I truly believe that, then what the HECK am I doing being so silent about it. I should be frantically pleading with all I am worth to each and every person I know and love and even those I don't know to rescue them from such a reality.

As a result, I feel compelled to share my faith in my blog. I have often shared about my faith and how it plays itself out in my daily life, but not so much the saving foundation of it. I don't even think most Christians understand it enough to share it with others or explain why they believe what they believe, so here is my attempt to lay it all out on the line in a brief enough way that some might actually read it, understand it, and therefore be reflective on their own lives and the afterlife that is certain to follow.

If I were to ask you, I am certain you would say that you are basically a good person. Our good deeds outweigh the bad ones, and therefore God will surely let us into heaven for the decent and moral lives we have generally lead. However, when we really take an honest look at ourselves, we find a reality that is much different. Take the 10 commandments for example. These are just the most basic principles most people try to live by whether or not you are a Christian. Ask yourself the question, "Have I ever lied?" Well, of course. Certainly all of us have lied at some point. What does that make you? As painful as it is to admit, it makes us liars. What about stealing? Have you ever stolen anything, even something small? What does that make us? Certainly it makes us thieves. You may try to deny that stealing one thing in your life makes you a thief, but honestly, now. So some guy only raped a woman one time. Does that not make him, forevermore, a rapist regardless of the wonderful deeds he did with the rest of his life? What about coveting your neighbor's house, car, spouse, whatever? Surely we are all guilty of those things. Committing adultery, Jesus said, need only happen in our hearts if we look on another with lust, or if we hate someone we are also guilty of murder. So, now I think we if we are honest with ourselves we can say (based on the same reality that once a rapist, always a rapist) that we are liars, and thieves, murders and adulterers. . . Scary thought. Now, some day when you are standing before a righteous God, do you think you will go to heaven or hell? Remember I said, "righteous God". A righteous judge would not let a rapist go free. We would find that to be a great injustice. Of course, it is necessary that a rapist pay his penalty, as it is with us.

However, there is much HOPE! This is where Jesus comes in! He, being God's only son, stepped in to pay our penalty with His death on the cross. He died that we might forever live with Him in eternity. We need only accept His free gift through our repentance and our commitment to turn our backs on sin and worship and love Him. This is not an easy road. We do not follow God because we want a better life or peace or joy here on earth. Surely those things are great rewards for selflessly serving the Lord. It something that can be given to us regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. We follow Jesus because of what He did for us, and because of what He saved us from for all of eternity!! What joy there is in that like nothing else which can be found on earth. Christianity is the only religion on earth where you can know for certain that you are forever safe from eternal damnation. He gives you the free will to choose or not to choose Him. I leave you with this verse in Ephesians 2:8 & 9. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." You are being prayed for.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! As horrible as it was at the time, it sounds like God had you guys drive by that poor woman on purpose. My prayer for all of us Christians is that we would have the burning desire and love to reach ALL of the lost, not just those who are close to us. Thanks for the inspirational post - I need that passion for others myself!