Someone recently commented in a joking manner that they were not ready to die. Well, of course none of us really are. Valentine’s Day is a reminder of Love that we have yet not given. We have loved ones here and things left to accomplish. I have LOVE yet to share with Vonnie. I have love to yet be shared with my children. I have grand babies that have yet to be born that I want to spoil. I am still working on my second million dollars (I gave up on the first million). There are goals and dreams and bucket list items that I have not checked off yet. Of course, I am not ready to die.
But in reality, that comment got me to thinking. And actually, I am ready to die. At least in a way. You see, I am a Christian. I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that I am certainly not ashamed to talk about. I gave my life over to Jesus long ago and it is due to this relationship with Him, that, well, yeah, I AM ready to die. For you see, to die simply means to move from this world into the next. The next world (heaven) is basically a place of no suffering, agape love, and the very eternal presence of Jesus! God loves me. And due to this love, He wants only my best. He wants me to be happy, joyous, and experience no pain and no suffering. That is what the next world will be like. And to be reunited with my loved ones that have gone on before! So why would I NOT want to be there?
Now, I know what some skeptics might be thinking: If God wanted that for you, He could do it here on Earth! Well, yes and no. God is all powerful and certainly He can do whatever He wishes. But let me explain….
God created me (and you) for basically two reasons: For worship and for fellowship. God’s very nature is one that must be worshiped. Not because He needs it or probably even desires it, but it simply must be. One who is total love, total power, total mercy, total Justice, total sovereignty, simply MUST be worshiped. It can’t be helped. That is one of the reasons that we were created – to Worship Him! And since that is our PURPOSE, we can never be truly fulfilled, truly happy, truly content, truly at peace, until we are abiding in the purpose that we have been created. So to Worship Him, well, it’s good for us also!
And God also created us for fellowship. He loves us and that love demands a response. We love Him back. We love Him because He first loved us. But He wants our love to be given freely to Him, by our choice. That is why He gave us Free Will. Free Will gives US the OPTION to choose to love Him or not. It’s not true love unless we CHOOSE to love Him. The only way to CHOOSE is to have an OPTION. So God had to allow EVIL in the world in order for there to be an OPTION. We can choose love or we can choose hate. We can choose good (God) or we can choose evil.
It’s that Free Will that opens the door for bad things here on earth. With our free will we CHOOSE not to follow God’s commands and therefore we must live with the consequences. God tells us to treat our body like a temple. Yet, we fill it up with processed foods, poisons, and then wonder why we get sick. We blame God for our own choices. We ignore the Spirit’s gentle pushings in one direction and go another. And then we blame God when the road that we pick is not the best choice for us. So yeah, this world has problems, but they are problems that OUR pride, OUR sin, and OUR choices have brought about. It’s really not fair to blame God for that. So life here can’t really be the perfection that Heaven is.
God is a JUST God. He has to be. He is perfect. An unjust God would not be perfect. Since He is just, then good must be rewarded (fellowship with Him) and evil (sin) must be punished (no fellowship with him). He is perfect. Therefore Heaven is perfect, for He cannot reside in Sin. But if I, being imperfect, died, I could not go to His presence because I would “corrupt” the place. It would no longer be perfect.
But God desires fellowship with us, yet, we are all going to sin because we are not perfect. And we can’t be perfect because we are not God. WOW! What a dilemma. God created us for fellowship, but in order demonstrate our love to him, we must make a choice. And since we are not perfect, eventually we will always choose sin, which means we cannot abide in his presence. And He knew this would happen when He created us.
Now some would argue, that He could just forgive us and that’s that. Well, no. Again, He is a Just God. Justice demands a price. Plato once philosophized that “Deity may can forgive sin, but I see not how.” See, Plato understood. While God can forgive, still Justice must prevail. Again, God knew this dilemma when He created us. So what is the answer? Spoiler alert: The answer (as always) is Jesus.
Before the foundation of the world (before He even created the world), He had a plan to resolve this problem. God Himself, (the creator), would enter His creation as a man (Jesus). He would live a perfect life. Then when Justice demanded a price be paid for my sin, HE would offer to pay that price. Only HE could do that. You could not do that for me because you have your own sins that need to be paid for. You can’t pay for mine when you need to worry about your own. But Jesus was sinless. He could offer to pay for mine. So Justice was served on the cross. Jesus paid the price for my sin. Mohammed could not do that for me. Buddha could not do that for me. Even my family could not do that for me. Only Jesus – 100% man, yet 100% perfect (God)!
Isn’t that awesome!! He took my sin and covered me with HIS righteousness. So when God looks down from heaven at me, He does not see a worthless sinner. He sees His Son’s perfection. His Son’s righteousness. Not because of ANYTHING that I have done, but because of what HE has done. Justice has been served and fellowship restored!
So the God that loves me. The God that created me for fellowship with Him, made a way (Jesus) to reconcile me and Him together. There is no other way! He loves me and wants only the best for me. So yeah, I can’t wait to abide 100%, forever, in that fellowship without my own sinfulness getting in the way. That’s what death is. And as great as things CAN be here – family, friends, joys, successes, triumphs – Heaven will only be better. To be able to see Him clearly, to abide with Him, to love him without ME getting in the way. WOW! Yeah, I can’t wait. I am NOT afraid to die!
And the exciting thing is that God is eager to be with me also! Can you imagine that? So, He could just take me home to Him at anytime and it would make us both happy. So why doesn’t He? Well, I think it is because He also loves everyone else that He created as well. And not everyone has put their faith in Jesus. So He is leaving me here (and other Christians here) for a while longer with the instructions that we are to tell the others about Him. If we tell them, then they also can reside forever with Him and enjoy that same fellowship. It’s OUR job to tell them. He could tell them, but then wouldn’t that violate the free will? I mean, because if He urged us, could that be resisted? (Okay, I am getting into Calvinism vs. Armenianism arguments here – beyond the scope of this post).
My point is this: If you are a Christian, Heaven will be wonderful and I can’t wait to experience that LOVE and that perfection and that AWESOMENESS without my own sinfulness getting in the way. I am ready! BUT, first, God has given us (if you are a Christian) a job to complete. We must tell others about Him.
If I have known you for any length of time, and I have NOT told you of my Savior, I apologize. I would love to introduce you to Him. Since you were created for Worship and for Fellowship, if you are NOT abiding in those purposes, you will never be happy or fulfilled here on earth or in the hereafter. You can be. You can be full of peace here and now as well as the hereafter. Being full of peace does not mean that troubles won’t occur. Remember, we live in a fallen, sinful world and there are consequences. However, He promises to be with us through those troubles. He promises to love us. He promises to love YOU! Just ask Him to be your Savior. Ask Him to forgive you and to take your sins upon Him and to put His righteousness upon you. That’s really all there is to it. Call me, email me, whatever, and I would love to tell you how – step by step!
Many of you may know me through my job or through family connections or through other social interactions. And I take pride in those connections. I love my job, I love my family, I love my friends. Many of you only know me through my silly postings on social media. But those things are SOOO secondary. First and foremost, I am a Christian. I am not perfect and I often fail to demonstrate that reality. I often fail to live a life that reflects positively on Jesus. But He forgives me and I ask you to do the same. I want everyone to know, that I AM A CHRISTIAN and I AM NOT AFRAID to die. For as Paul said, “to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ!”
If you would like to explore these topics in more detail, I would love to invite you to attend my Sunday School class at Broad Street Baptist Church, in Hawkinsville, GA. I teach every Sunday at 9:45 am. Just come in the back door, and our classroom is the second door to your left. We have 15 to 30 people each Sunday. Men, Women, Singles, Couples, Young and Old. You will fit in and feel welcome there – I promise. It’s a great group of imperfect sinners, just like me and you. Yet, we are all striving to learn more about our creator, for to KNOW Him is to LOVE Him. Come learn to KNOW Him better with us! If you’ll text me – 478-230-3538, I’ll meet you at the back door and walk you to the class!