I will never forget the day I truly understood death. I had been to funerals as a child and even as a young teenager but I still had this innocent ignorance that life would go on day after day. That was brought to a screeching halt the day one of my classmates was killed in a simple car wreck. She did not do anything really wrong; it was not anyone’s fault. She overcorrected when she was trying not to hit a dog in the road and ran into a tree. All at once her life here on Earth was over.
I’m not going to pretend we were best friends. We were very good acquaintances to be honest. We knew each other and had hung out a few times and even were part of the same youth group at our church body. But the impact she had on my life continues to this very day. See, she was a real Christian. She honestly lived out her faith and did not compromise. When she passed away her way of living life brought glory to God in such a way that impacted the entire community. It made everyone consider the fact that life does not last forever and that eventually eternity will come into play.
We all have had that moment. I consider it the moment in life where childhood ends and adulthood begins. The marvel of childhood is the way that time does not really exist. But for adults, we all know that one day will be our last one here. We have a 100% mortality rate. All of us will die. And we all have had that moment (or many moments) where we ponder what this life is all about and what our purpose is. The fact is that if we all die we have no choice but to live for something.
Jesus made it clear that his goal in life was to live for others. His mission statement was to seek out and save those who were lost. Every day of his 32 or so years were dedicated to others. It was the trademark of his ministry. He did what no one else did to reach those who no one else was. What inspires me most about Jesus is his abandonment to his own good and his direct desire to impact the lives of everyone around him and draw them to God.
I believe the reason for this is that Jesus did not take life for granted. He understood that there was much more to this life than the 60 to 70 years we may live. There is an eternity that hangs in the balance. Because of this he was completely dedicated to bringing people into the kingdom so that their eternity would lead to eternal life rather than eternal death. His mission was clear and he put his life on the line to prove it. He was willing to pay the price and we all know the great result of that payment.
My question to myself and to every other person who claims the name of Christ is this: Why do we live in such apathy? We are old enough to know that life does not last forever. We are smart enough to know that what we do in this life has a direct impact on others. We can either help bring people into the kingdom of God by sharing the truth of his great rescue effort or we can be silent and let them die and go to hell. Make no mistake, everyone who dies without Christ goes to eternal death. The Bible is crystal clear about that.
So this leads me to our chapter for today. Take a few minutes to pour over Matthew Ch. 7. This chapter has so much to chew over I would ask you to take time throughout the day to read over it again and again and let the truths Jesus taught sink in. This is a portion of the greatest sermon ever taught by the greatest teacher o ever live. But the portion I want us to consider today comes from verses 21-23.
Matthew 7 (NLT):
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Think about this passage. Jesus is saying that even those who come to church regularly, live god lives, cast out demons, heal people, prophesy, and think that they are good Christians will be sent away into Hell. What then can we do? How do we know if we are a pretender or a true follower of Christ?
The key to this answer is our heart. What is the heart of all our actions? Are they all for us? Is God a cosmic genie that gives us everything we want or are we 100% committed to sharing the truth about salvation from Hell to others and helping to bring them into the kingdom?
I have taught it before, but I will put it out there again: True Christians make disciples. It is that simple. Jesus’ heart was to seek those who were lost and save them. We are now responsible for putting that truth out there and helping others to face the fact that death, Heaven, and Hell are real. We all must eventually come to that conclusion.
Today I want you (and me) to seek out situations to have those conversations. To look for someone we can minister to and show them God’s love and share with our words the truth about eternity. If we let ourselves become apathetic and keep letting ‘The Chair’ have wheels then we will lose sight of eternity and the consequences our actions have. They can lead others to eternal life or to eternal death. What will we choose today and every day?