hope4all Longing for Eternity
Many years ago a TV show called, “The Six Million Dollar Man” captivated audiences across the USA. A similar show entitled, “The Immortal” also fascinated large audiences. The truth is that mankind has frequently sought ways to extend life. Every few years I read articles with titles akin to this one: “Scientific Breakthrough on Aging”. The thesis of these types of articles is obvious: science is somehow going to … or already has … a “breakthrough” on ways life can be extended. Cryogenics from a few decades ago comes to mind. The human life span went from immortal (before The Fall) to several hundred years to 120 years to 70-80 years (Psalms 90). It has stayed in that 70-80 range since the days of Moses. Yes, there are notable exceptions but rules are not made by exceptions. So, what does the resurrection of Jesus have to say regarding eternal life?
Monday…Churches are frequently asked to grow. Usually the staff will encourage the members to invite others. Sometimes churches will have special, “Decision Days” during which people are encouraged to be baptized. I have a question for those who encourage the church to grow numerically: “Why?” Why should folks get baptized? Why should there be an occasional dedication or re-dedication of life? Why should folks get involved in a local church? Why should members invite others? Here is the one-word answer, “Hell.” (See Luke 16:19 and following). Read on:
Tuesday…It is a lovely thought (and a true thought) to imagine a Heaven. Jesus said that He was going away to prepare a place (John 14) for believers. I believe He was telling the truth. I believe that Heaven will be a refurbished earth according to Revelation 21. Good Christians may disagree with this idea and that is OK but all Christians believe that we will live throughout eternity with our Lord. Because of His resurrection, we have a blessed hope that we too will live!
Wednesday…It is a sobering (and horrifying) thought to imagine a hell. Why does the Bible say in Hebrews 10:31 that it is “a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God”? It is terrifying because hell is a reality. The resurrection of Jesus shows that there is life after this life is terminated. This ought to be a terrifying thought to the sinner. Thankfully, sometimes it is and they repent. Let’s never be lulled into thinking that the resurrection of Jesus represents hope, eternity, forgiveness, and sunshine and roses for everyone. It most certainly does not. Unless sins are repented of, confession is made, baptism is administered and the holy life sought after, there remains but an eternal fire. An eternal fire.
Thursday…The Roman sword was double-edged. This made it effective for cutting both ways but that utility came with a price. By being double-edged, the sword had to be handled very carefully since both edges could cut. The Japanese samurai carried a 39″ sword that had only one edge sharpened. They reasoned that the safety of the warrior was paramount and in the heat of battle, one edge was enough. I don’t know which idea was best, but I absolutely know that the resurrection of Christ carries a double edge: eternal life or eternal damnation in hell fire. Jesus is the “firstfruits” of the dead. His resurrection is a type of our own resurrection. See Romans 6:1-15 and note that our baptism is a figure of Jesus’ resurrection and our baptism into Him is the beginning of our eternal life.
Friday…Liberal “Christianity” (which in no way is Christian), the cults and, sadly, many evangelical churches now say that the fate of the wicked will be 1) a second chance, or 2) annihilation, or 3) salvation as God’s love overwhelms all sin. Wrong. Dangerously wrong. Christ’s resurrection is a foreshadowing of a blessed eternity for all believers. Believers only. Matthew 18:6-9 is a terrifying portion of Scripture. Jesus said it; we believe it.
By Dale Holzbauer