It’s tough to turn on the news, watch a movie, or have a conversation about what’s going on in the world without being faced with someone in some sort of life threatening situation. Terrorists can strike anywhere. No school is safe from another kid who goes crazy and brings their parent’s guns to school. We’re all just a missed hand washing away from contracting some deadly disease. At any time, a robber or serial killer could choose your house for their next attack. This type of inundation is tough to deal with.
When I picture someone in a situation where their life is threatened, my assumption is that they are desperately fighting for their life. Wouldn’t someone do ANYTHING for another chance to stay alive just a little bit longer?! But I’ve realized something…my purpose here on this earth has nothing to do with maximizing the amount of time here. This is NOT my real home. My purpose here is to glorify God, and to tell other people about Him…until He calls me home. Life in Heaven is going to be SO MUCH GREATER than the life we have here, so why would I desperately try to cling to this crummy place?!!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for ways to die in order to expedite my trip to Heaven. I want to live my life to the fullest and make the most of what I’ve been blessed with. And the act of dying itself definitely isn’t something I’m looking forward to. But, if God decides that it’s my turn to go, would I really want to try to fight it?! I’d like to think that if I’m in a situation where I know I’m going to die, I would have a smirk on my face and be able to say, “bring it on!”. Not so that I can look like a bada**, but because I know what is to come!
For those of you who grew up with the view that Heaven is nothing but us sitting in the clouds strumming harps and singing old hymns 24 hours a day…for infinity years…you need to fire the Sunday school teacher who formed your idea of Heaven! Did you know that Heaven will be here on earth?…a glorified earth after God recreates it. And we will have jobs, and relationships, and we can travel places. There will be no tears, death, hunger, thirst, jealousy, or hurt feelings. Everything will be perfected…the way it was originally intended to be…purified through God’s lens of awesomeness!
So based on this, I choose to not live a life of fear. I want to trust in God’s plan for me. I’m not going to go looking for people with ebola to hang out with, but when I’m faced with my death, I know it’s just God calling me to my true home.
My challenge to you is broken down based on what type of person you are:
1. Someone who is a Christian, knows they are going to Heaven, and is excited about what is to come – Remember what you purpose is here. Live life to the fullest until God decides it is your time to go.
2. Someone who is a Christian, knows they are going to Heaven, but isn’t that excited about what they anticipate it will be like – I challenge you to read the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I guarantee it will help dispel any incorrect beliefs you have, and will likely result in you being more hopeful about the amazing place Jesus has gone to prepare a place for you in.
3. Someone who doesn’t consider themselves a Christian and thinks I am delusional in my view of the afterlife – Just because you don’t believe something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I challenge you to read the book More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell or A Case for Christ by Lee Stroebel (hint…More Than a Carpenter is about 5 times shorter…but both are great).
4. Someone who isn’t sure what will happen to them when they die, but would like to go to Heaven if it exists…and they wish they could know for sure – You don’t need to live in fear. You CAN know what will happen to you when you die. There is no need to be afraid of it. If you live locally, I offer to take you out to dinner and talk about it. Just contact me and we’ll find a time…my treat. If you don’t live locally, I encourage you to talk to a friend that you know is a Christian and ask them questions. Or, find a local church to get you started in the right direction. Here are the basics…
– God created the world and everything in it including people. (Genesis 1)
– All people (including me and you) are full of sin which is what separates us from God who is perfect. (Romans 3:23)
– The consequence of sin is separation from God, which results in going to a very real place called Hell after death. (Romans 6:23)
– In olden times, the only way to get past that sin barrier was by following rules and offering sacrifices. The blood sacrifice was basically a substitute for our spiritual death. (Leviticus)
– Then, God changed up the rules by sending Jesus, who is God’s son. Jesus did amazing things that only God would be able to. He died as a one-time sacrifice for anyone and everyone who accepts it. His death took the place of the old sacrifices people had to make. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Romans 6:10)
– After he died, he rose from the dead and went back to Heaven. (Matthew 28, Mark 16)
– Now, ANYONE who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins, and wants to follow Him, will have their name written down in the book of life and will go to Heaven when they die. (John 3:16)
– Being “good” doesn’t get you into Heaven. It is only by the grace of God, which is offered to us even though we don’t deserve it. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
– For you to be included in this group, you need to:
1. Admit that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness. (Romans 3:23)
2. Believe that Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for your sins. (John 3:16)
3. Repent of your sins expressing a desire to change and live like Jesus teaches us to. (1 John 1:9)
– This CAN be done on your own, but is best done through conversation with someone. So, please reach out to me or someone you know.
That’s it in a nutshell. There is obviously a lot more to learn, but if you believe who Jesus was, what He did, and pursue a life that follows what He called us to do, then you’re set and can KNOW you’ll go to Heaven when you die.
*** If you’ve read this far, you may be thinking, “what does this have to do with being a good husband?” Well, the short answer is…I just wanted to write about this because it was on my mind. But, in reality, the status of a man’s salvation and his view on life and expectation of an afterlife will have a HUGE impact on who he is as a husband, father, and man. So, if you can get this topic figured out, it’s going to have a huge impact on your life.