Ask yourself: “Why do I believe what I believe? “ Belief is basic to the nature of man; it is the most powerful of all human drives. Because this is so, philosophy has flourished down through history–the early Greeks being a prime example. Philosophy has always spurred by the question of the nature of life. So the question keeps arising: “What is truth?” just as Pilate asked Jesus while examining Him.
Truth is simply reality—things the way they really are, not as we wished they were. Be careful! Many of man’s misguided ideas have infiltrated Christ’s Church itself. Absolute truth is derived from God’s revelation, because only He knows how things truly are. And what God has revealed is unquestionably found most prominently in the Bible. Get to know your Bible intimately and you will find His truth deeply rooted as the foundation of the eternal life Jesus promised.
Jesus wants each and every one of us for His very own. But He wants us to want Him. That’s His plan in a nutshell. And God has provided everything we need to step right into our place as His treasured sons and daughters. The Apostle Peter said it well: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:2-3)
We merely need to obey what He has revealed to us. All we have to do is say “yes” to Him. Here’s how: Acknowledge the sin that has separated you from God; turn away from it; surrender control of your life to God; invite Jesus Christ into your heart as your Savior and Lord. It’s that simple!
Is it really fair on God’s part to allow just a few of us to enjoy life with Him forever? Is God biased; is He unjust? Why not all of us? Why not put together a plan that would ultimately save all mankind? The single most important thing to understand when dealing with the Creator and Sustainer of all things, is that it’s His laws that apply, not ours. This is God’s deal. We don’t make the rules; He does! How do we know this to be true? The Bible says so.
We’ve all heard the expression, “I’d bet my life on it.” Truth be told, that’s precisely what we are doing throughout the span of our lives here on earth. This is no game! Eternal life or eternal separation from the Giver of life hangs in the balance. Which will it be? You are betting your life on it.
Judgment? God is about to wrap up history by bringing before Him all who have ever lived for a final accounting at the Last Judgment. It’s only natural to experience a sense of fear when we hear that term. It is indeed a terrifying prospect! Yet for those who have become God’s children, judgment will be the most treasured moment of their lives. The majesty of eternal life awaits God’s chosen ones. What He has in store for His people defies imagination.
Even now we have a chance of glimpsing eternity. A spiritual reality surrounds us—just as real as the physical one we now inhabit. But only those who have been born again into relationship with Jesus can experience it. Those who do not know Christ remain blinded to the presence of this supernatural world. God knows all about this; it has been a part of His plan from the very beginning.
God’s Book of Life contains a record of all who truly belong to Him. At the Last Judgment, all whose names are not found written in it will be thrown into a lake of fire, which, of course, results in eternal separation from God. Failure to take advantage of Christ’s offer of salvation will be the supreme regret of a person’s life.
Just think about the unbearable sorrow people will feel as they see the promise of union with God slipping away before their very eyes—the chance to share His life in a place where time ceases to exist, eternity, lost forever. And then it’s too late to make amends. Now is the time for that! Our greatest fear should not merely be the prospect of going to hell, but that of missing the purpose for which we were created in the first place. What greater anguish could there ever be!
From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?
The reality of human suffering strikes at the very heart of God’s intention for His creation. God is not unjust; He’s merely fulfilling His purpose with the ultimate goal of eternal life in mind. So, does God want us to be miserable during our lives here on earth? Not at all! He wants us to be happy, just not at the expense of what we’ve truly been designed for.
For God, happiness is defined as joy. We sometimes experience true joy—that delightful inner feeling springing up through our emotions. Yet for most people it’s rare, because joy is rooted in peace. And peace is what’s missing when relationship with God is lacking. Jesus said it best: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart troubled nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)
From the very beginning God planned to send His Son, Jesus, to reconcile sinful people to Himself. His purpose involved Jesus’ own suffering on an inconceivable scale, culminating in His death on a Roman cross. We can’t begin to imagine the pain and humiliation He suffered on our part. No one in history has suffered more intensely. Laying aside His privileged position to share our humanity, Jesus paid the ultimate price for us all.
Jesus knows and understands each one of us for who we truly are. All our weaknesses, along with all the temptations natural to the human condition, are no surprise to Him. By personally taking part in human suffering, He has provided us the supreme remedy. As the Bible says, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
We are all destined to suffer in this life; it’s unavoidable. But why do some have to suffer so much more than others? One answer may be that suffering is not necessarily an evil in God’s eyes. He uses suffering to draw to Himself those who are seeking truth. Security, prosperity and the pursuit of pleasure frequently do just the opposite. People who have everything they could ever want often are miserable to the point of burying themselves under destructive obsessions in their attempt to escape reality.
Even more to the point, the horrific level of suffering found in this world is not God’s doing at all. People bring most of it on themselves, since rejection of God’s purpose sets the stage for evil to flourish. As evil people gain control over the lives of others, evil is unleashed on an unbelievable scale. It can always be traced back to sin.
In an attempt to understand God’s purpose for His creation, people routinely stumble over the issue of suffering. How can a good and loving God allow the kind of suffering we see in this world? It just doesn’t seem fair. Is it possible to reconcile what seems to be a contradiction in God’s nature? The problem lies in our inability to truly understand God Himself, and thus His purpose for creating things the way they He has.
Our perception of life’s purpose revolves around “the pursuit of happiness.” We see everything in terms of enhancing our quality of life here on earth. This idea is drilled into us throughout the course of our lives. God doesn’t see it this way. His purpose is all-encompassing: life on Earth is an incubator of sorts, a temporary place of testing wherein the children of God ultimately rise up as His chosen ones.
People often ask: “What about those who have never heard the gospel? If what you are telling me about Jesus is true, what chance could they possibly have of making it to heaven?” Only God knows the answer to this very reasonable question. He has provided the way for all to come to Him, regardless of the fact that we are unable to fully understand His methods. God’s justice demands it.
Every person on earth has the chance to become one of God’s chosen few. Everything God does, whether it’s His compassion and mercy, or His wrath, stems from His intrinsic love for mankind. The bigger question is this: what have you done about this awesome gift? What are you making of this opportunity in light of the fact that you have heard? This is where personal responsibility comes into play. You’ve now heard the truth; it’s time to act!