Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Just Passing Through

Calvary Chapel Broomfield (Colo)
Founding member of rock bands Buffalo Springfield and Poco
Member of the Rock n'Roll Hall of Fame

"Please forgive me with this being so close on the heels of such a sensitive time, but with so many notable, public figures crossing that line into eternity – it always causes our hearts and minds to think about our own mortality, especially if they are of a young age – younger than we are. But the reality of death is a reality of life and each one of us will cross that fateful line one day. 

When a loved one passes our hearts are overwhelmed with grief, even if we really didn’t know the person, but we identified with their music or their movies or their books … and, it’s as if we did know them and when they die it causes us to stop and think about this reality of life. The writer of one of the books in the Bible, James, makes an observation (James 4:14):

“For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away”.

I believe we can all agree on one thing - we’re just passing through this life, on our way to eternity and the hereafter. On the way, on this journey we call “life”, we may have thoughts such as “what does the future hold” or “what matter does it make”, and for some, it is “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we will die” – but then what? Is this life all there is to life? Have those thoughts ever crossed your mind? It’s interesting, but we all have philosophies, religions – a faith we choose to give us comfort in these thoughts; that’s why when one a loved or someone who’s had an impact on our lives passes, we comfort ourselves saying “they’re in a better place”. An atheist will tell you – this is it, “eat, drink and be merry”; while an eastern philosophy will tell you “you can work it out” – as you seek to attain nirvana – obliviousness (Webster: a goal hoped for but apparently unattainable: a dream) which, ultimately is nothingness; and if that’s all there is at the end of the day, then indeed life is meaningless, if in fact its ultimate end is nothingness. 

I wanted to share my thoughts because I am a Christian and I believe there hope beyond this life and I believe the way to heaven is possible, but it does come about through what we call death. The Bible teaches that death is an “exodus” – moving from one place to another – but “life” goes on. It is a door we will all go through. The Bible also teaches when we go through that door it leads one of two ways … into the presence of God (the Creator, Redeemer and Savior) for all eternity (heaven) or to be separated from Him for all eternity (hell) – this is my faith and regardless of what you believe, this is what life boils down to – a choice, a belief, a faith. 

The Christian faith is different from every other major religion and belief system of the world in that those religious system put the weight of getting to heaven on you, your performance, your efforts your works. The dilemma is how does one know when their performance has met the standard and what is that standard? The God of the Bible worked out the way to heaven and fellowship with Him through the work of Jesus Christ – thereby, getting to heaven is not based upon your or my “performance” but upon the “performance” – the work of Jesus Christ. You’ve probably heard it said: “everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die”, but the per-requisite is, if heaven is a reality, we’re going to die and leave this world as we know it. According to my faith, Jesus died that I might live. At the end of the day, it’s as Jesus said:

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
"And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)

As I said – faith is a belief system and each one, in making the decision about eternity (heaven and hell) will make a decision about Jesus who said: 

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) 

May those of you who read this receive it with the grace with which I have shared it; God desires fellowship with His creation (He is the Living God) and therefore He made the way to heaven possible in that:

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

This is my hope; this is my belief; this is my faith."

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