Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Only One Way

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:17 NLT)

A pastor who was speaking at a funeral service was trying to explain what happens after we die. Then he suddenly thought of an illustration. Motioning toward the casket, he said, “Here in this casket lies just a shell. The nut is gone.”

It didn’t go the way he expected it to.

When we die, our bodies will go into the ground, but our souls will enter the afterlife. Those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ will immediately go into the presence of God.

Years ago, one of my granddaughters looked at me with a sad expression and said, “Papa, why do we have to die? Why can’t we just float up to Heaven?”

That’s a great question. The answer is that in the Garden of Eden, it never was God’s intention for people to die. There was no death, no pain, and no tears. But because our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned, sin then entered the human race.

They rebelled against God because they had a will of their own, and that rebellion is called sin. And because of that sin, we now have death. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, we never would die, get sick, or even age.

But they did sin. And sin, like a disease, entered the human race. We were all born with it. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners. It comes naturally to us. The Bible says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23 NLT).

If we want to go to Heaven, then we must be forgiven of our sins. We can’t come up with our own idea of how to get to Heaven. In fact, we wouldn’t know anything about Heaven if we didn’t read about it in the Bible.

There is only one way to get to Heaven, and that is through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us.

For Christians, death is not the end. The Bible says, “And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever” (1 John 2:17 NLT).

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die” (John 11:25-26 NLT).

A while back, we were walking on the beach, and my wife, Cathe, said, “Be careful, there are bees on the beach.” Just then, I stepped on one. The stinger went into my foot, which swelled a little. 

Jesus took the sting of death when He died on the cross. That is why the Bible tells us, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55 NLT).

Death died when Christ rose. And as Christians, we will live forever. That is the hope the Bible gives us.

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