A friend once said to me, “Don’t bother me with that religion stuff now, I’ll wait until I’m on my deathbed to make peace with my Creator.” Besides being highly speculative about how and when he would die, he was missing the point.
Talk about rolling back Christianity. God is not selling “fire insurance” and leaving it at that.
God desires an intense personal relationship with you so that you can have life in abundance here and now, as well as forever.
Death was never God’s idea.
Jesus spoke a lot when he once said to his friend Martha, in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will live, even if he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
He then clearly contrasted what is God, resurrection and life, to what is this fallen world, sin and death.
In John 11:33-34, Jesus then miraculously demonstrated His power over death by raising His friend, Lazarus, from the dead. It was a deeply moving moment for Jesus, who is the Author of Life, as He confronted His nemesis, Death:
“… when Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who accompanied her were also crying, He was deeply moved and troubled, and He said: ‘Where have you put him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept.”
Have you noticed “Jesus wept?” Jesus, who brings life, wept over the death of his friend. He did not treat death as normal, but as a twisted aberration away from nature and God’s intentions for his creation.
No doubt he was also thinking of another encounter he would have with death in the Garden of Gethsemane just before he was crucified. It was on the cross that He personally experienced death FOR US, only to return later in the resurrection, securing salvation for all who believe in Him.
Jesus is the personification of life.
As one of Jesus’ closest apostles, John reminds us that Christianity is not a myth concocted in someone’s crazy mind, but a divinely revealed truth that all can see, hear, touch. and experience for themselves in the person of Jesus Christ. John’s conclusion, in 1 John 1:1-4? Jesus did all of this so that we could live in joy!
“From the first day we were there, we understood it all – we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life just appeared before our eyes; we have seen it! And now we tell you in the most sober prose that what we witnessed was, unbelievably, this: The infinite Life of God Himself took shape before us. we have seen it, we have heard it, and now we are telling it to you so that you can live it with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motivation for writing is simply this: we want you to enjoy it too. Your joy will double our joy!
And God wants to share his life with us.
Jesus died for our sins, giving everyone who believes in Him a home in heaven. Before his ugly death, he also told his followers about another special bonus that changes everything. He said in John 16:7:
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is for your benefit that I am going away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor (Spirit) will not come to you. If I go away, I will send it to you.
In one of the greatest mysteries of all, Jesus promises to send the spirit of God to live with us, in us, and through us. It makes life worth living. Why wait for your deathbed when you can have God’s great counselor with you right now?
Do not wait for your last hours to enjoy an endless cosmic adventure encompassing the entire universe, in partnership with your splendid Creator. Why limit yourself to a paltry earthly existence when Heaven is calling you higher?
Boost your life here and now, not right after you die, “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” NOW.
And don’t even think about trying to “make peace with God” as my friend intended to do. Christ has made peace FOR YOU, as it is written in Colossians 1:19-21, “For it was the good pleasure of the Father…to reconcile all things to him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His (Christ’s) cross.
– DC Collier is a Bible teacher, discipleship mentor and writer specializing in Christian apologetics. A mechanical engineer and internet entrepreneur, he is the author of My Origin, My Destiny, a book focused on Christianity’s fundamental “value proposition”. Click here for more information or contact him at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.