Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's The End of the World As We Know It

According to the Mayans, today is the last day that this earth will see. There have been parodies and jokes and all kinds of hilarity surrounding these predictions, and I suppose a few people who actually buy into to it all. As Christians, we know that "of that day and hour no one knows"(Matt. 24:36). We know that the coming of the Son of Man will be as a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2). We can be assured that if the angels in heaven aren't even aware, the Mayans had no way of predicting such a thing.

And yet, I think this is a perfect time for us to get serious with the day of Judgment. While we don't know when it will happen--when Jesus will come back to take us all home--we can know that it will happen, and just because we don't know when, doesn't mean we shouldn't be ready. Perhaps today would be a bit more somber if as many people as were making jokes about the Mayan calendar were seriously considering their soul's final abode.

Jesus said these words in Matthew 7:13-14:
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
While we don't know when time will come to a close, we do know that it will only be the minority who get to enter into eternal rest and be with their Savior forevermore. That isn't because God doesn't desire the majority be in heaven--on the contrary! He sent His Son to die an excruciatingly painful death so that all of us could be in heaven (2 Pet. 3:9). Instead, the fault lies with the majority, for they are unwilling to make Jesus the Lord of the life.

Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:3,
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven."
Paul admonished the Galatians, saying,
"Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like, of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (5:19-21)
While considering our souls, we must take heed to what the Bible says about those who will/will not be admitted entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said that it is only those who are born again who will be granted admission into the kingdom of heaven. Romans 6 tells us that we are born again through baptism, then raised as a new creature. Unless we have been baptized (for the remission of our sins - Acts 2:38), we will not live with Jesus eternally.

Paul added to the thought by giving us a list that we should think seriously about. At the end of verse 21, Paul said that anyone who practices such things would not inherit the kingdom of God. That means if you are practicing any of the aforementioned sins (adultery, fornication, drunkenness, etc.) you are not ready for the judgment day to come!

However, I think it would be beneficial to look at one final text. John, the apostle of love, wrote this to his Christian brethren in 1 John 1:7-10
"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us."
After we are baptized, we don't remain perfect and sinless. Contrariwise, we sin daily! John is speaking to Christians--those already washed by the blood of Jesus--and he tells them that if they claim they are sinless, they make God a liar!

All of us need forgiveness and grace. Regardless of what state you find yourself in today, you need the blood of Jesus. If you have not been baptized, consider where your soul would end up should the world end tomorrow. If you have been baptized but are continuing in the works of the flesh as Paul categorized, confess your sins as the apostle John commanded! All of us can attain salvation! God has made it so easy for us! All we must do is believe that Jesus is the Son of God, turn from our sinful ways, confess Christ as Lord, and put Him on in baptism! Compared to what Jesus went through to bring us salvation, it is nothing at all to submit to Him and live for Him daily.

May we each get our lives in order so that, were today our last today, heaven would be our final abode!

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