How can you love someone if you never bother to ask where they might spend eternity?
Sometimes, I really hate reality. I hate that good people get sick and die, that some crooks get away with their crimes and that not every kid has a loving mother and father. These are some of the hard facts of life for many people.
But for all its flaws, reality is even more amazing. Because while there are a lot of terrible things happening in this world today – that’s the reality of the situation – we aren’t forever stuck here. As tough as death sounds to the living, it’s a blessing to those who are dying – if they know that Heaven awaits them.
One of my best buddies had a heart attack last week, and after a tumultuous several days, he got some bad news about the condition of his heart. We’re both hopeful that he can regain function and live a more healthy life, but like tomorrow, nothing is promised. When we talked about the prognosis on Monday, reality began to set in: Who knows how much time any one of us has left on God’s green earth?
None of us has any idea whether we’ll wake up tomorrow or not. That’s a scary thing to be unsure of, isn’t it? It makes me think about how much we really are unsure of in this life. No matter how hard we try, our health, finances, relationships, careers and so much more can change in an instant, without warning.
Sadly, our world is filled with more uncertainty than surety, more questions than answers and more fear than confidence. But in those heavy moments while my buddy and I talked on the phone about the bad outlook, another aspect of reality set in – one that is filled with hope, peace, confidence and eternal joy.
Though this life will end, every one of us can have absolute certainty that we will not be squelched out, that we will not rot or burn forever or be permanently blipped out into the cosmos. My friend, Heaven and Hell are real, and Jesus is the key to everlasting life. With Him, we can truly live forever!
You may not yet believe it, but this fact – this gleaming promise, this blessed assurance and this awe-inspiring truth – is as much reality as the bad news my friend got. There is truly life after death, and by God’s grace, we can spend eternity in a place more glorious than anything we’ve ever known on this earth. Heaven awaits for those who seek, ask and walk toward it, saved totally by the sacrifice we celebrated this Easter.
This is tremendously good news! But what good is news if there’s no one to hear it?
It’s reality that Heaven is available to us all, but it’s also reality that not all will go. Some may never hear the news of Jesus or lay down their pride and sin to accept and follow Him. Even in our hometown, some people will never grasp the promise of Heaven.
Now consider this: Do you know today where your friends and loved ones will go when this life is over? Do you know today where your elderly grandmother or lifelong best friend would be if they died tomorrow?
If not, today is the day to saddle up and ask them a question. It seems so simple, yet it can be so hard to ask. The question is short, but its impact will last longer than any other. It’s this: “Do you know Jesus?”
Sometimes, the person you’re talking to will give a delightful “Yes!” Other times, you may get some babbling words or even outright rejection. We don’t know who will ponder the question and ask for more information, but it’s our duty to ask it and see where God leads the conversation.
I was afraid at first to ask my friend whether he was saved. It’s highly personal, yes, and I was afraid of the chance that perhaps he wasn’t.
What would happen if the whole situation went wrong? Fear and worry could have stopped me, but God sobered me and brought me to this realization:
How can you truly love someone if you never even bother to ask where they might spend eternity?
Do we love our friends and family so little that we’re afraid to ask one life-saving question, potentially letting them be cast into Hell forever because we were afraid of being bold and brash?
Praise God, my friend is saved. That means neither of us has to worry about the end of his life on this earth. We know a better one will begin on the other side. And as beautiful as that reality is, the harsh reality is that we have a question to ask if we can’t say the same for the rest of our loved ones.
Reality is a double-edged sword. Death is on one blade, yet everlasting life is on the other. Fortunately, all of the people we love can get a handle on the whole thing by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It all begins with a question, and today is the day to ask it. And we can do it by God’s grace.
Sometimes, don’t you just love reality?
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