Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Download MP3 (right click to save)
It was heart-wrenching. The whole world seemed to be talking about Brittany Maynard's medical death sentence. You might remember a few months back, she was a young wife, in love with her husband, and looking forward to having children. And then she was told that her incurable cancer would, after a painful decline, take her young life.
It was controversial. Her decision to take the pill that would end her life on the day - and in the way - of her choosing. Her state's "assisted suicide" law afforded her that choice.
Her decision added a face and more fuel to what is one of the deeply emotional debates of our time. Should a person have the right to legally abbreviate their suffering and hasten their death?
Now, some were very quick to pass judgment on a woman who was gone and being grieved. Some were quick to canonize her as the symbol of a crusade to legalize a decision like hers.
But I'm processing this kind of thing on a personal level. I can't help thinking about the young people we've loved who've chosen to die because of the pain of a break-up or a tragedy. I've been at their agonizing funerals. I've held the shattered loved ones, I've seen the ones devastated for life by their loved one's choice.
And then, I remember the people who've deeply touched my life - and many others - with this supernatural hope they radiated from their deathbed suffering.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Death's Big Question".
For me, I cling to the Bible's assertion that "all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." And, as Job said, that "man's days are determined; You have decreed the number of his months..." (Job 14:5). In other words God has given me my life.
But for all the questions this tragic situation has raised, they leave unaddressed the most important question death raises.
Not about what leads up to it. But what happens after it.
Again, I'm driven to the only One I believe can be trusted as the authority on that question. The One who gave me my life. In the world's best-selling book, the Bible, it says, "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Well to say the least, that's disturbing. But it's vital to know.
I actually think many of us have a sense of that buried somewhere in our soul. That we'll meet God on the other side of our last heartbeat. And we will face our defiance of the One who made us. By pushing Him to the edge of the life He gave us. And hijacking the running of our lives from our Creator.
Our worst nightmares are often about not being prepared. For a meeting, a speech, a wedding, a test. But the real nightmare is being unprepared for my appointment with God. That's why in our word for today from the Word of God in Amos 4:12 the Jewish prophet, Amos, said, "Prepare to meet your God."
Well I know only one way to be ready to meet a sinless God. My only hope is to have every sin of my life - of which there are many - somehow erased.
Then I hear across the centuries the words of Jesus as He was dying on the cross. "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34). The Bible actually says that Jesus "carried our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). My sins included. Your sins included. Paid for.
I decided to take Jesus at His word. "Whoever believes in the Son [That's Jesus, the Son of God] has eternal life" (John 3:36). See, that's the word that Jesus added to "life." "Eternal."
I believe Him because He didn't just talk about eternal life. He proved He's got it to give. By walking out of His grave three days after He died. He's the only one who ever has. And this very day He stands ready to walk into your life. And not only forgive your sin, but to secure for you, once and for all, a place in Heaven. He already paid for it when He died on the cross for you. And you can know from this day forward, you are ready to live, you are ready to die, and you are Heaven bound. Do you want that? Would you tell Him, "Jesus, I'm yours" today? Go to our website and you'll find there the very information from God's Word that will lead you right into a relationship with Him. It's ANewStory.com
Because Jesus has answered forever death's most important question - "Are you ready to meet the God who's on the other side?"