Tagged: eternity

The unpopular subject we’re all talking about

This year, more than any in recent history, we’ve been confronted by the mortality of man on a global scale. It has been emotionally exhausting at times getting daily updates of how many lives were lost the day before; and yet it has forced many of us to reflect on death and eternity. A few weeks ago the much-loved and respected apologist Ravi Zacharias passed away.

During the months leading to Ravi’s  passing, a social media campaign #ThankyouRavi gained momentum, as people shared their appreciation for Ravi’s ministry, dedication to defending the Gospel and discipiling others to do the same. I could understand the sentiment, but I felt like people were already saying goodbye to Ravi (he was still with us) and it made me feel uncomfortable.

Death makes all of us feel uncomfortable. The last few months of the Covid-19 outbreak have confirmed the tragedy associated with death. There were times during these past weeks  where it felt unending, but as lock down restrictions are beginning to lift, here we are coming out on the other side in Jesus name.

Whenever I read through the book of Acts and the Gospels, my heart sinks everytime I read about disciples being martyred. No matter how many times I read through the Gospels, there is always a minute part of me desperate for Pilate to reject the Jews unlawful and unjust sentencing of Jesus to death. Within myself I murmur Pilate stand your ground don’t let them do this, their making a mistake, He is the King of the Jews. But the reality is regardless of how “nice” or “noble” my internal petitions may sound, it would mean no crucifixion, no resurrection and that would mean no salvation for us today.  Jesus Christ had to die.

In Sarah Davis’ tribute to her father Ravi Zacharias on the RZIM website Sarah said something that really made me stop and think.

 

“My father is more alive than ever before”

I had to ponder on this statement for a while. Then suddenly I started to grasp what the Apostle Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Sarah’s loving tribute to her father reminded me of the ultimate hope of every follower of Christ. As Paul rightly points out in 1 Corinthians 15:19 the Christian’s hope is not to live forever on this earth. We are not pursuing immortality in a finite world. But instead our hope is to fulfil God’s call for our lives here on earth, and ultimately inherit eternal life with Him in heaven.

Sometimes I wrestle with difficult questions when someone dies, whether they’re high-profile or not. “Why God, why did You allow this person to die? What about those left behind? Couldn’t You have spared their life?” I’ve never received a direct response to these questions. But when my grief becomes to heavy to bear , and drives me to the presence Of God – then I see Jesus and I’m comforted. I’m reminded that death is not the end, nor is it tragic for the believer. Because what awaits us is incomparable to what we see now. 1 Corinthian 13:12

I’m not trying to trivialise death. It is devastating. Death is horrible, especially if preceded by suffering, sickness or injustice. Even now there are many mourning loved ones lost during the outbreak, and they deserve to be comforted and supported through their grief. But let’s also remember that death is not the end, and for every believer in Jesus Christ – life, abundant – indescribable in comparison to the standards of this world, is only just beginning.

So here is a challenging thought, perhaps this taboo topic of death, may be a path way into a discussion about life, eternity, salvation and God’s redeeming love. This also is Good News.

Lord we bring before you every person heart broken and grieved by the loss of a loved one. We bring before you Lord every person who feels the loss is unbearable. We pray that You minister Your peace to every heart, we ask You to carry them in their weariness, and envelop them with your presence, to comfort and renew them in Jesus name amen.

Peace Series 2 – The Hero Cannot Die

imagesBefore Christ was crucified, he gave his disciples something special:

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Peace is so scarce in this world – it can only offer to its inhabitants temporal and artificial peace. The kind of peace that many seek in relationships, experience artificially through drug abuse, some are so overwhelmed by the struggle to find peace in this world that they decide to take their own lives, whether it be intentionally by suicide or more subtly by various forms of addiction and substance abuse.

It’s unlikely that “world peace” as the pageant girls often add to the end of their speeches will ever be achieved by mankind, especially when most individuals have yet to discover peace: not within themselves, but within Christ. He is the Prince of Peace. Any hope of having peace in this life, can only be realised through Christ.

There are many thought-provoking quotes, which talk about man’s pursuit for happiness, but in actuality, man’s spirit does not desire happiness, man’s spirit desires peace.  If you have peace, you will be happy – sometimes, but being happy doesn’t mean you have peace and having peace doesn’t mean you will be happy all the time.

Even if you accomplish every aspiration, you’re rich, famous, look the way you want, have everyone in the world following you on twitter, all of the above, even when you think – I’m happy – your heart gives that off beat that lets you know your spirit is not, because you don’t have peace.

Christ for instance, endured scrutiny, constant criticism, many times crowds gathered with the intention to stone him and he saw his own crucifixion ahead of him, he wasn’t always happy, yet in Christ there was peace, because he knew there was something greater to look forward to. Beyond this temporal world is – everlasting love, peace and joy in heaven.

Its kinda like when you watch a film, and the hero is hurt and you think 😮 will he make it, but deep down you’re not worried because you know, the hero will not and cannot die. Of course 21st century cinema brought much pessimism and many hero-less films into existence. But life with Christ cannot end with a cliffhanger. 

If  as a Christian you struggle to keep your peace at times, have faith in the God you serve, the God whom if you call, he will answer. Always remind yourself that you are under the covering of the Prince of peace. I leave you with this:

John 16:33

These things I have spoken unto you that ye might have peace.

 In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

May Christ’s peace be with you x