Tomorrow

 Procrastinators refuse to do anything today that can be put off until tomorrow.  Their club has not had a meeting for years because it is scheduled for “tomorrow.”  It seems that once they get there, “tomorrow” has become “today,” and the day that is now called “tomorrow” is still 24 hours away.

  There are vast numbers of people who live their spiritual lives this way, always thinking that “tomorrow” they will get things right with God—but the illusive tomorrow never seems to come.  Almost no one gets up in the morning thinking, “I’m going to die today.”  We feel confident that there will always be a “tomorrow,” but the truth is, unless you act now, you could use up your last “today” and meet God unprepared.

  Our God, who created all things, and by whom all things consist, is Holy and cannot tolerate sin; He is Just and cannot overlook, or excuse sin.  We, on the other hand, are sinful and have broken every divine law.  We will be guilty when we stand before the bar on the day of divine judgement.  There will be no pleas for justice that day, but for mercy—for forgiveness, but at that point, it will be too late.  “… now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2Corinthians 6:2)”

  But there is Good News!  Your sins can be forgiven today, but only because their penalty has been paid already!  Jesus died to satisfy the just requirements of God for your sin.  As God in the flesh, He rose from the dead, and offers forgiveness to those who will turn from their sins and trust Him to put them in good standing with His Father.  He alone “…is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (Jude 1:24)”

  Better act now!  God tells us plainly that we are not guaranteed a tomorrow: “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  (James 4:13-14)”

You Have Offended God

  On several occasions I have sensed an ill spirit toward me, and had no idea as to why.  It seemed the only path toward rectification was to ask, “Have I done something to offend you?”  In most instances the reply has been, “No, I’m sorry, I’m just having a bad day; it is nothing that you have done.”  What a relief to clear the air, to know that I had not unwittingly committed some offense against a friend.

  Did you know that the Bible, the Word of God, declares that you and I have offended God?  The problem is that He is holy (sinless) and we are sinful.  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18)”  The problem is universal, and serious.  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)”

  What ultimately happens to those who have offended God?  The Bible describes their end: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)”  The Psalmist says, “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. (Psalms 73:18-19)”  Many try to avoid the horrors by simply telling themselves that this cannot be true; there is no God, no judgment, no Hell—but disbelief does not make the truth go away.

  My friend, it is true, you have offended God; you have made yourself the  enemy of the Almighty (James 4:4).  If you remain as you are, you will spend eternity in the “Lake of fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41).  But God, in His mercy, has provided an option!  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)”

Play Christianity

  Perhaps in every generation since the beginning of time, children have played “let’s pretend.”  In yesteryear, it was Girls with dolls, and Boys with toy soldiers and guns, or miniature earth moving equipment.  Now it is monsters, mutated creatures, super human executioners, and other sordid purveyors of carnage, …and strangely enough, this seems to be the standard fare for both genders.  And yes, there are only two genders in the realm of reality—all else is just another version of “let’s pretend.” (Genesis 1:27)

  The most casual perusal through the annals of history reveals that adults are just kids in older bodies, with more experience at playing “let’s pretend.”  Even among those who call themselves, “the people of God,” this childlike “let’s pretend” has often manifested itself in epidemic proportions.  In the 7th and 8th centuries BC, the time of God’s prophet Isaiah, God’s people, Israel, worshipped the Lord with all the formalities prescribed in the Levitical Law, while they had forsaken God in their hearts. (Isaiah 1:10-17)  Their worship was a sham, an impressive game of “let’s pretend.”

  In Revelation 3:14-19, the Apostle John recorded the words of Jesus’ letter to the 1st century AD Church at Laodicea.   They thought they were on the top rung of the religious ladder: rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing.  Christ told them that they were wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked—their religion was a sham, an impressive game of “let’s pretend.”

  Today is no exception; churches claim to worship the God of the Word, while ignoring the Word of God.  They think that God will be satisfied with their worship, their way.  They embrace yet another version of “let’s pretend.”

  “What does God want?,” you might ask.  “O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8).”  “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalms 51:17)”  “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (Psalms 29:2)”

Are You Ready

  Imagine embarking upon the great adventure of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane to plummet toward the earth at bone crushing speeds only to break your fall at the last moment by deploying a parachute, tightly packed by a complete stranger into a well worn backpack and strapped to your posterior.  While in the plane, approaching the so-called “target” (as if there were a great bullseye painted on the ground which the plane’s crew intends to hit with their soft projectile—you), your life starts to pass before your eyes.  To make matters worse, your instructor seems to have had too much sugar, or something, for breakfast and is in a rather giddy mood.  He jokingly encourages you to “enjoy your final descent” and “be sure to pull the ripcord before the impact.”  You start to second guess your quest for the ultimate adrenaline rush, thinking rather that the inherent “fight or flight” response that you are presently experiencing may just suffice to satisfy your present thirst for adventure.  Maybe you’re not ready for this!

  While we are on the subject of being ready, and with all jesting aside, there is an unavoidable event that comes to all mankind that can be quite foreboding if one is not “Ready.”  I am talking about death, and that which lies beyond the perimeters of our physical perception.  The Bible says that you are a living soul, and while your body will wear out, your soul will never die.  “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)”  And then God has informed us that, “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)

  This is no joking matter; you need to know that you are ready for the great adventure that awaits you at the end of your path.  Those who are ready have had their sins forgiven, and are enjoying a relationship with God that will last forever.  Those who are not ready are missing out on the joys of knowing God now, and will suffer the eternal consequences of their unforgiven sin in a realm without God.  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… (Acts 16:31)”

Perspective

  It is amazing how much one’s perspective is determined by his passions.  For example, there are those whose lives revolve around politics, and everything they read is interpreted as if it were some political posturing of the author.   Others are all about sports; if it has no bearing on their sport, it is boring and unimportant.  It is true; one’s passion become the glasses through which he views the world and interprets the events of life.

  So, Which passion produces the right perspective?  Should we become more politically minded because, in reality, life revolves around American politics?  Should we focus on finances as if life were measured by how much money we have?  Should we emphasize the importance of popularity or social acceptance because, obviously, we cannot go it alone?  Should we strive to excel in academics and intellectual pursuits as if the good life were available only to the intellectually elite?  Which perspective would provide the optimal vantage point from which to view life, understand its meaning, and live it to the fullest?  Answer:  None of the above.

  The right perspective is not determined by the passions of finite beings.  Man’s perspective is comparable to studying the stars from the dark recesses of an abandoned coal mine.  He just doesn’t have access to the vantage point from which everything is clearly visible.  Pooling our resources doesn’t help either; a collection of passionate opinions from biased bigots does not constitute a clear picture of reality.  We need some outside help from someone who has the advantage of seeing things as they really are.

  Only God is in a position to define the right perspective.  Not only is He the Creator, but He has His omnipotent hands on His creation, sustaining life and maintaining the laws by which it is preserved.  God made this very point to Job when He said, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? …Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. (Job 38:2–4)”