Earlier this week, 33 people entered eternity. Actually, tens of thousands did, but here in the U.S. we are focused on those that died at the hands of a madman. I want to focus on eternity.
What does it mean to move from time to timeless? What happens when you do? One of our neighbor's children, a nine-and-a-half year-old girl, was over at my house yesterday. We began to talk on all kinds of things, and ended up talking about death. I can't even remember how we got on that subject, but suddenly she was confessing to me that she was afraid of 'that.' As I talked with her, I realized that she was right to be afraid. I have been a believer in Jesus so long, that I have forgotten that fear--that life after death can bring eternal life or eternal death. And eternal death is worth being afraid of.
And just in case someone reading this blog is afraid, I want to tell you that you don't have to be. Not at all, not in any way. See, we have earned death (Romans 3:23a -- "For the wages of sin is death...") Eternal death. Our filth is unacceptable in the presence of a perfect God. No one who has done one wrong thing can be in his presence--in the place of eternal life--for even one moment.
So what will we do, we who are tainted by our sin, having earned eternal death? We cannot clean ourselves up, cannot roll back time to cancel out our evil deeds. We can only look forward to death and suffering forever, right? No, because "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son..." (John 3:16) Jesus--God become man also--who never sinned, took on eternal death for us. He took our punishment and paid the price with His very own blood. And to verify the validity of this sacrifice, God raised Him from the dead.
Jesus, alive and in heaven, offers to you the payment for your debt. He doesn't require you to do anything to earn it or repay it. It is freely given, but you must take it. You must "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 16:31)--not a vague sense of a good God or a, "Sure, whatever," belief. But a full, I'm-trusting-my-whole-eternity-on-this-being-true belief. If you do, Acts 16:31 continues, "...you will be saved." Saved from eternal death. Given a new life starting now. It is the most--I am not exaggerating--the most wonderful, amazing thing in the universe.
You don't have to be afraid any longer. There is life after death, and it can be yours.