Submission and Obedience


I have a habit. Everyday I go on-line to check the obituaries in my hometown newspaper. Though it's been years since I lived there, I still look to see if someone I knew has died. Every week or so someone leaves this world who was related to a friend or was a co-worker. The longer I've been gone, the fewer the familiar faces that show up on the web page, however, letting me know I'm getting older and outliving more and more acquaintances.

I tend to skim-read the life stories that appear with the photos of the deceased. Most of those who are gone lived to ripe old ages, indicative of the advances we've made in medicine and, perhaps, knowledge about healthy eating and exercise. They leave behind spouses, sometimes, children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.

What they mention about their years on earth are reminders of how their lives were lived. Some were college graduates, some were blue-collar workers. Others loved to bake or cook...do needlework or fix cars. Hobbies like golf, boating, hunting or fishing appeared to consume many of their non-working hours. But fewer and fewer seemed to be active in any church, a disturbing fact.

When a deceased person's funeral dinner or celebration of their life is held at a tavern or memorials are designated for an animal shelter rather than a Gospel or missions cause, it makes me wonder. Where is the deceased at that moment while I read? Where did their interests really lie? When they breathed their last breath, were they startled by the 'in-their-face' revelation that whatever they believed about eternity and where they would spend it (if they thought about it at all) were wrong and they had made a horrible decision too late to rectify? Somewhere I head it said that every time a volcano erupts, it's because hell is enlarging itself to accommodate more victims. What an awful thought!

We live at a time when the truths about God and Jesus, heaven and hell, are either squelched or ignored completely. People invest their entire lives wrapped up in their families, employment, hobbies and amusements, and just plain wasting time.

You see, each of us is given the same measure of time, a breath at a time. What we do with that moment, moment upon moment, determines where we will go when we die. The Bible is very clear about our choice to make: heaven or hell, yet it is laughed to scorn or condemned as hate literature. The words on its pages are rarely read, much less taken seriously.

Yet, the fate of every person born on this planet hinges on the truth spoken plainly by God, so there is no mistaking what a person must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus Christ IS the ONLY way to heaven. He is the TRUTH of God made plain in human flesh. He is the LIFE to be lived while we live and breathe. To reject Him is to sign one's warrant for eternity in hell and ultimately into the lake of fire...separation from God forever in torment and pain, thirst and torture without end and without relief!

While I wondered about the souls who were newly deceased as their names and faces appeared on the obituary web page, I heard the Holy Spirit say, "Don't spend your time and emotion on these individuals. It's too late. They're gone. Instead, concentrate on telling the good news about Jesus to those who are still alive and can decide to receive Him as their substitute for sin's penalty by His death on the cross. Tell them while there's time."

So that's why I'm writing this article. You're still very much alive or you wouldn't be reading it. Thus, I ask: Have you put your faith in Jesus to forgive your sins and make you a new creation in your person? Do not scoff at His invitation to experience being born again! Do not end up like so many on the obituary page who frittered away their days on earth without giving much thought to their eternal destiny.

Yes, they may have worked hard, been good parents to their kids, helped in their community and on the list can go. But if they did not establish a relationship of intimacy with Jesus before their death, they did not go to heaven. It's that plain...and frightening! The choice is yours. God has done all He could and needs to do. Now the ball is in your court. Just as Pilate asked before the crucifixion: "What are you going to do with this Man?" I ask you now. What are YOU going to do with Jesus?

Think carefully. The decision you make will determine your forever destiny: Hell or heaven? Satan or Jesus? Do not forsake your Savior. He didn't forsake you!

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®
© Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.
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