As you are probably aware, I have been very active in the political process for the past couple of years. It was in a secular discussion this past week that a spiritual truth was, again, made clear.
I was speaking with an individual about the upcoming election and in the course of our conversation she said that she, “sure hoped” things would come out the way she wanted. I asked her what she was doing to ensure that result and she looked at me with a blank stare that made clear she was totally lost. Her response confirmed her look, “What do you mean what am I doing?,” she asked.
I responded by asking the first and most obvious question, “Are you registered to vote?”
When she told me she didn’t know whether she was registered to vote, I knew she was not. I explained to her that unless she was registered, she would not even be allowed to cast a ballot in November. She asked me where to go and what to do to be sure she was registered. I told her and drew her a map.
Religion is NOT Relationship
I must admit that I walked away from our conversation shaking my head. What is so simple is so foreign and difficult to so many. But so it is with eternal life. When it comes to heaven, they “sure hope” they get there, but they have done nothing to assure that outcome.
Trusting Christ for salvation is so simple and easy, but it is so foreign and so difficult to so many. Unfortunately, religion, and simple faith have become intertwined over the years. The simplicity of trusting the sacrifice Jesus made by dying on the cross for my forgiveness often gets lost in the rhetoric and the rituals of religion.
It is “hoping” they do everything right that leaves people wondering about their eternity. Frankly, I am certain beyond any doubt, that if my eternity depended upon my “doing it right,” I would never see the Pearly Gates. Religion has killed the hope of millions, but relationship, simple faith, always brings life.
Now, “faith” is a verb and the only activity in which I am required to be involved is “faithing.” I must actively, intentionally, and completely faith Jesus Christ, simply hoping is not enough.
I have been involved in retirement and estate planning at one level or another since the middle 70s. One concept I tried to communicate to my clients was that of urgency. The future seems so far away, particularly when young. But, without planning, the future arrives and it is not a welcome event.
Jesus told the parable of the 10 bridesmaids in Matthew 25. The point of His parable was that bliss was something for which preparation was easy, but essential. When the 5 bridesmaids were shut out of the feast, it was final. There was no grace available at that point.
My friend, you too, must prepare for your eternity. It is not sufficient to simply “hope” you’ll be OK, or that God will stretch His law just for you. Begin your eternity plan right now. Faith Jesus Christ, today, right now, and your eternity is secure. Hope is not enough.