I was once told, when I was asked to speak to high school young people, that they have heard all about salvation and the need to trust Christ as their Savior. In other words, they kind of turn you off when you start talking about salvation and eternal life. Well, I must say, I was a little taken aback by that because, not only was it alarming to me that anyone would not be interested in salvation and knowing for sure that they have eternal life with God, but that this comment came from someone who works at the Christian school where I was to be speaking.
Let me approach my subject from a different angle. The truth is, according to God and His Word, all people are headed for either eternal life with God forever or to the eternal lake of fire. I understand that many, many people do not care about this subject and neither do they want to hear about it, thinking it is a waste of time or irrelevant for their lives. And sadly, many people live so much for this life, they don’t stop to think about the life to come and/or what God has done for them to have the opportunity to live in His eternal kingdom.
I officiated both a funeral and wedding on the same day this weekend. And I can tell you, they are both opportunities to stop and think about life and death. At the wedding, the young couple was so excited about their day that the groom burst into tears when he saw his bride for the first time as she stepped into his view while he and I were at the front of the wedding venue when the ceremony started. It told me that he was looking forward to his life with his new bride and that he truly does love her. For me, it was a time to reflect on the joy of being a part of God’s church, the bride of Christ. And as I watched the young woman walking to her husband to be, I could not help but think about the reality of what Christ has done for His bride, the church. He longs for her. Jesus has such a love for His bride that He gave His life for Her (Ephesians 5:25). Getting to know this couple, I understood through His tears, He truly loves is new bride.
However, and this is a big however, I often wonder, in fact, I know from experience with many weddings, that most people have no idea of what their wedding pictures or symbolizes. The wedding ceremony is the picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. And how He has made a way for His people to be with Him in eternity. By paying the price for our sin, that no one else could pay. Sadly, the weddings today, if people do decide to get married and not just live together, are more about the couple than it is about God. The main event is not the wedding itself but the party after the wedding.
The point is, weddings are designed to remind us of our Saviors great love for each of us, those who have surrendered our lives to Him as Lord and Master over us. And to live in harmony with Him and His desires, just like an earthly couple longs to do as married people. But often that truth is missed.
The funeral service I conducted also reminded me of life as we know it. Often, there are many tears of sadness. Tears that are for the losing of the person that was loved by so many and the loneliness and feelings of isolation that often follow. But when we know the truth of what Jesus has done for us, that He has died to pay the debt or penalty of our sin and to provide for us an eternal home in heaven, death becomes nothing more than the gateway for that eternity with Him.
As I spoke during the funeral, I tried to remind the listeners, that the person who has passed is safe in the arms of God and will enjoy eternity forever. And that the sadness of the time will pass as we remember that we just have to get through the next few years or less, until we are together forever. I understand how difficult that is, but it is truth none-the-less.
It is imperative that people understand that God has given us many opportunities to see Him providing for us an eternity with Him. This life should not be wasted on what will happen here, enjoy it and all it’s amenities, yes. But we should not hold on to what this life is all about. God has an eternal destiny waiting for each of His people who hunger and thirst for righteousness and we would be wise to spend our days helping others to know the same truth. Life here is short, eternity is waiting. What are you doing about it? Do you understand your eternal destiny? If you have placed your trust in Jesus, you understand well. If you have not, you will be great disappointed at the when your life on earth is over. Would you take time to think about your eternal destiny today? I can assure you, if you turn to God, He will show you His great love for you and what He has planned for you.