Monday, February 3, 2014

Death is sometimes tragic


I guess that title might throw you off a little as most people would think that the use of the word sometimes is inaccurate. I get that, but I am also looking at things from an eternal, Spiritual perspective. Yes, there are deaths that will hurt tremendously when they occur to those who are treasured in my life but a vast number of those same deaths will not be deemed, at least by me, as tragic. Maybe that shocks you, but as a Christian, and not just one who goes to church but one who really desires to follow Christ, to live more like Him and to bring Him glory, I rest in the assurance that many of those I love will only be gone for a short period of time and then when it is my time to close my eyes in what the world sees as finality, I'll open them again in eternity and be with all those who know Christ as Savior. Death is sometimes tragic and let me therefore share with you when it most assuredly is tragic. The moment a death becomes a tragedy is the moment an unsaved, non-Christian, unbeliever, atheist, agnostic, buddhist, hindu, mormon, muslim, etc dies. This is indeed tragic. It is truth that death is not the end all be all of the universe and though some of these other religions might have their own concepts of what occurs upon the moment we take our last breaths, the fact is, there's only one TRUTH and it's not interchangeable, negotiable, or any other compromising concept. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no man will enter the Kingdom or see the face of God without salvation through Christ's perfect blood and sacrifice.

Maybe you're wondering why I suddenly got on some evangelical kick. Well, I'll tell you, I just read an article on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman and while I can't say that I was a big fan, I was deeply affected by the picture in the article. I'd like you to go look at it as I don't think I can use it here (too many legalities to risk it). There's such a depth of sadness and just absolute duress in his eyes. This was a man who hurt. He was an Oscar and Academy Award winner, a Tony Award nominee and yet even those accolades could do nothing to take the misery from those beautiful blue eyes. This man was in so much emotional and spiritual pain that he'd succumbed to the demon that is heroin. They found him with the needle still in his arm, fifty bags of heroin on hand and twenty-three already empty. He must have wanted out of this world and therein lies the tragedy! The enemy, the lying deceitful enemy, the father of lies, convinced him that there was no hope here, that there was nothing worth sticking around for and when you look at Philip's eyes you can see he believed those lies. I'm not placing judgment on him, I can't say where he ended up Spiritually (though I know people that believe suicide - if indeed that's what this was - is a guaranteed Hell ride; I don't, however, agree). I always hold on to the precious hope that in his last breath he asked for forgiveness from the only One who can offer it to him. I hope that for every single human being, but I know that there are people who will not repent, who will not relent, and who will, unfortunately, burn. I so hope that Mr. Hoffman is not one of those people.

More than that, I hope that if you are reading this you will take the time to discern what your eternity holds. Death is final only in the sense that you won't live another human life on earth but it is definitely not the end of being. You will either enter His gates with thanksgiving or you will enter the everlasting fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. I hate that people have been so programmed to believe that if they think something is not real, then somehow their thinking will make it so. Heaven and Hell are real and you will really end up in one or the other. The great thing though is you are given the opportunity to choose whom you will serve. Do you desire utter darkness or would you prefer to walk in the Light as He is in the Light? It seems like a no-brainer to me but I suspect there are a lot of people out there who'd prefer to logic their way into eternity, the bad thing is, that logic won't get you anywhere good; you can't manipulate God. He set up the rules before He created mankind and His rules don't change, they don't bend and there are no exceptions or grading on the curve. Friend, if you need Jesus, if you don't have an intimate relationship with Him, if you've never surrendered the mess that is your life to Him, do it now, you never know when death will come knocking and then it might just be too late. Death is sometimes tragic, but yours doesn't have to be!