May 12, 2016, 12:12 PM
“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
How overexcited would you be if you were to learn that you had a winning lottery ticket and that you were to collect a cheque of a million dalasis? You would think yourself rich for the rest of your life and I guess you would even start making plans to spend the sum even before cashing the cheque. It is a good feeling to come into a lot of money no doubt, but how does it compare with a ticket to paradise where we shall live forever; where we shall be with God? How would you react to such good news? Won’t you holler and dance for joy?
Most of us live for the here and now. Where we shall spend eternity is not our primary concern for the time being. Not until we realise that we are transiting this earth, will it dawn on us that the joy of having a million dalasis is temporary. All our earthly possessions we shall leave behind. When these things begin to sink in - first things first, and last things last - shall we operate a change in focus. The fact of the matter is that whatever we own does not belong to us; everything on this planet belongs to the One who created it. We are barely stewards - entrusted with it for a season. We all have to render account of our stewardship.
What then have we done with our lives here on earth? The Bible teaches that we are in transit, on our way to a permanent home. Currently, it is as if we are living in a tent, a makeshift shelter. “We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 5:1) Only God’s word is a permanent feature, all else is temporary in nature. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”(Matthew 24:35)
Our reaction to the promise of eternal life should be one of jubilation because it is an assurance that death has no power over us. We shall pass from life to death and live forever. No good news can match this! We were not supposed to die; we were created to live the God-kind of life which is forever – not until Adam and Eve our great, great ancestors sinned and death came into this world.
Sin comes with a penalty. “The wages of sin is death,” and only our Lord Jesus Christ, who was sinless, could pay the price. Where we should have died Christ died in our stead. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) God’s promises are ‘yes’ and ‘amen.’ Whatever he promises he will accomplish. He has promised to restore us to our original status with him who is our Maker; God, the Almighty.
For this reason he sent us His Son in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ to prepare us for heaven. How do you react to the good news that everlasting life is only through Jesus Christ our Saviour? The Bible teaches that there is none other. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
What does eternal life mean to you, dear reader? You see, it cannot be earned; it is a gift from God, plain and simple. There is nothing we can do to merit it. In other words, no one qualifies for it. The worse sinner who repents (that is, change from her/his wicked ways), s/he can gain access to eternal life.
We are used to working in order to get paid. However, in this instance, all we need do to enter paradise is to believe. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Why should it be through Jesus Christ in the first instance? He is the Messiah, the Christ; the One who came to save the world from sin. When Adam and Eve sinned against God they lost their privileged status in the Garden of Eden. We are their offspring and we have been tarnished by that sin, the reason why we also will die.
The good news is that though we die, in Christ we shall live forever. Regardless of the multitude of our sins, when we come to Jesus we receive forgiven and our slate is wiped clean. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)