Most decisions that we face have minor significance, but one’s decision regarding whether or not to put his or her faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ bears eternal consequences. As stated in a previous post, the Bible teaches that we were made for eternity. The question is not if we will exist, but where will we reside. The choice is ours. God’s gift of salvation is freely given to everyone. He has made provisions for everyone to have a choice. We can either place our faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior and spend eternity in heaven, or we can turn down that offer, live for ourselves and spend eternity in hell.
People place so much emphasis on the here and now, getting upset over trials and suffering or spending the bulk of their time on entertainment, maximizing pleasure, or fighting for self-perceived “human rights.” Whether our lives are filled with pleasure or pain, whether we die in the womb or live 150 years, the length of time amounts to nothing compared with the eternity for which we were created. What we do during that time is ultimately meaningless unless the effects of our actions have eternal relevance. The Bible teaches that the only eternal things on earth are God’s word and people. Aside from the people our lives impact, nothing outside of ourselves will go with us to our eternal home.
So if what the Bible teaches is true, for the believer, everything that is not done in the name of Christ with eternal benefit serves no ultimate purpose. What counts as an eternal benefit, however, could include a broader range of activities than you might think. We were not created to be mindless automatons. We have differing personalities and worship styles that are developed through various life activities and circumstances that showcase God’s creative genius.
In Christ, we are free to experience what the world has to offer, but not everything that the world has to offer is worth the time given to it. Even worse, however, engaging in some activities could be detrimental to the spiritual development of ourselves and those within our influence. The Apostle Paul states that “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12, ESV)” God uses our life experiences and circumstances to mold us into the individuals that will eventually enter into His eternal kingdom. But if the ultimate purpose of what we do is not increasing Christ-likeness, it is essentially meaningless.
For the unbeliever, the situation is much worse. Nothing in his or her life has any ultimate meaning. If the Bible is true, an atheist may think that he or she is acting for the betterment of mankind as a whole or simply to live a better life individually, but in the end, every endeavor will be for naught. No matter what level of advancement our world achieves, it is doomed to destruction.
But even if what the Bible teaches is not true, the lives of everyone on earth are still without ultimate meaning. If we are all the result of natural processes, at the end of our lives, we return to dust and cease to exist. The only meaning that any of us can have is self-contrived, subjective, and self-serving. Regardless of whether we are rich or poor, live long or short lives, are active toward societal benefit or live primarily for ourselves, we cannot change our ultimate fate. Each individual’s meaning in life is a product of one’s imagination. The Christian worldview, in which an eternal God exists outside of time and space and is orchestrating all that is happening in our world, is the only one with any potential to provide any ultimate meaning in our lives.
If the Bible is true, and I have very good reason to believe that it is, the earth and everything on it is doomed to destruction, leaving us a choice of life with Christ or an eternity in hell. We all have a choice. We can either live our lives for Christ, accepting the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus as the complete payment of our debt to God because of sin, or we can live for ourselves, rejecting God’s offer of salvation, and spend eternity separated from God in hell.
Nobody knows how long his or her life will be. Nobody knows if he or she will have even one more hour to live. It is up to each individual to reconcile the crisis in his or her heart or live in crisis for eternity. Don’t wait too long to decide. If you have questions, the Bible has the answers. If you have doubts, ask God to open your heart and mind to the truth in scripture and to reveal Himself to you. The Bible encourages exploration. If you sincerely desire to know God, search for him with all your heart and He will be found ( Jeremiah 29:11-13). If you want peace in the midst of crisis, “..I implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.(2 Corinthians 5:20, ESV, see also Colossians 1:21-23, John 16:33, Romans 10:9-10,13)” and live with eternity in view.