We are living in strange and challenging times. No matter what decisions our leaders make and what happens, no one can know for sure whether a different course of action regarding this virus and the economy would have yielded better results. It is comforting to know that God is still in control. He knows the direction the race riots will take our nation and the full effect that the coronavirus will have on the world. He knows when it will pass and what the world will look like when it does, as well as who will win the 2020 election. It is all according to His divine purpose.
So how should one live in this world of uncertainty? Scripture teaches us that God created man with an eternal soul that will exist forever from the moment of its creation. The beginning of that life is on earth, infected by a nature of sin in opposition to God.
God loved humankind so much that, rather than let individuals die in their sin, destined for eternal separation from God in hell, He sent Jesus to die in our place. Jesus, born as a fully-God, fully-human individual, lived a perfect life to provide Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for sin, capable of cleansing every human being.
Apart from God’s saving grace, we have no hope. But God has provided the means of our salvation in the person of Jesus Christ. The choice is ours. We can accept the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross as the final and complete payment for our eternal debt, thus reconciling our relationship with God and enabling us to spend eternity in His presence. Or we can reject God’s offer of salvation and spend our lives eternally separated from God.
Each person needs to do nothing but accept God’s gift of salvation to be forgiven and granted access to eternal life in heaven. You can do that now by praying the following prayer that was written by John Barnett that explains how you can freely receive God’s gift of salvation. You can secure your eternal future by praying this prayer from your heart to God:
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Regardless of what happens during the rest of this year and over the next presidential term, the life that we live here is temporary compared with eternity for which God created us. I like to use the illustration of a yardstick to contrast our lives on earth with eternal life in either heaven or hell that each of us will experience after leaving this earth.
Imagine a measuring stick extending forever as representing eternity. The life that you live on earth is barely a fraction of one of the hash marks on the stick, practically non-existent. In contrast, the eternal existence destined for each of us will never end. The Bible describes each life as … a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes – James 4:14 (ESV).
Jesus said that In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world – John 16:33 (ESV).
No matter what your life looks like, what accomplishments you amass and difficulties you encounter, they are temporary and will pass away. If you have placed your faith and trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, your best days on earth and your greatest triumphs will seem insignificant when compared with the eternal glory of life with God in heaven, and your trials you will soon forget.
If you reject God’s gift of salvation, your sin will eternally separate you from God and all that is good in His creation. Eternity in hell will not be a never-ending party with your friends. It will be an eternity of torment and suffering in a place that is devoid of goodness. Absent from hell is the interactive presence of God, the source of all that is good in this present world.
Is your relationship with God secure? If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, there is no better day than today.
Bow before Him and thank Him for loving you and providing salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Receive Jesus as your Savior and King. Confess Him before others, and seek to live out your life to reciprocate His love for His glory.
If and when others wrong you in this lifetime, remember the temporary nature of life and God’s ultimate victory. Leave vengeance and justice in God’s hands. Extend grace and mercy whenever possible and pray for the world at large.
Remember the words of Jesus in the sermon on the mount. Blessed are the poor in spirit… those who mourn… the meek… those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… the merciful… the pure in heart… peacemakers… those who are persecuted for righteousness sake – Matthew 5:3-11 (ESV). Have these attitudes during your brief existence and live for eternal rewards, blessed by God.
Believers should aim to live every moment of every day for the glory of God. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all – Romans 12:18 (ESV).
Lives are at stake from COVID-19 and race riots. Both, however, are merely symptoms of the curse on this earth resulting from sin. Sin is the real enemy that we all face, and only with Jesus will anyone triumph.
Given the temporary nature of life, we should not be living in fear of death. Because no human body is immortal, we will all die. It may be today, tomorrow, or a hundred years from now, but no one escapes death.
But when one sees life with an eternal perspective, the insignificance of this present existence magnifies the glory and anticipation of the life to come.
God is patient regarding humanity and dealing with sin, giving individuals time to repent and turn to Him. But God’s patience in the face of wickedness will not last forever.
At a predetermined time that only God knows, Jesus will return. Those whose faith and trust is in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ will be caught up with Him to be forever in His presence.
Time is running out, and the more that this world strays from the principles in God’s Word and the more wicked this world becomes, the closer we get to the end of God’s patience and the eternal destination determined for each individual.
If you do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, don’t put off deciding for too long. You do not know if you will have another day or even another hour to live. Don’t let your life be among the casualties. Choose Jesus, and live.
Finally, if you are a follower of Jesus, whether you are a new believer or you have known Jesus as Lord and Savior for many years, I urge you to lift this nation and the world in prayer. Pray for our leaders, for President Trump and our Congressional leaders and judges. Pray for your family, friends, co-workers, and for anyone with whom you meet and interact.
This nation needs prayer more than ever before. Prioritize prayer today, and join fellow believers in a united effort to impact others for the kingdom of God.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.