Think About It

This past Sunday was my stepmom’s birthday. Yesterday was my dad’s. It made me realize how greatly blessed I am that all of my parents are still alive and generally healthy. In addition to my dad and stepmom, my mom, as well as both my mother and father-in-law, are all in their eighties now as well. Few people I know can say that. I thought about this because I did the funeral of a longtime church member and friend on Saturday. Karl was only seventy-one. The truth is none of us know how long we have.

I have been a pastor for twenty-five years now and have officiated at literally hundreds of funerals. Interestingly, there is one thing I have discovered that they all have in common. At funerals, we have a tendency to extol the virtues of our recently deceased loved one beyond the bounds of reality. It’s kind of funny, really. After someone dies, if you talk to family and friends, they will all tell you that their loved one was Mother Teresa or MLK Jr. I have yet to do a funeral for one “normal, average, everyday person.” They were all saints! Karl was one of the good guys, but he was not a “saint.” He would be the first to tell you that as would his family. We all make mistakes. The Bible says, “Everyone has sinned. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23). I have. You have. Karl had, because he was human like you and me. Besides, how “good” he was, has no bearing on what was next for him. Karl was a person whose life was made up of decisions, choices. Just like us, many of his choices were good. Others, not so much. “We all fall short.”

There was, however, one decision Karl made that mattered most on Saturday. He chose to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That was truly the most important decision Karl ever made. It is the most important decision any of us can make. Why? Because, in John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” That means, regardless of what the world tells you, all faiths do not lead to salvation. There are not multiple paths to heaven. “No one can come to the Father except through me,” Jesus said. That is a decision we all have face – whether or not to choose Jesus. Karl chose and it is only because of his choice that I have absolute certainty he is with God now. Not because of all the wonderful things that he did, or the fact that he was such a good guy, but because of the one wonderful thing that Jesus did, and who He was.

If you have not made a decision yet, I invite you ask yourself, “When my time comes. What is next for me?” Think about it. Pray about it. Your decision will make all the difference.          


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