Sunday, July 30, 2006

Intersection of Eternity

In the early morning of April 21, 2006 in the town of Brandon, Florida, a group of relatives headed back from Tampa International Airport to get ready for a wedding. At approximately 3:00 A.M. a drunk driver ran a red light and instantly killed three of the people who had arrived for the wedding. The next day the Lord gave me this perspective.

II Cor.4:18 - While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

As the clock went past midnight the day changed from April 20, 2006 to April 21, 2006. For three people it was just another day. They saw themselves in the mirror as they got ready; they saw the plane as they boarded; they saw the seats, the passengers, and the attendants; they saw the clouds and sky; they saw the ground and the approaching airport; they saw their loved ones; they saw the car as they entered; they saw the road they were traveling; they saw the night lights and buildings; they saw all the things that they expected to see as they continued in their Mercedes toward their home. But at the intersection of Parsons and Lumsden they did not see what was waiting...ETERNITY.
Eternity had been waiting at that intersection since the worlds were made. There were no signs, no lights, and no warning. There was no time to prepare except whatever they had prepared in the years beforehand. They did not ask for it and they did not want it, but eternity sets its docket without earthly input and its dayplanner is set by God Himself. Somewhere and someday on this earth eternity waits for you and me. There is no more important day than the day we escape this human form and walk into eternity, all of us. It is the fearful mystery that has haunted mankind since Cain murdered Able, and Adam's smell of death still wreaks throughout the human race. We must all die and the time is set.

Heb.9:27 - And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment...

But at the very instant of death one of two things happen to every person's spirit. Either they are escorted into the presence of Christ forever, or they are dragged into the dungeon of the damned forever. This is not being melodramatic, these are the only two violent choices. And if this is the absolute truth, what else matters? Yes, it is a total "put all your eggs in one basket" commitment and eternity will issue the consequences at the appropriate moment. How can you and I know that we are true followers of Jesus Christ and that at our eternal moment we will be escorted into His presence? Spurgeon said, "It is dangerous to rely on some former day as your conversion, you should always be turning to Christ daily". What did he mean? Many Christians will tell you "I got saved on such and such a day" no matter how their walk with Christ is today. Millions are risking their eternity as they have been told at some point they are saved simply based on a prayer they repeated. Do you believe that more people who believe they are saved will be lost or more people who don't know they are saved will be saved? Do you believe that those three souls who met eternity in Brandon would have appreciated being seriously warned the day before?

II Cor.5:11- Knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men...

Jesus warned us all " What should it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lose his own soul?". What our Lord was saying is clear, there is no more important pursuit than eternal life which is in Christ Jesus. Everything, including most of the church, is screaming "This Life!", when in reality that is a Satanic ruse constructed to set all of our eyes on ourselves which is humanism in its purist form. That is the wide gate that leads to eternal hell. Are we not frightened? Have we no fear? How many people have you dealt with lately that are afraid of winding up in hell? Everything is motivation, success, finances, energy, mind control, positive thinking, and the things of the Spirit are passé. The church world doesn't even believe in hell anymore, even the ones that have it as a tenant of their doctrinal statement. Look at the different churches, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Pentecostal, and all the other flavors of the evangelical Ferris wheel and drive your car to a different church for the next three months and park outside their front door on Sunday morning. As they leave the service do those people ever look like they are concerned with people going to a fiery eternity? What we do is what we believe, everything else is religious babble. There are people who live within walking distance of where you and I live who will die in some accident in the next three years and we sit and watch TV while they slide unsuspecting into eternal damnation. And do you believe as Wesley did, they might have been saved if they had been told. Even if you don't believe that do you believe that God still wants you to witness with Holy Spirit power and abandon? We all do, we all must. We, my friends, desperately need a fresh baptism of fire fresh from the same altar where the seraphim brought a live coal to Isaiah's lips and cleansed him.
The time for lukewarmess is gone and the time for earthly games is over. Away with this man centered "what Jesus wants to do for you" teaching and let us return to the Scriptural teaching of "what Jesus wants to do with you". The Lord of the Harvest wants to fill us with His Spirit but He cannot do that until we allow Him to empty us. Don't you long for more than the perfunctory and lethargy of our present "Spirit filled" lives??? We've defined being Spirit filled as avoiding the temptation to curse at the car that cut you off. What? How demeaning to the power of the Spirit. Some unsaved people don't curse and that's our measuring stick of being filled with the Spirit? Watch the lemmings enter and exit church buildings as predicable as the rotation of the earth. Read the book of Acts and are we not hungry as we watch the Spirit of God perform Christ exalting works of wide and varied natures. But read more carefully, they are always praying, fasting, and seeking God's face. Did God just do that for those early Christians or is He waiting for His people today to "humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways..." ? Like Samson, can we not cry out "only this once, O Lord" and then "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord your God!". Was the last of the cup of prayer and fasting consumed in the 1800's and is the cup empty now? No, never. God has said:

Is.41:17-18 - When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water an the dry land springs of water.
Lk.11:13 - If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

Whoever is on the Lord's side must rise in full armor and "speak the truth in love". There is little time, and eternity now is preparing a soon coming day in which the whole world will meet at one final intersection. At that moment the things that are unseen will materialize and faith will become sight. How much that drives us now will matter then? As we try to change the moral ambiance of this world we are losing "sight" of the "unseen", and like construction workers sleeping while the sign that they should be holding that says "BRIDGE WASHED OUT" lies face down on the ground, we continue to shirk our clear commandment straight from the lips of the Redeemer Himself! Eternity stalks the entire planet, and I am convinced that if we could bring ten people back from hell, and give them another chance, their uncontrollable and single-minded message would seem abrasive and unsophisticated to us believers who are so enamored with this life. You see, they would have seen what we don't even wish to imagine. I am a nobody, but you have heard the truth...

1 comment:

luvvom said...

Spurgeon said, "It is dangerous to rely on some former day as your conversion, you should always be turning to Christ daily". Thanks for the quote...I'll use it.
I love your fervency for spreading the Good News. I have to admit that I am lacking tremendously in this area because of the pride that covers my heart. God is starting to awaken this part of His command to me. It's not enough to just love those I know to be His children. I must also seek out those who will be His children by spreading the Good News to all I come in contact with. This is new territory for me and I have to learn how to do it correctly and remember to do it. The last time I worked some people at work asked to me to go to the bar with them. I found it odd that they would ask me that and then told them I couldn't. They asked my religion and I said that I was a Christian. I have been very verbal at work that I am a Christian and so while they were just staring at me, I was staring back at them! Later, I thought to myself, "There was an opportunity to ask them if they knew Christ!" I've got a thick head!