As long as it was over in Africa, news and headlines surrounding Ebola was geared toward striking fear into the hearts of those who read about it. Now that it appears to have been given access to spread in the US, suddenly headlines are beginning to take on a less fearful tone. Which is it? Are we to be afraid or are we to keep cool heads? Is there a real danger or is there only danger if we don’t take wise precautions?
Whichever way you choose to look at the situation, one thing for the Child of God remains crystal clear! While mankind can only kill the body, there is a greater and more permanent death awaiting in eternity for those who did not make the right choice in this life. The Child of God made that choice and whether they live or die, they live or die to God.
I had a daydream this morning about someone hearing the news of Ebola landing on US soil and freaking out quite badly. This person got upset with me for asking them who they feared more. Scripture says our eyes are to be on God, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). The book of Revelation shares about a concept known as “the second death” (Revelation 2:11),(Revelation 21:18), which has no power over the saints of God. This “second death” is when hell and the grave get tossed into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10,14), where all who rejected God’s gift of Salvation through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary would be tormented forever and ever.
Once again, it boils down to where we have placed our focus. For many of us, our focus is in the “here and now” and many of the so-called inspirational sayings I see around the ‘net speak of living in the here and now rather than living in the past or living in the future. Unfortunately, this mindset causes people who espouse it to ignore the signs of the times. They don’t prepare themselves for what is coming, nor for their eternal home in the New Jerusalem. For these people, the concept of death’s door is indeed very frightening! But for those who look for Christ and His appearing, death’s door is merely a quicker way to join the ranks of those worshipping at His feet in heaven’s “here and now”.
One thing to remember, is that God will not allow a person to die unless one of two things is true: their job is done, or they will not be able to handle what is coming down the pipe in the course of world events. Scripture says that the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23). Scripture says that all our days are written in a book before we are even born. Therefore, we need not fear lack of accomplishment when our time comes.
I have sat in the funeral of a 2yr old who died of brain cancer. I have sat in the living room of an uncle whose son, my cousin was battling cancer. That cousin now has a family of his own. I was seven years old when my own mother was sent home to die, but God chose to heal her from cancer. Every single one of us knows someone touched by cancer, and cancer takes countless lives every year. The normal, everyday flu bug takes 1000’s of lives every year as well. Now we are facing a modern-day plague. When will it run its course? How many will succumb before it plays itself out? Will a miracle drug be found? I don’t have any of those answers. But I do know a God who is control of my life and who will ensure I am not taken before my time.
The days of each and every person are numbered. We each have an expiry date. It’s interesting to think of what happens to fruit as it approaches its expiry date. Fruit that is allowed to gracefully travel through its expiry date will age into bakery products, cider vinegar, or even wine. Fruit that reaches its expiry date ungracefully goes rotten and gets tossed into the compost heap. As human beings, we can choose how we reach our expiry date. We can choose whether we will spend eternity with Jesus Christ, or eternity in hell. But that choice must be made on this side of eternity while we walk this earth.
If the thought of death by disease scares you, then it’s time for soul-searching evaluation of a) where your postal address is on the other side of death’s door, and b) where your focus is if you’ve already decided that address. As Christians, we need to re-evaluate where our focus is, so that we get our eyes off the waves of peril and onto Jesus Christ reaching His hand out to us before we sink beneath the waves.
Scripture also implicates via various passages that those forced to die for their faith are dear to His heart as well. God holds you in the palm of His hands. God asked me many years ago if I would trust Him with my life. Now He’s asking you. Don’t fear those who can kill your body. They don’t decide where you spend eternity. However is it God before whom you will answer one day, and who at death’s door, will point one way or the other based on the decision you made in earthly life. The greater tragedy won’t be your death, but your lack of decision as to where you’ll spend eternity. No decision ends up in hell right alongside those who deliberately turned away. As Christians we don’t grieve the way the heathen do. We grieve as those saying goodbye to someone moving to a far country. We WILL be reunited one day!
Do you know where you’ll go when you die?