News reports bring us the bleak news of terrorist bombings, political unrest, devastating earthquakes, tsunamis, riots, and threats of nuclear, biological and chemical war. Tension in the Middle East is mounting. Drug abuse is increasing. Crime is escalating in our suburbs. Divorce and broken homes are the norm. The depressing news goes on and on.
What does the future hold? Does anyone have the answers?
Millions turn to astrology, psychics, tarot cards and the like, seeking answers to their questions about the future. Others cross their fingers and hope for the best. All the while answers to many questions about the future are available within the pages of the Bible—God’s message to the human race.
Among the prophecies of the Bible, we find this description of society just prior to the end of the world. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Sounds like we are living in the last days, doesn’t it?
If we are living in the last days, what is coming next?
Judgment is on the horizon. The Bible tells us that just prior to the coming judgment, the Lord is going to take all true Christians out of this world. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
If you are not among the true Christians, you will experience the worst global catastrophes the world has ever known. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21). During this terrible Tribulation much of the world’s population will be wiped out. Details can be read in Revelation, the last book of the Bible, chapters 5-19.
Following this Tribulation, peace will be restored to the earth for 1,000 years. However, instead of learning from history, men will once again rebel against God and face another judgment (Revelation 20:1-9). With this, life on this earth will be brought to a close and the earth will be destroyed. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10).
The day of reckoning will come at last. Those, from all ages, who rejected God’s plan for their salvation will be resurrected to stand before their Judge. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; . . . And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12, 15).
Why would God do such a thing?
God is holy and we are sinful people. We have rebelled against him. Even good people are sinners. God says, “. . . there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). The penalty for sin is eternal death. “For the wages of sin is death; . . .” (Romans 6:23).
Does God love us even though we are sinners?
Yes! “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ, God’s Son, died to pay our debt and offer us the gift of eternal life. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God . . .” (1 Peter 3:18). Yes, “. . . the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
This gift cannot be earned by leading a good life or merited through religion. It is only received through Christ. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). Christ alone can forgive our sin and give us eternal life. “In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7).
How can we receive God’s gift of eternal life?
First we must humbly see our sinfulness, admit that we deserve eternal punishment in hell, and acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves. Then, by believing that Christ died for us and asking him to save us, He will wash us clean in His blood (Colossians 1:14). Plus, He will make us His child and a true Christian. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).
Is receiving eternal life that simple?
Yes! “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:12).
By trusting Christ, your future can be bright! Please prepare for eternity —receive God’s gift by trusting Christ right now. In your own words, admit your guilt to God and ask Him to forgive you and make you His child.
For more information, please contact Pastor Scott Childs.