No. 492
Since the beginning of recorded history, one of the most perplexing questions that has ever confronted human kind is whether or not there is a literal heaven or a literal hell. This is to say a place where we are going to spend eternity. No doubt you have your own personal views and convictions, and my purpose here is certainly not to question what you believe. We are each free to think and believe as we choose. As I've said many times before, I am not a minister and I don't attempt to preach in my speaking and writing. However, I do care about every human being because I believe we are created in the image of God and our purpose on earth is to serve Him.
The topic of our eternal destiny is not reserved for the rich, the poor, the strong, the weak, the successful, the unsuccessful or any person regardless of gender, nationality or social status, so it should be worth thinking about for a few minutes today. You could be like me, a born-again Christian, or you could be an atheist, an agnostic, or subscribe to any of the other world religions, but where we are going when we die is very important. I might add, a person who is beautiful, wealthy or famous does not get a pass here either. When we near the time of our death, we are going to at least think about where we will spend eternity.
What got me to thinking about this topic is something a friend sent me the other day titled, "What a Wonderful Way to Explain It." Please allow me to share it with you and see if you don't agree.
"A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, 'Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.' Very quietly, the doctor said, 'I don't know.' 'You don't know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?' The doctor was holding the handle of the door, on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.
"Turning to the patient, the doctor said, 'Did you notice my dog? He's never been in this room before. He didn't know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing - I know my master is there and that is enough'."
The bottom line of what this doctor was saying is that he had faith - and when he died, God would be there waiting for him. As a Christian, I believe the same way. For most of my life I lived without the peace that passes all understanding. That changed back in 1984 when I put my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Again, who and what you believe in and where you place your faith is your own personal affair, but in addition to my deep faith in God, I have also reached a practical way of viewing the question about where I will spend eternity. For me personally, I had much rather live like there is a God and find out when I die that there isn't than to live like there is no God and find out when I die that there is. When it comes to my faith, here is another conclusion that I have reached that may also merit some consideration. Even if my faith is misplaced, I still believe the Christian lifestyle is the best way on earth to live.
The Bible teaches in Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." This simply means that none of us is perfect and I often tell those in my audiences, "I am just a sinner who has been saved by God's amazing grace." One reason we need to get back to the Bible is because it contains the truth, and is the standard for right living. Over the past several decades, in our country we have gone way too far with this idea of political correctness. In today's culture it may be politically correct to say "Seasons Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" when we celebrate the birth of Christ, but for me, it is "Merry Christmas" the way it's been for more than 2,000 years.
When I hear about people in our country who are trying to change this, I ask myself the question, "What are these people thinking?" On a television talk show a while back I heard the former mayor of Boston say, "These people make up about 3 percent of our population and they want to remove Christ from the very mainstream of American life for all the rest of us." If you believe as strongly as I do, it's not going to happen. I'm not going to spend my money with any store or organization that advocates that, either. They say they are simply trying to be sensitive and not offend people who have a different faith. Really? I mean, is that really their motive? I am certainly not a radical, but this is one of those cases where I believe every true American should take a stand.
(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)