Monday, July 1, 2013

Where is your hope?

Space...the final frontier. Those words began a lifelong love for me. Star Trek has always been one of my favorite shows. In fact, I have an episode of Deep Space Nine playing on Netflix now. But what is it about a show like Star Trek that people find so attractive? For me, what I like about the show is that it provides a "hope" for the future. But, is it a real hope? No, it isn't. Shows like Star Trek gave people a glimpse of a future where the people of this planet work together and achieve great things to advance the whole of humanity. The problem with those types of shows is that they give a false sense of what the human race is capable of accomplishing, because they are based on the premise that all people are basically good and decent. The Bible tells us that none of us are without sin. Jesus said that none are good, except the Father. We do not have the answer within ourselves to overcome sin; the answer simply does not exist in humankind. God gave man a means of avoiding sin, but he could not accomplish the task. In fact, in the Garden of Eden, God gave man two choices: be obedient and live for eternity in the peace of God; or, be disobedient and suffer the eternal consequences. We know the answer, because here we are. So how does mankind overcome sin and what hope do we have for the future?

Allow me to answer the second part of the question first. We have the hope a future with Jesus. For one thousand years those that are caught up in the event we call the rapture, Christians will have the joy of being rulers alongside the King of Kings. We have the hope of enjoying eternity with him, after that. We have the hope of seeing our loved ones, who have gone on before us. We have the hope of no pain, no sickness, no death. Christians do not have hope in this world, because this world does not have anything to offer us. We only have hope in what is to come, not in what we have.

Which brings me to the first part of the question. There is only one way for us to have this hope and that is when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. That faith requires Christians to repent of their sins. When a person turns from their sins and receives Christ as their Lord, they accept that He died on the Cross in their place, suffering the punishment they deserved, not Him. His Love for us is proven in His obedience to the Father, Who, in His wisdom, gave His Only Begotten Son to be the perfect Sacrifice for our sins. Don't think of it as a father sending his son to die. Jesus chose to step down out of His Glory, His Power, His Authority, His Godhood, to become a babe in a manger. Think of, say, President Obama stepping out of his office and becoming the man that does all of your work for the day, takes no pay for it, then, out of his own money, completely settles ALL of your debts. You don't owe anyone anything. Your slate is completely wiped clean. How would that make you feel? You'd feel liberated, to do what you want with your life, free to have friends over so that you could tell them what President Obama had done for you, free to give praise to a man that came and took care of all your heavy burdens. Jesus did the same for you, not in a monetary way, but in everything spiritual. Jesus' death on the Cross was the final payment on your debt to sin. God wants His creation to be free from the oppression of the Adversary, but He gave us free will. Will you choose to have all of your spiritual debts paid in full? Or, will you choose to labor in vain, because, as the old song says, you owe your soul to the company store (the company store being all of your sin-debt.) I ask you today, no, I compel you today to turn from your sin of pride, of lust, of drug/alcohol abuse, of greed, whatever your sin and give your life over to the One Who created you and desires to shower you with His Blessings. Pray a simple prayer asking God to forgive you of your sin. Ask Him to come and dwell within you. Ask Him to guide you in all ways, as He leads. If you have a Bible, read it. If you have a church, attend it and talk to the pastor. If you don't have those, then you need to find one, quickly, because the Enemy won't wait until your ready for him to attack. I love you. Jesus loves you. And I'm praying for you who are reading this post, in Jesus' Name. Amen.