A very long standing friend of mine – we were at school together – asked me recently, straight out “Do you believe in God?” There are few people alive today who know me better than he does and though I have always been of Christian tradition I have during many periods of my life been less than confident in my faith.
I was not facing my questioner when he asked me this question. I turned to face him and said, without any hestitation “Yes I do!”. When I reflect, I was just as much startled by the utter conviction of my response to this particular question as he was. The other thing I noticed about it, was that I felt something very like a relief; to have finally said it, out loud to someone, and without any trace of reservation in my answer whatsoever.
I went on to say “The thing is, if you are right and there is no God, then niether of us have much to concern ourselves with. You and I will live out our lives and die to no consequence at all. If, however, the Bible is the truth of things and I am right in my believes, then you will possibly have a lot to worry about.” It is not so much his none acceptance of what I so clearly see as the truth that troubles me so greatly, but more, that he seems not to be aware that their is a problem that needs an answer at all.
He smiled and said “Yes, but you are my friend and will put in a good word for me?”
“Of course I will and you are a good friend, like a brother. But I do not presume to know what God will do.”
I think that when we die we sleep. We are no longer playing any part in this world. The dye is, as it were cast and our job is done. It would be conforting to think that, for example, that my dear recently departed Father is with me in some sense still. That he sends Robins and gives me other little reassurances that all is well. But no, I think that when we die and whether there be a thousand years or just an afternoon between the hour of our death and the hour Our Lord and Saviour returning to claim his Kingdom, Judgement will be immediately upon each one of us; and a one to one with Him, rejected, spat upon and nailed to a tree of hatred. That is why that the end times have always been near to us even for those alive at the time of Christ’s ressurection and ever since.
I pray to my Father in heaven for my reassurances, and for the deliverence of my old school friend too. But we must each work it out for ourselves, in fellowship with others. The only reason my friend might fail is because he chose not to seek Our Father, not to ask, didn’t knock on his door.
But a time is fast approaching when one will no longer have to search these matters out, the truth will be seen by all who live. But the price of salvation might, by then, be a good deal more costly.
Confess His loving name now!
Blessing and peace be with you.