Western societies are becoming more and more obsessed with health and safety, and eliminating risk. I stated the obvious in a previous post that, regardless the precautions taken, sooner or later we will all die.
We see reports in the national and local news every day of people killed whilst going about their daily business. A farmer trampled by cows, a man swept out to sea by an out of control vehicle, two teenagers found six hours after their car crashed in a remote area at night, former spies poisoned in a supposedly safe part of the country, London’s murder rate over-taking New York’s! I could go on, but the point is that it could happen to any of us at any time. I’m sure these people weren’t considering that they might be living the last hours of their lives before tragedy struck.
Ironically, perhaps, many people who fuss and worry about their daily safety, or the relative safety of others, make little or no preparation for the most risky venture of their lives; appearing before God on Judgement Day without a remedy for their sin. Surely, preparing for eternity in either Heaven or Hell is worth at least a few hours of immediate consideration?
When I look at the things that keep us busy in this life, I almost feel desperate, because so many of them are unimportant, meaningless and trivial. We are far too attached to earthly things. We are often too comfortable and secure, making us unwilling or unavailable when the time comes for us to consider a work that God would have us involved in. We really need to examine how we spend our time, resources, and money, in light of eternity.
Those who want to keep their daily focus on Jesus, where it should be, are too often told to lighten up, or to find some hobbies or other interests. They are labelled as "extreme" or "fundamentalist". They are too often dissuaded from evangelistic zeal for a plethora of seemingly valid reasons, rather than being encouraged, or even joined, in the spiritual battle for souls.
People are now so distracted by earthly things that the spiritual no longer registers on their horizon. God has somehow been relegated to the “List of non-priorities that perhaps I’ll get round to investigating when I’m on my death bed.” How can this be in a society that is so safety conscious?
Could it be that our nation’s obsession with health and safety is a desperate attempt to delay the inevitable appointment with death? An attempt to draw out the short period that we have here on Earth. If people really believed in a place called Heaven which is reportedly so much better than our current situation, then why are people so keen to stay here? Why do they want to avoid death at any cost?
Doesn’t it make more sense to suggest that most aren’t really sure what happens when they die? I know of several people who, on starting to realise that Christianity might be the truth, have been afraid or unwilling to explore further due to the implications it would have for them personally. They prefer to continue as they are and leave things on hold.
Some prefer to revert to fantastical imaginings of Heaven as a place full of their favourite eateries, or hobbies, or unlimited alcoholic drink. They make wrong assumptions about what Heaven will be like, rather than examining the reality that, according to the Bible, they won't even be going there.
Others prefer not to think about death. They completely bury their heads in the sand until their day comes, figuring that they will deal with it when it happens.
Any, or all, of these approaches, though, seem like a pretty risky way to carry on!
There’s an advertisement that shows a bunch of people settling down on an aeroplane. The captain starts listing all the things that could go wrong with the plane because the proper checks haven’t been done. He suggests they just “wing it.” As everyone rushes to get to the exit door before the plane takes off, the point is made that you wouldn’t want to travel on a plane that wasn’t adequately prepared for the journey, so remember to check your tyres, fuel and oil on your car.
Aren’t we doing the same thing with our lives when we fail to even consider the life beyond this one? When we travel through this life without adequate preparation and expect to just “wing it” when the time comes.
What if God has already provided everything we need to make adequate preparation for eternity? What if God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and to rise again on the third day defeating death and sin once and for all? What if His sacrifice means that on that Day of Judgement we can stand boldly before God knowing that our sin is covered and we will be welcomed into Heaven?
Wasn't this what you have been thinking about this Easter Bank Holiday weekend?