Speaking of "sudden death," Monday morning I came into work and asked one of my friends how her weekend was. Before she even spoke a word her eyes told me everything I needed to know.
A 23-year old young man from her community had died over the weekend - a snowmobile accident. My friend knew the young man and his family and was totally saddened by the loss. A sad loss indeed - someone so young.
The question that always pops into my head when I hear about someone's death is, "Did they know Jesus?" I hesitate to ask the question most times though because, if they didn't, well, why make things worse, right? I just hope and pray that they did.
The world we live in is an incredible distraction. It pulls at us and demands everything from us. And it is never, ever satisfied. If it weren't for God and His Holy Spirit, we wouldn't have a chance. We all would simply die and that would be it.
But God . . .
(Two of my all-time favorite words)
But God . . . allows us to escape the finality of this world by simply placing our faith in His Son. It seems like such an easy thing to do. Yet, for most, it is the absolute hardest.
I don't want to make this sound too dramatic but this morning I had a dream. It is why I am typing this at 4:47 in the morning. In the dream my brother-in-law Curt was standing in front of a church. I was there too. Curt, who has done amazingly well delivering eulogies was about to speak at someone's funeral but for some reason could not, so he turned to me and asked me to do it.
This is what I said. Open your Bibles to the Book of Joshua. The first chapter is key. Moses has just died and now God told Joshua, Moses' aide, that he (Joshua) was going to lead His people into the promised land.
Look at the name Joshua. Now look at the name Jesus. In Aramaic and Greek the name of Jesus is pronounced Eoshoa. Close enough to Joshua for you? In the Old Testament Moses was synonymous with "The Law" but now Moses was dead. The Law is dead. We are under God's grace now. God provided Joshua, just as He provided Eoshua (Jesus), to get His people into the promised land. The real key is the God's people needed to follow a leader into the Promised Land. And so do we. We need to follow Jesus.
I don't know if the young who died this past weekend was a follower of Christ or not. But I know this. NO ONE is getting into the Promised Land with out following Jesus. No one! Not Hindu, not Buddhist, not Mormon, not Jehovah's Witness, not Catholic or Lutheran, Baptist or Calvary Chapel. It is our faith in Christ that is key, not a denomination. Follow Christ!
Are you prepared to cross the Jordan? Have you placed your faith in Christ? He is the ticket you need to make the trip.
"1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:1-9
God tells us to "be strong and courageous" three times in this passage. He also tells us He will never leave us - His children. We all have people in "the world." They need to hear about Jesus. If we truly want them to live, we need to tell them.
The following clip is from the movie The Matrix. Watch it as Morpheus explains to Neo what the Matrix is. It is "the world" WE live in. Listen to his words in that context.