The Scariest Scenario: To Be Counted Among the MANY (Re-visited 2019)
While attending a funeral Mass this month, the topic of this previous post came to mind and I thought it appropriate to revisit it.
What could be the scariest story that I could relate to you on this Halloween Week?
Not one from terrifying fictional literature or the movies, but how about one that is real? The same one I wrote of in 2013.
About 2000 years ago eight eyewitnesses wrote of a man of unusual wisdom, who demonstrated miraculous power and a great love for God and others. He proclaimed that He was not only the promised Anointed One sent to Israel by God in fulfillment of 4000 years of prophecies written or passed down, but that He was the Son of God and among other things He was given the responsibility of judgment at the end of time. His name, as you have probably surmised, is Jesus Christ
In one of His discourses He warned, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Mat 7:21-23 NIV).
THESE are the scariest verses in the Bible to me.
In these words Jesus Christ plainly states that MANY who claim to know Him and be a spokesman for Him, and even MANY of those who perform deeds and/or miracles in His name, will not be acknowledged as one of His own on the Day of Judgment. Furthermore, He will say that He doesn’t even know these MANY. He says not “a few” but “MANY.” Yikes!
Thus, the scariest scenario for me is to think that I or any of those whom I know, who appear to be heaven bound, could be told at the Judgment that we are among the “MANY” who will be sent away to Hell for eternity.
After many years of Bible study, I have come to understand that the Bible teaches that to be in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is to be born again. Jesus again plainly declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3b NIV). So, the bottom line is, “What does it mean to be born again?” — “Am I born again?” — “Are you born again?”
In my Bible study I have found that the characteristics and/or practices of one who is “born again” are well described in Psalm 119. This psalm has 176 verse and “tests,” but I only list a few here. As Paul the Apostle instructs, it is good to examine one’s self to be sure. The following are attitudes and desires that are characteristic of one who is “born again:”
- I find joy in the way of your decrees (the Ten Commandments) more than in all riches. (Psa 119:14 NAB-A)
- I lie prostrate in the dust; give me life in accord with your word. (Psa 119:25 NAB-A)
- Lead me from the way of deceit; favor me with your teaching. (Psa 119:29 NAB-A)
- I will speak openly of your decrees without fear even before kings. (Psa 119:46 NAB-A)
- This is my comfort in affliction, your promise that gives me life. (Psa 119:50 NAB-A)
- I entreat you with all my heart: have mercy on me in accord with your promise. (Psa 119:58 NAB-A)
- I am the friend of all who fear you, of all who keep your precepts. (Psa 119:63 NAB-A)
- You are good and do what is good; teach me your laws. (Psa 119:68 NAB-A)
- Your hands made me and fashioned me; give me insight to learn your commands. (Psa 119:73 NAB-A)
- How I love your teaching, Lord! I study it all day long. (Psa 119:97 NAB-A)
- My flesh shudders with dread of you; I hold your edicts in awe. (Psa 119:120 NAB-A)
- My eyes shed streams of tears because your teaching is not followed. (Psa 119:136 NAB-A)
- I have wandered like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I do not forget your commands. (Psa 119:176 NAB-A)
If these thoughts from Psalm 119 prompt you, call out to Jesus Christ in prayer right now for today is the day of salvation. Ask for the gift of eternal life and deliverance from the coming judgment (at the end of time or the end of one’s life) and/or that you can be sure that you have been. This can be a daily prayer, even as one grows more sure of his/her eternal destiny. Read the Bible daily also. Each of us needs to be delivered not only from the penalty and eternal punishment of sin (falling short of compliance with the Ten Commandments), but its power, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
When one knows Jesus Christ, or should I say known by Him, there is no need to be scared about one’s eternal destiny.