Wednesday, October 26, 2022

An offer you can't afford to ignore!

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

I am writing this column as I prepare to leave for a trip to Israel. It has been a lifelong dream to visit the land of the Bible, and my wife has arranged this 'once in a lifetime' experience for which I am very grateful.


The phrase - 'once in a lifetime' still has some significance. It evokes thoughts of exciting things that we would love to do. But, unfortunately, the chances of them happening are so unlikely that you will probably only ever get one chance to do it.


There are two significant 'once in a lifetime' events that we all experience. These are also the two bookends of human life, i.e., birth and death. You have no control over the former, and the latter is usually also out of your control. So, are these just random events, or is there a higher power in control? 


The Bible teaches that your birthday was set by God. Our parents obviously had a part to play in bringing us into the world, but Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verses 1 and 2 states, 'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die'. In Genesis chapter 17, verse 21, God tells Abraham when his son will be born. You could argue that God, knowing everything, was informing Abraham that his son would be born, not that he would ensure it would happen. However, in Genesis chapter 21, verses 1 and 2, it is recorded that the Lord visited Sarah and did for Sarah 'as he had promised,' NASB. She gave birth to a boy. In other words, God played a crucial role in ensuring conception. In this story, God didn't just know the future but guaranteed the child's birth. Of course, Abraham had to play his part, but ultimately God is the author of life. Every child born into this world results from God giving life. Other Bible references indicate that God controls the birth of every living being. 


Let's consider human life. It is incredible that we exist at all. Science concludes that the existence of humans on this planet is extraordinary. The conditions for our survival are so finely tuned that it is mind-blowing that we exist. Our physical anatomy also demonstrates excellent design and precision. Still, we are so fragile that life can be extinguished instantly. Who of us has not marvelled that our life has been preserved in circumstances well outside our control! Whether it be an illness, an accident, or unexpected events, there seemed to be someone controlling our lives when we could not. The Bible says: ' In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind,' Job 12. 10. 


When it comes to life's end, your death will not just be a random event. Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27 makes it clear 'it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment'. God has set that appointment, but it's not the end. It is the transfer from this life to the next. The verse states that each of us has an 'after this'. 


But there is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity that faces you now. You can ignore the message of the Bible, carry on as you are and miss this great offer of salvation. OR 


You could get serious about your life and future, sort out your priorities and come humbly to God. God loves you. He sent His Son, Jesus, to this world 2022 years ago to die for you. If you repent (change your thinking about God and stop disobeying Him) and come humbly to God confessing your sin, He (God) will forgive you, cleanse you and save you. 


"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" - Acts 16:31


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