Have you ever stopped to think about your future? No, I’m not getting back onto the last days biblical prophecies just yet. I’m talking about what is going to happen to you in the coming days if Jesus doesn’t return. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this lately for a couple of reasons. As we have been planning to go on a mission trip to a closed country near hostile borders that has just recently amended their constitution in such a way that any mention of the gospel could be outlawed, I started thinking. About my life. What I have accomplished. About my family. I even updated my will. Sorry, girls, it just tells you how to pay off all my bills. 🙂
In reality, I started thinking about what if we don’t come back from this trip. Dozens of things could go wrong: the plane could crash, an earthquake, kidnapping, arrest, leech attack (you think I’m trying to be funny, don’t you), or a myriad of other possibilities. And besides the fact that I can’t stand the thought of my family grieving over my loss, the thought most often in my mind is, “Have I done enough?” No, I’m not concerned about getting into heaven. God isn’t keeping a scorecard that He will check when He comes to take me home. “Okay, Ben, I see that you’ve only led this number of people to faith in Jesus Christ. You could have done so much better.” No, that’s not going to happen. What I wonder is this: was my preaching/teaching clear enough that people who heard would know the truth of the Bible, the way of salvation, and the power of the gospel to set them free? The only thing that keeps me from staying up all night worried about this is that I know the Holy Spirit takes my weak attempts and interprets them into the hearts and minds of the people willing to listen. I am part of the process, but only a part, and when I do my part, God does His part, and that’s when great things happen. You see, the truth of the matter is that God doesn’t “need” me. He has chosen to use us to accomplish His plan, but He is the one that changes hearts. So my responsibility is to simply be faithful to do what He’s called me to do. He will do the rest.
But I have also been thinking about this mortality stuff because of the number of people I have seen enter their eternal reward. Some young; some old. Some following lengthy illnesses; some a total devastating surprise. In a moment — a heartbeat — life can end. And the most important question you can ask is this: Have I done enough? No. Not preach the gospel with clarity. The “enough” that I am talking about is simply whether or not you have “called on the name of the Lord.” Have you cried out to God asking Him to forgive you of your sin because you know Jesus died on the cross just for you? Have you surrendered your life to Him because you know that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day giving you the promise that you, too, can life for eternity with Him? Have you confessed with your mouth to anyone and everyone who will listen that Jesus is Lord of your life? Because you see, that is enough. Just enough. And the promise is that He will give you a great gift: eternal life. Salvation. Hope for today and tomorrow.