My immediate future is uncertain. After a two year absence, we’re planning to return to Madeira, a gorgeous Portuguese island in the Atlantic, but we can’t go unless our dogs are taken care of. No problem, we’ve booked them into dog kennels. When I say dog kennels it’s more like a dog hotel, it’s had over 150 reviews and all of them are 5* which is great. We’ve been to a meet and greet to look around the kennels and to allow the staff to meet our dogs, and yesterday they went to daycare. We took them at 10 am and planned to pick up two happy dogs at 5 pm but at 11:30 a dreaded phone call came saying can you pick them up. It appears little Ben was too scared and needed to be taken home. We’ve agreed to take them again next week but it may not work out and we will have to cancel our holiday. If that’s what happens we accept it but the uncertainty isn’t helpful. I’m one of those people who has to have everything sorted in advance and I don’t like having this problem hanging over us.
If you’ve ever had a job interview you’ll know about uncertainty and its impact. From the time of application to the decision being made you have to live with uncertainty. Will I, won’t I get the job? Do I really want it? Could I have better answered the interview questions? Do you remember the final school exams? You complete them in May/June and you don’t know the results until August. If they’re not as good as you had hoped for it can stop you from going to the university of your choice, so the summer holidays are a stressful time. You feel unwell and the doctor wants to undergo a series of tests. Until they’re complete you’ll be worried about the results. You hope you’ll be ok but there’s no certainty.
Many people across the world face uncertainty about their eternal futures. The rock band Queen sang ‘Who wants to live forever?’ and the answer is everyone. No one wants to die and so we spend billions finding ways to extend life. Some millionaires have had their bodies frozen in suspended animation in the hope that one-day cures will be found for all diseases, at which time they can be unfrozen. This is what they call cryogenics. Great minds have pondered the mystery of life but no one has found an answer.
Look at the world’s great religions. All they can do is guide us in how to live but they offer no eternal security. Only Jesus does that. Only he has boldly pronounced “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (1) Christians have no uncertainty about their eternal future because Jesus has guaranteed it. As a Christian, I may not know if I can go on holiday soon but I do not doubt that I am going to live forever. Why am I certain? Because it’s got nothing to do with me and all to do with Jesus.
If my eternal future was dependent upon me I’d be lost. I’m a decent enough person, I think, but I know I’ve sinned many times so that excludes me from living with a perfect God. Even worse I can’t do anything about it, but Jesus can and he has done. He left his Father in heaven and came to earth where he lived the only perfect life this world has ever seen, and then he died on a cross. It was no accident because this was the reason he came to earth. The Bible says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (2) Although the sins are ours and the punishment for them is ours Jesus willingly died on the cross to suffer and die in our place, but it’s an act of love that requires a response if we’re to benefit from it. If we choose to reject Jesus then it’s only fair that we face any punishment due to us. However, exercising faith in Jesus will see our sins forgiven and eternal life is given to us. Jesus himself said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (3) Believing brings us to God, removes all uncertainty and guarantees eternal life. I have eternal life, not because of what I’ve done but because of what Jesus has done. You too can have a certain future if you simply trust in Jesus.
- John 10:27,28
- 1 Peter 3:18
- John 3:16