I’ve just been looking at a Facebook group called the Buckley Memory Bank. Buckley is a town in North Wales about 10 miles west of Chester and it’s where I grew up. I lived there until I was 32 before moving down south. What I read today has made me very sad, a post about my best friend growing up who has sadly died. His funeral takes place tomorrow.
Pete was a character and we got on well. We’d travel miles together on our bikes exploring the local area and getting into all sorts of scrapes, and we joined the town brass band when we were just 10 years old. That led to great experiences, particularly in the summer months when we played with the band at many summer fayres and had a crafty pint together, even though we were underage by some way. I’m finding it hard to believe he’s gone even though I haven’t seen him for years.
It’s a problem with life, isn’t it? We have no idea when it will end for each one of us. Some with a terminal illness may have a good idea, but no one knows the day or hour of their demise. We live as if we go on forever and ignore what our bodies are telling us. Why is that do you think? Why don’t we prepare better for death since it’s coming to all of us? Could it be that we’re afraid of death and what may happen to us afterwards?
Some people have decided that there is no God and no life after we die. Our bodies just rot away and that’s it, which makes it easier to approach death, but there’s no logic to that idea. If this is all there is, where do the concepts of God, heaven and hell come from? We couldn’t invent something that is beyond understanding, nor could we see these concepts propagated throughout the world. Every society on earth has its ideas of God and the afterlife. The Bible tells us that “The fool says in his heart, There is no God.” (1) Such an idea is a complete denial of reality. Follow it through carefully and it leads nowhere except misery and despair. We need God with the hope and comfort he brings to us.
I don’t know if my friend Pete had faith, I hope so because faith in Jesus Christ is essential if we want to die assured that we are going on to something better. It’s amazing how many people lose relatives and assume they’re looking down from heaven at us, no one ever seems to have a relative who looks up. Many of those relatives may be in heaven, I would love that to be true, but it’s only guaranteed if we know Jesus in this life. Decisions we make now will affect what happens in the next life, although as a Christian I don’t see a next life but an eternal continuation of this one in a spiritual body rather than physical, and unaffected by sin that is the root cause of our troubles in this life.
With our eternal future in mind let’s look at what the Bible teaches. “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” (2) God hates sin and unfortunately, through Adam, it has spread to all so death also comes to all. This death is not the physical death that we experience but spiritual death, a separation from God for eternity, and there’s nothing we can do about it. To overcome spiritual death ourselves it would require of us that we live a perfect, sinless life. None of us can do that so we need to look elsewhere for our salvation.
Thankfully, there is someone who lived a perfect, sinless life and that’s Jesus. We are told in the Bible that he is God’s Son who came to earth to live perfectly and then to die, not because he deserved to but because God had determined that through Jesus our sins could be forgiven as he was punished for them. Accepting the truth of this, confessing our sins, accepting that Jesus is our Saviour and choosing to live for him, which guarantees eternal life. It’s a life freely offered to all, it’s a life offered to you. If you want to be sure of your eternal security and to have confidence that with death comes a better life, simply put your trust in Jesus
- Psalm 14:1
- Romans 5:12