Preparing to go out or getting ready for various events in life is a major part of human activity. When two people fall in love and decide to get married then great preparation is made for the wedding day. Later on if they discover that they are expecting a baby there is equally as much planning that goes into the preparation for the arrival of the little one. Life is full of times of preparation. Often this is exciting and sometimes it makes life very hectic.
As I consider the tragic events that took place in Manchester, England in the last week I wonder how many people who entered that arena were prepared for the end of their life. Please don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to make mileage out of a sad event and I don’t think that they shouldn’t even have had to consider that life may have ended in such an awful way. But my question remains the same – how prepared was each individual, in that arena, to leave this world and enter the next. My heart breaks when I consider the age of the children that died. The tragedy of teenagers who had hardly begun to live and life was taking forcibly from them but the question remains the same – how prepared were they for this final step from this life to the next?
Please let me turn the question round and address it to you. Are you prepared for the next life? Do you understand that there is life on the other side of death? Do you realise that this life is about the preparation for the next?
There are a lot of other questions that sit alongside the ones that I have posed. Questions that might challenge some of the things that I have send! You might say that I’m making assumptions. Or you may deny the validity or the basis of the statements that I make. I would, with all due respect, ask you to read some of my other blog posts before passing judgement as they go into more detail about why I believe the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ to be the truth.
I want to leave you with a couple of statements from the Bible and I want to request that you take time to consider them and reflect upon them.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
This statement is repeated twice by a man who is renowned to be the wisest man who ever lived. Basically he is saying that we think we know the truth, we think we know what is right but actually we get it wrong and our way ends in death.
You are no doubt a very good person as measured against other people but we all are flawed and sinful and need salvation from a God who is holy and against whom we have sinned.
Remember now — thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
This is a warning to young people to think about God early in life. You might be well beyond ‘the days of your youth’ but if it was important to think about God when young then it must be even more important and urgent as life progresses. God is concerned about all his creation, he hates evil, he will judge the perpetrators of evil but he does not pick and choose which sins he judges. He judges grosser sin more severely than lesser forms of sin. However that will not be much of a comfort when you are excluded from heaven, God’s grace and all that our hearts desire. God will judge all sin and humanity fairly and justly.
Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
This recommendation was made to a nation. They had sinned against God and were about to be judged by him. The advice of the prophet Amos was that they should prepare to meet God. The advice is just as significant for us today in the 21st-century. We need to be prepared for the day when we meet God.
I am praying that God would give help in our country to reduce and control terrorism. I doubt that will ever eradicate it but I hope that we can minimise it and reduce the horrible events of Manchester being repeated elsewhere.
But let us learn a lesson. A lesson that we would rather not learn. We need to be prepared for the unexpected, prepared for the end of life, prepared even though we might not be in the age bracket where we expect life to end. It could, and did and the tragedy is that many were most likely not prepared.
The ultimate advice in the Bible is that we should believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved, Acts 16:31. Would you take that advice today.