The end is only the beginning
Some of you who read my life stories may say, wow. Some will say “that’s nothing”, and some will say nothing at all. One thing is certain we all have a story.
Sad stories, tragic stories, good ones, happy ones, memorable stories that will be told long after were gone. Which brings me to my point. The question remains, what difference do all these stories make in light of eternity? In the end our stories die with us. Not true!
The end is only the beginning. But one thing is sure, we are all going to die. But is there something more? As a Christian I believe there is, and scripture tells us there is in Romans 6:23 “The reward for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That’s great you say, but, “i don’t believe in God!” John 6:18 says this, “ Those who believe in him won’t be condemned. But those who don’t believe are already condemned because they don’t believe in God’s only Son.”.
OK, OK, let’s just say there is a God. Why does this have anything to do with my story? Well, our story takes place here on earth, and what we do here or don’t do here determines where we go at the end.
Psalm 51:5 tells us this, “Indeed, I was born guilty. I was a sinner when my mother conceived me.”
But I’m not that bad! Not like you Bobby, listen to Romans 3:22-23 “There is no difference between people. 23 Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God’s glory.”
Yes that was me, a sinner, headed straight for hell, had God left me to die that night on Hylan blvd I would be living in eternity right now, in HELL! But God saved my life that night for one reason, to save my soul, and He did. One year later. Even in spite of all those stories, the years of abusing my body with drugs, the countless times I stole, lied, cheated, and hurt people, yes He saved me.
Why you may ask? Because He loves us, yes, even you! John 3:16 tells us, “God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.
There is nothing you can do, or say, or think that will ever make God not love you. This verse is great!
Romans 8:38-39 “ I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love which Christ Jesus our Lord shows us. We can’t be separated by death or life, by angels or rulers, by anything in the present or anything in the future, by forces 39 or powers in the world above or in the world below, or by anything else in creation.”
So even after all the things you have done HE STILL LOVES YOU. OK, you say, He may love me but He can never forgive me! Oh yes He can. He forgave me, He will forgive you. His word says He will.
1 John 1:9, “God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. 10 If we say, “We have never sinned,” we turn God into a liar and his Word is not in us.”
But why? How can He forgive me, I have not done any thing to earn that forgiveness? You can’t earn it, and never can, and you don’t deserve it either, no one does. Our forgiveness was bought. It wasn’t cheap either, it cost a life! Jesus life. It was His life for our,” Isa 53:4-7 “He certainly has taken upon himself our suffering and carried our sorrows, but we thought that God had wounded him, beat him, and punished him.5 He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from his wounds.6 We have all strayed like sheep. Each one of us has turned to go his own way, and the Lord has laid all our sins on him. 7 He was abused and punished, but he didn’t open his mouth.”
He went to the cross for us, for every car I stole, for every punch I’ve thrown, for every sin you and I committed, He went and was nailed to that cross for us. As the song says, “we owed a debt we could not pay, He paid the debt He did not owe”. It cost a lot, IT COST HIS LIFE. Here’s the good news, the end is only the beginning. It did not all END AT THE CROSS, that was the beginning, because after He died He rose from the dead! Matthew 28: 1-9 tells us, “Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.”
He came back to life, just as he said He would. Because if the end was at the cross, then the story would have died at the cross with Him, and my story would have died on Hylan Blvd with me. The end was only the beginning, for Jesus followers, for me and for you, if you accept this gift Jesus is offering you right now. Ephesians 2:8-9, “ For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
I accepted that gift August 22nd 1988, a year after Jesus spared my life. He showed me through His love for me, His mercy on me, and His grace to me, that there was hope; even for someone like me.
You don’t earn a birthday gift, do you? A gift is given in love. You just receive it and say thank you.
Scripture make it clear so even I understand, in the book of Romans 6:23 it says, “for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I want to ask you now, to consider the gift God is offering you, because the fact is we are not guaranteed another minute here on earth. Especially if you live your life the way I did. Now is the time to make that choice. Gods word says this, in Hebrews 9:27, “it is appointed unto men to die once, then comes judgment.”
So receive the gift that Jesus bought for you with His life.
John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”.
Interested in really knowing Jesus? Please visit www.needhim.org