All the books of the New Testament ascertain that there will be the Second Coming of Christ, who will come, this time not as a gentle and lowly Savior, but as a dreadful, righteous judge. He will come in the glory of His Father with the entourage of angels to judge humanity as the shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats.
So after 2000 years of Christianity, what now is your understanding of Jesus Christ and his message?
Whom do you see before you? Who do you say he is?
The week by week journey and message of Great Lent attempts to put before us the reality of man in relation to: mankind and his Creator together as one in Paradise; mankind expelled from Paradise; mankind as the Prodigal Son; the responsibilities of mankind; the need and lessons of persistent prayer; the realization of Jesus as the Christ; all of these lessons together to prepare us for the glorious resurrection we will celebrate on Easter and its promise of eternal life.
We perhaps begin to think about eternal life when we get our AARP card in the mail, realizing our own eventual mortality, pondering how and when did we enter into the category of “old”?
Others, perhaps when a physician’s diagnosis states there is something wrong within our bodies. Or when we attend the funeral of someone we grew up with, a younger family member or a contemporary.
An exercise I would use with teenagers would be to have them write their own obituaries. Sure, they know the date they were born, but what was their marital status; did they have children and grandchildren; what was their career; what were their hopes; what did they accomplish in life; what was their legacy; when would they die?
Those that took the exercise seriously found it difficult because it became an eye-opener at a time when such matters were to be a distant apparition.
During our teen-age years, we all thought we were to live forever, right?
We are told that our eternal fate will be decided by the good deeds that we have or have not done: feeding the hungry; giving a hand to the fallen; consolation to the afflicted; these will inherit everlasting life.
Those who have not performed such charities will be deprived of its highest reward. It is not said, however, what will be the fate of those who have grabbed the food of the hungry, or those who have caused suffering all about them and the like. Even what we think are the “miracles” that we may have created in the name of Christ, even those will not be considered sufficient for gaining eternal life.
What is the best epitaph a person could have?
Here was a person who lived their Christian faith and life to the fullest.
If you want to know what is to go into your obituary, write it now by your actions. After all, none of us know the day or time when Our Lord is to come again. All we know is that we have been given today to . . . repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.