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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Our Expiration Date"

"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him"  (Hebrews 9:27,28).

Expiration dateToday most all packaging for products like food that are perishable has an expiration date. We try to check out these dates when we shop and I try to find one with the longest date, such as when I buy a gallon of milk.

Can you imagine how different life would be if we all had a prominently displayed expiration date printed on our forehead?  We can't see this date on us of course and only God knows it.  But we each have one.  It's expressed in Scripture in the straightforward phrase, "man is destined to die once."  Other versions use the word appointed or ordained. It's in the present tense indicating a fact which is continually true.

It's also a truth that's indisputable.  How many of you know your great grandparents?  Some do and a few may even know or have known their great, great grandparents!  But that's about it.

Over thirty-five years ago I very specifically recall my dad receiving the news that his dad, my grandpa, had passed away.  We had a black, wall-mounted phone in our kitchen at that time and I watched him lean against the wall and weep as he received the news.  Eight years ago it was my turn to deal with my Dad's death.  I know, generationally, I am the next to pass on.  Simply stated, death is the God-ordained transition from this present life to the next.*  We are all destined to die.

The main question is this: Are we ready to die and are we prepared for the judgment?  God has given us a will to decide and no decision we make in our lifetime is greater.  As important as the choice we make in selecting our marriage partner, our life's vocation, or other major decisions, these pale in comparison to this decision. 

The decision is to personally believe in Christ and receive Him as our Lord and Savior.  I hope you have all made this decision and I am sure most of you have.  But if somehow you have come across this brief message and haven't done so, or you are uncertain of your salvation through faith in Christ, let me strongly urge you to examine your heart today and make the most imprtant decision of life. Remember, we all have an expiration date!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's Prayer:  Jesus, it will take my entire life on earth and all of eternity to express my love and devotion to You.  In Your great love and compassion You saw my need for redemption and paid the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the Cross in my place.   You paid in full the sin debt You did not owe so that I could receive complete forgiveness which I did not deserve.  What indescribable peace this brings to my life on this earthly pilgrimage.  Although I do not know my expiration date I have an assurance of eternal life when You have destined to call me home, not because of what I've done or who I am, but because You gave Your all for me!  I receive that gift from You today!  Amen.

* I am aware that there are two individuals mentioned in Scripture (Enoch and Elijah) who did not die in the usual sense and also that the generation alive at the time of the coming of the Lord will pass directly to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

There are many excellent online explanations and presentations of the gospel. One is called Need Him.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Last week while in northern Michigan I visited the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a beautiful area along Lake Michigan. I climbed a giant sand dune and looked out over Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands and inland to a smaller lake called Glen Lake. The photo above is from the top of the dune looking toward Glen Lake. During the winter they allow sledding down the dune, which must be an outstanding sled ride, although I sure can't imagine climbing back up each time!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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