Some ideas are so vast that even the most brilliant minds can only touch the edges, never mind fully understand them. They grope for enlightenment, excuse their limitations, come up with hypothetical situations of what may be, and extrapolate the little they know, yet they remain in the dark. Some who have the wherewithal to realize it, and the honesty to verbalize it, admit that they know very little, whether the topic is the capacity of the human brain, the universe, or eternity.
It is impossible for a temporal being to fully understand the depth and breadth of eternity. We’ve come up with terms to try and explain it, such as forever or time without end, but again, these are abstract and do very little to pierce the veil of understanding.
As they get older, the girls are starting to ask more difficult questions. Last week I spent a good hour trying to explain the reality that God has no beginning to my oldest, and every time her retort was, but everything has to have a beginning. Yes, everything that is created, I would answer, but God was not created; He has always existed. It may be too much to ask of an eight-year-old to understand, but she asked it, and I couldn’t just brush her off.
When it comes to eternity and eternal life, it is one of those promises that we know God made yet oftentimes fail to understand the full implications of. If men understood eternity, perhaps they would be more concerned about their immortal souls than they currently are, especially where those immortal souls will spend the aforementioned eternity.
It may be a subtle influence, but if the enemy can get someone not to ponder the implications of eternity, then perhaps, he may just get them to put off repentance until it becomes too late. As if things weren’t bad enough, I’m about to strike a blow to the candle industry and confirm what you’ve suspected all along: once you’re dead, you’re dead, and no amount of candle lighting will lead your soul back to the light.
Romanians are big into lighting candles, but so are all predominantly Orthodox cultures. You can walk into any Orthodox church, and some old lady will be there to sell you some candles, day or night, weekdays or weekends. When I used to live there, whether, in the markets or the shops, you were bound to hear someone say that they were on their way to light a candle for a mom, a dad, an aunt, or an alcoholic uncle who drowned in his own well. You could light a million candles until the world looks like a pyre; all it will do is make smoke.
Eternity is promised to us, but we must lay hold of the promise on this side of eternity. Just because there is some tacit agreement between the preacher and the bereaved that, at some point, the dearly departed will be seen as looking down from heaven doesn’t make it so. I understand the notion of not being needlessly cruel, but by the same token, we can’t tell lies just to soothe someone’s burdened conscience.
If many are called, but few are chosen, if narrow is the way and few are those who find it, but every funeral you’ve ever been to the departed is smiling down from heaven, either you know an exceptionally sanctified group of folks, or some of those declarations were lies.
This isn’t me picking at scabs. I’m not that petty. However, let’s say an unsaved individual is at a funeral, and they knew the person in the casket well. They hung out together and did the same nefarious things together, throughout it all, there being no sign of remorse, repentance, regret, or change, yet the man in the starched collar is saying he’s in heaven, sitting at the right hand of the Father. Would that make the individual reflect on their mortality or their need for a savior? Would that even compel them to see themselves as they were and realize that their destination wouldn’t be heaven if they died that day?
Our sloppy handling of the Word can have eternal consequences for others. It is something we ought never to forget because their blood may be required of our hands if we fail to warn them and speak the truth unflinchingly.
Ezekiel 3:18-19, “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”
We have a fiduciary responsibility to warn the wicked from their wicked way. Whether they turn from that wicked way or not is up to them. They decide their course, and by deciding their course, they determine their destination. Once I’ve warned someone, my job is done, my hands are clean, and though they may not turn, though they may die in their iniquity, my soul has been delivered.
If, however, I fail to warn the wicked from his wicked way, and he dies in his iniquity, his blood shall be required of my hands. Nowhere does the Bible say I can go light a candle for them and make it all right or go sit by their gravestone and bid them repent.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 14 March 2023 | 11:11 am
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