Oct 18, 2007

Stinks to be James and not Peter. Or does it?

In Acts chapter 12, we are told that King Herod began arresting Christians to persecute them. Herod had James, the brother of John, killed with a sword. And when this pleased the Jews, he had Peter arrested. And while Peter was waiting to be tried and persecuted, God sent an angel to free Peter.

Here's the question that begs to be asked. Why did God save Peter and not James? And why did God save Peter from this death when Peter will eventually be martyred later? Why didn't God save Peter from martyrdom?

One of the reasons why we can't help but ask such questions is because for us - even though we may be Christ-followers who believe in eternal life - death is so final to us.

But, perhaps, death is something different for God and we are to learn from God what death means to Christ-followers. I don't think death matters as much to God as it does to us. Because God has opened a way for Christ-followers to defeat death. And we defeat death when we realize that death is not an end but an entrance into eternity.

Perhaps, we have become too comfortable with life here on earth, and we're not supposed to be comfortable here. Earth is not our home. Heaven with its full glory is our home. And when we fail to remember that heaven is our home, we cannot help but see death as a tragic event.

The closest thing that I can come up with is the process of new birth. The baby growing in mommy's tummy, the uterus is a perfect world. It's warm. It's never hungry. All it's needs are taken care of. It seems like a beautiful world. But the parents have been getting the nursery ready and can't wait to see the baby born.

The baby is thinking to himself, I don't have do anything. I can just float around. This is a perfect set up. But the baby must do some things. The baby has to grow the lungs, the heart, the organs it will need to live in the new world. And the baby must grow those things because the uterus is not its home. It's supposed to be born.

And one day, whether the baby likes it or not, the baby will be born.

The same is true for every one of us. One day, whether we like it or not, we will enter into eternity. And what we are called to do while we are here on earth is to grow the lungs, the heart, and the organs necessary for us to live in eternity. And we do that by growing as a Christ follower by obeying God's teachings.

And whether we like it or not, that day will come. We will enter into eternity. And either we will be prepared for that new life by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, or we will be ill-prepared for life in heaven.

Friends, this is not our home. This is not our final destination. We are not comfortable here because we're not supposed to be. We will not find ultimate rest and happiness until we are in heaven. But in order to enter heaven, there are things we must do now here on earth. We must receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and begin growing up as Christ-followers so that when that day comes, death opens the way into heaven. Heaven is our home.

If you're reading this and you haven't done so, start preparing for eternity by receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
  1. Admit that you are a sinner and you need for God to forgive you of your sins.
  2. Accept and believe that Jesus died on the cross for you.
  3. Begin growing up as a Christ-follower by obeying God's word.
  4. Find a Bible-believing church and start serving and giving there.
If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I would love to hear from you and pray for you. I'd love to help you get connected to a Bible believing church. Please contact me at jameskim@trinitypresbyterian.us and I will help you find a good church.

If you are in the Dallas area, there is a fantastic church called Trinity Presbyterian Church. Start attending and growing here.

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