By Chris Vidacovich
I received the news that the house of some dear Christian friends in Bastrop was destroyed in the recent fires. I stopped to think about all of our members and friends who had to abandon their homes but were spared the emotional tragedy of losing everything. In many cases, the fires got close, but the homes were rescued. Some still have their cars, trucks and RV’s loaded just in case the fires start up again. So I had one of those moments of reflection: What would I save if I could only save one thing?
Of course, we would first think of our families. We would want to make sure that everyone got out unharmed. Then perhaps you might think of your pets. Pictures and home movies are some things that cannot be replaced. There may be a family heirloom or that one piece of furniture. It could be that you would grab some important papers or a painting on the wall. Whatever you might save, that one thing is important to you.
So let’s take our thoughts one step further. At the end of your life, what one thing would you go back and change? As someone has said, “No one ever proclaimed from their death bed, ‘I wish I would have spent more time at the office.’” But more than anything else, the one thing you would change probably has something to do with a relationship. It could be you would have treated your spouse better. Maybe you would have spent more time playing with your kids. You might have that friendship that was strained because of a past disagreement or you didn’t get to resolve your difference before their death. It could be that you would wish you would have been a better Christian example because it will be at the end of your life that you will realize just how important your relationship with God really is.
If you knew you were going to hell because of the judgment, what one thing would you change? That answer is actually easy: You would change your relationship with God through Jesus Christ the Savior. Paul warns us that “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). So we already know that that Day is coming and that we should be prepared for it now. In Acts 4:12, Peter teaches us that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." 1 John 2:2 says that Jesus “is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” So we know that God has already accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of all mankind, for our sins, but we have to be willing to accept that sacrifice. The only way we can have a relationship with God is by accepting that sacrifice, but we can’t wait until the end…the end might come sooner than you think.
Through Jesus you would change your eternity but also your life. You would use God’s Word and the examples of Jesus so that you would know how to live a life that is pleasing to God. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” At the end of your life, if you realize you have lived your life without Jesus, you will have missed out on the best that life had to offer you and you will miss out on eternity with God.
This is the moment of reflection when we answer this question: If you were to die right now, or if Jesus were to come this very moment, do you know for sure, without a doubt, that you would be with God for all eternity?” If your answer is anything but yes, there is Someone you need to hold on to now to avoid the fire!
One of my prize possessions sits on my shelf in my office. It is a simple wooden music box that survived a house fire from some dear friends of mine years ago. It is still smoke stained and seems very plain. But it plays Amazing Grace. It is a reminder to everyone who plays it that the only way to escape the flames is by the amazing grace of God. Now is time to cling to His Grace.