I was speaking with a friend of mine who is going through a business dilemma right now. He is trying to decide what to do and the future of his business hangs on a correct decision. I almost laughed out loud when he told me that he would either be “a hero or a zero.” He went on to tell me that there was no middle ground on this issue. He had to commit a large sum to upgrading his business and the gamble may pay off – or not.
One way, he would come out way ahead and make his sales numbers for the year – conversely, the gamble could be in vain and he could lose all the progress he has made. I can understand his hesitancy about making a decision. The future of his business could very well hang in the balance.
The conversation reminded me that the same thing is true of our relationship with God. Each of us has a decision to make about how we are going to deal with the question of subordinating ourselves and proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord of our life. And like the business decision my friend has to make, there is no middle ground.
This is where the water gets a little murky. I have several friends who don’t believe in heaven or hell. They think that a loving God would never banish people to eternal separation from Him. And I have other friends who who are atheists and don’t believe in God whatsoever. In other words, when you die, that’s the end of it all – I can’t help but think that is incredibly sad. And I even have one particularly close friend who has discussed all this with me in incredible detail throughout many years.
In that relationship, I do have an agreement that we can discuss religion and theology which is, in itself, something that most people try to shy away from. And we kind of have an unwritten agreement that we will respect the position of the other without trying to “convert” one another to our particular way of thinking. In fact, I think that we are such close friends and know each other so well that we could represent each other’s views to a third party without any trouble whatsoever.
But in my heart of hearts, I do believe that Jesus exists, that heaven and hell are real; and that each of us has a free will to make a decision for or against an eternal life with God. In the truest sense of the word, it’s an all or nothing proposition. A hero or zero scenario. No middle ground – no negotiation.
I also believe in the deity of Jesus Christ – yes, He is God, and that by accepting His free gift of salvation, each of us can enjoy eternity with Jesus. I know that’s a tall order, but nothing is too big for God. And I don’t think that we have any right to try to put God in a box and limit Him based on our feeble understanding from our limited human perspective. That means that I expect heaven to be even better than we can even possibly imagine.
Despite all the debate about whether or not God exists, in the ultimate analysis it all comes down to a personal decision that is strictly between you and God. Do you believe or not? And when you are no longer on this earth, are you going to be in the presence of God or not? Hero or zero? It’s up to you…
The verse tonight comes from the book of Jude. He tells us, about the coming of Jesus, in Jude 21, “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Simple but powerful. Jesus has the power to do anything. My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to carefully consider where we wish to spend eternity – in community or separated for all time. My prayer is that you have already answered that question with a resounding strong desire to be with God forever. But in case you haven’t made that decision yet, please consider being a “hero” instead of a “zero.” I would hate for you to be separated from God forever. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace..