Message Recap | 09.14.2014
Speaker: Aaron Taylor, Lead Pastor
When I was young, I observed a lot of death. As a very young boy, I lost my grandmother. I was about 5 years old. I remember the train ride to Toledo. I lost aunts and uncles. Then I lost my grandfather at the age of 12. During this time, I didn’t think much about death. I just knew it happened one day. But what struck me the most is when I heard family and friends say, “They’re in a better place now.” As a young boy I never understood what that meant. I couldn’t comprehend that statement. All I saw was weeping and sorrow. How could anyone be in a better place? To me, death was final. As I grew older, I heard about Heaven. I heard about it almost every day as I attended a Catholic grade school. I heard about other people in the world that thought other things. That their loved ones came back as animals or even other people. Again, I became confused. How could anyone understand death?
There are many different things that people think or believe when it comes to death. In Ecclesiastes 3:11 Solomon wrote that God has placed eternity in the human heart. This means that we are hardwired for hope. Most people, I think, today seem to believe that there is a heaven, but if we look around, we might come to think that we seem much more content to live for the moment; to give it all you got with the time you have left.
King Solomon said, “All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them. This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.” (Ecclesiastes 9:2-3 NIV) Solomon shares that death is certain. Ultimately, every man who has ever lived or will ever live will die. Solomon was right; the same destiny overtakes us all. You and I can work out, take our vitamins, drink bottled water, stay away from McDonalds, and swear off Dunkin Donuts, but even with the best of care for this flesh, it is one day going to give out and we will die.
If you want to learn more about Living with Hope and conquering death through Jesus Christ, listen to our podcast at http://painesvilleag.com/good-life for the complete message.
Friend, are you living with hope? Did you know that Living with Hope doesn’t ignore the reality of death? It acknowledges the sovereignty of God and the uncertainty of life. We can lift our eyes off of the things on this earth and we can look to God and the future He has planned. And you know what? Living with Hope means making the most of today. Jesus has conquered death and given us a way that we can live with a new reality! Eternal life, forgiveness of sin, and Heaven. With this hope, we can face death without fear, we can face life without fear, and we can risk and enjoy and make the most of the days we are given! This week, set aside some time for prayer and seek God and His everlasting love and hope. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NKJV)