The certainty of death combined with a longing for the eternal indicates that there is more to reality than what we see around us. When a baby is born, there is no certainty for the life ahead but for the fact that one day, death will arrive. Dislike it, fight it, delay it, ignore it, no matter what you do, it will not go away! And when it does come, it does mock at all that you have toiled for your entire life. What is also strange is that despite death being a certainty, most live as though death would never happen. That combined with a longing for eternal life betray the fact that eternal life is real. CS Lewis said, “While the presence of hunger does not prove that you will get food, it does prove that food exists”. Likewise a longing for the eternal does indicate that eternal life is no wishful thinking. Now for those who have seized the promise that Jesus Christ offers, the hopelessness that death brings has been changed into the certain hope that death will not be an end, rather a stepping-stone into eternal life.
‘That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved’ (Romans 10:9). This first step combined with an attitude of repentance and a decision to live in submission to God brings regeneration within a person. Life turns from being a nomadic pursuit to a pilgrimage, wherein we are conscious that we are not here to stay but are passing by. Among the many meanings of the term pilgrim, ‘traveler’ is what will make most sense for this blog. For a pilgrim, Paul’s words to a young Timothy become relevant.
‘Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers’ (1Tim 4:16; NIV).
This verse forms the basis for what this blog hopes to achieve. Four questions arise.
1. Where are you headed for?
It would be wise for every person to step away from the business of life consider his life from a viewpoint of death. If death were to arrive today, what would be my expectation and do I have the assurance that my expectation will come true? Being saved as Paul says or the assurance of eternal life is something that a follower of Christ can have. That is when a pilgrimage begins, for a pilgrim is not an aimless wanderer. He moves toward the goal of eternal life, which gives meaning to his current earthly pursuits. Death no longer is a void that terminates his existence, rather a transit to his destination. George Macdonald said, ‘I came from God and am going back to God, and I wont have any gaps of death in the middle of my life’. Only a Christian who has complete confidence in the certainty of his eternal life can say that. Yet, many Christians struggle to have the assurance of eternal life. What do you think are the reasons for that? Comments are welcome. I will deal with the other questions later.
- FOUR QUESTIONS FOR A PILGRIM-PART 2