This week I was listening online to a question and answer session. The questions were difficult to answer yet were welcomed by those answering them to the best of their ability. Since being brought up in church, I had always been taught about hell. Many of us wrestle with understanding the eternal consequences of our choices in this life. Compared to eternity, an 80-year lifespan seems insignificant. It is so hard for our minds to grasp the concept of everlasting suffering. The Bible makes the concept of hell clear enough that no one should want to go there. But it also makes it clear that we are given a choice; free will.
Part of exercising free will is choosing whether or not we will seek out our Creator. God has chosen to give us plenty of reasons to believe in Him and enough reasons to doubt. We have to desire in our hearts to want to get to know Him more and when we do with all sincerity, He will reveal more of Himself to us. Some are frustrated with this approach. They ask, why not just make yourself clearly known to everyone, everywhere?
I have wondered about that myself. Over the years though, I’ve also contemplated what it takes to fall in love with a person. When we start out getting to know someone, we have enough evidence to know that a person exists. We can see them, hear them, touch them – hopefully not smell them unless it is deodorant or perfume. We do things with each other and spend time getting to know one another. All of these things combine to form experiences with that person.
Part of the joy and mystery is in not fully knowing the other person. If you knew them instantly what sort of relationship would that be? If they wrote ten volumes of books with line by line detailing everything about themselves and handed them to you, what would you think? On one hand it would be great to know that information. However, part of what makes a relationship exciting is found in the process – in the making of the relationship. It isn’t made overnight but takes time. Even couples who have been together for many years have been known to still learn more about each other as time passes.
In thinking about the length of a relationship, exactly how much time does it take to determine whether you want to be in one or not? Obviously, it depends. But let’s say attraction is there right from the start. Now, it is a matter of finding out who the other person is. We collect information about them. If you only go on dates with them every couple of months, chances are low that you will truly get to know them. If anything, it will prove to that person that you are not serious about getting to know them. In fact, your lack of interest should send the other person running away from you. Yet, if they remain patient its because they sincerely desire to have a relationship with you.
If the average life span is roughly 80 years, then a person is given eighty years to fall in love with their Creator. If you search with all your heart, it will not take that long to determine whether you want to have a relationship or not. Most people find out whether they want to be in a relationship with another person in a matter of weeks or months. How much more time should a person give for a chance to truly know God, who created all things?
Not everyone is given eighty years to make this decision, to say in their hearts, “God, I want to know you.” No person is guaranteed another minute in this life. As Christians, it is our sincere belief that God does not desire for even one to perish but that all should have everlasting life with Him. This importance is declared with urgency from so many platforms. We believe the consequences of ignoring God are real. We also believe you will live no better life than one that has a relationship with Him in it.
Where does a person even start to seek a relationship with God? In John 14:6, Jesus said that He was the way and the truth and the life. Start here.
Categories: Love God