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Asking The Right Questions About Life

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A four-year-old was enjoying lemonade and cookies on his grandmother’s patio when a bee started buzzing around the table. He became very upset, and his mother tried to calm him by explaining, “Nathan, that bee is more afraid of you than you are of him. Look how much bigger you are. Besides, if that bee stings you, his stinger will fall out and he’ll die.”

That four-year-old considered this for a moment and then asked, “Does the bee know that?”

That was a perceptive question! Often, we fail in life because we fail to ask good questions or we ask the wrong questions. When it comes to spiritual matters, I find many people who are asking the wrong questions: “Can Jesus Christ make my life happy and give me the inner peace I lack?” “Can Jesus help me save my troubled marriage?” “Can Christianity help me raise my children properly?” “Will becoming a Christian help me overcome the addictions in my life?”

I’m not denying that these are important questions. But I am saying that they are not the most important question. Even if you answer them correctly, but do not address the most important question, you will be building your life on a shaky foundation at best.

The problem with these questions is that they approach Jesus from a consumer mentality without regard for the universal reality of death and eternity beyond and without regard for the absolute nature of spiritual truth.

Take the first question, “Can Jesus Christ make my life happy and give me the inner peace I lack?” Suppose you commit your life to Christ and instead of happiness, your life suddenly encounters multiple major trials. Suppose your loved ones are taken in a tragic accident. Suppose you are diagnosed with terminal cancer. These things aren’t quite what you had in mind when you signed up for happiness and peace!

Or, what if someone else claims, “I found happiness and peace through Zen Buddhism”? Is that option just as good as trusting in Christ, as long as it delivers the goods that the religious consumer is looking for?

I am suggesting that since, as George Bernard Shaw observed, the statistics on death are quite impressive—one out of one people die—and since God is not a subjective projection of the human mind, but is an objective Being who created the universe, who is holy, and before whom each one of us must stand for judgment, the right question we all should be asking is, “How can I be right before a holy God?” None of the things we now think of as important will matter in that moment when we die and stand before Almighty God. Since we are all so vulnerable to death, that moment could occur even today for even the most healthy person reading these words.

The answer to this most important question leads us to the person of Jesus Christ. He made staggering claims about himself which preclude us from calling Jesus just a great moral teacher. For example, Jesus said (John 5:21-24, New American Standard Bible), “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

Jesus is claiming here that he has authority to give spiritual life to whomever he wishes! What mere man can make such a claim! He boldly states that God the Father has entrusted all judgment to him, Jesus the Son. Again, what a ludicrous claim in the mouth of a mere man, even a great man! He goes further and claims that he deserves the same honor given to God the Father! That’s not only absurd, it is blasphemy, if Jesus is a mere man!

But, don’t miss it, Jesus also answers the most important question that we all should be asking in light of the certainty of death and the reality of judgment: How can I be right before a holy God? Jesus’ answer is that we need to hear His word and we need to believe it, especially the fact that He was sent here by God the Father. Why was Jesus sent? John 1:29 clearly states that He is the lamb of God, sent to bear the sins of the world. If you trust in Jesus as your sin-bearer, sent from God, Jesus’ promise is that you have crossed over from death to life, that you possess eternal life, and you will not be condemned in the day when you stand before God.

Don’t waste your life because you asked the wrong questions! The most important question is, “How can I be right before a holy God?” Jesus’ answer is, “Put your trust in Me as your sin-bearer and you will have eternal life.”

You may want to express your trust in Christ in prayer to God. A suggested prayer is, “Heavenly Father, I acknowledge my sin, rebellion, and self-centeredness to you. I rightly deserve your holy judgment. But I put my trust in your Son Jesus and His death on the cross, as the just payment for my sins. Thank you for giving me eternal life according to your promise.”

If you have truly put your trust in Jesus Christ, you have been born into God’s family. As a spiritual baby, you need to grow by feeding on God’s Word (1 Peter 2:2). Purchase a Bible (I recommend either The New American Standard Bible or The English Standard Version) and begin prayerfully reading it. I suggest you start in the New Testament, such as the Gospel of John or Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. As you read, ask two questions: “Who are You, Lord?” “What do You want me to do?”

Also, you need to join a church where the Bible is taught and where God is truly worshiped. If you go to our church web site, there are many resources to help you grow as a Christian. May God bless you as you begin your new life with Him!

Related Topics: Soteriology (Salvation), Spiritual Life

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