It All Adds Up

I tweeted this today:

Two great men have passed away in recent weeks: Reverend Billy Graham and Professor Stephen Hawking.  Both contributed their lifetimes to bettering the world in which they lived.  The difference was that one believed in the God of the Universe, and the other believed in the Universe without God.

BOTH have received their eternal “reward”, with one experiencing all that eternal life can offer with his Heavenly Father, and the other one eternally separated from that same God.

As tributes pour in today for Professor Hawking, there is no doubt that he was a great thinker, a great mind, and a great overcomer of his physical disabilities.  He had a marvelous outlook on life in spite of his limited physical capabilities and he had a great sense of humour.  The world of science has lost one of the greatest theoretical physicists of all time and that is undisputed.  However, despite his great intelligence, Hawking would not allow himself to believe in God, and that is his ultimate undoing.

Scripture is clear when it talks about “unbelievers”:

“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”  Ephesians 4:18

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:4

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.”  Romans 1:18-22

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”  John 5:24

Although I rejoiced greatly at the Homecoming that awaited Reverend Billy Graham at the end of his life, I am terribly saddened by the passing of Professor Hawking.  I hope he reconciled himself to God even moments before his passing.  Then today, he would be free of the earthly shackles that bound his body to a wheelchair and his mind to scientific method, and instead, he would have all his questions answered about the universe from the One Who created it!

But that is just wishful thinking on my part.

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Being Bold for Christ

It seems appropriate that Billy Graham passed away during the Olympics.  After all he had run a good race, had run with endurance and had fought the good fight!  Now, he could receive the accolades due him, not a gold medal, but a crown of glory and Jesus welcoming him into Heaven with these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

I want to hear those words some day myself.  There are days I forget that we are all just “travellers” in this world, just passing through until we are ushered into eternity.  We will all receive our just reward at the end of our earthly lives.  For those who believe in Jesus through faith, our heavenly reward awaits us, to those who reject Him, eternal separation from God will result.  Billy Graham understood that message and his mission was to ensure that he boldly proclaimed the Gospel so that “none should perish”. (2 Peter 3:9)

Graham wrote concerning Judgment Day, “The Bible says there will be only one question on that day – what did you do with Jesus? You don’t go to hell for drinking liquor, you don’t go to hell for using profanity – you go to hell for rejecting Christ!”

From “The Faithful Christian.”

It is the sin of unbelief that Jesus speaks about in John 8: 21-24.  To reject that Jesus is the Son of God, condemns a person to hell.  We don’t like to talk about the consequences of rejecting Jesus in our overly tolerant, feel good society.  We want to believe that ALL good people will go to Heaven as if they have somehow earned that right.  Graham didn’t mince words.

“Heaven is real and hell is real, and eternity is but a breath away.”

“Why is it that the cross has become the symbol of Christianity? It is because at the cross Jesus purchased our redemption and provided a righteousness which we could not ourselves earn.”

Graham knew that there would come a time of judgment for all of us.

“Hundreds of passages point to a time of judgment for every person who has ever lived—none will escape. If you took all the references to judgment out of the Bible, you would have little Bible left.

God has offered His love and mercy and forgiveness to men. From the cross, God has said to the whole world, “I love you.” However, when that love is deliberately rejected, the only alternative is judgment…

Here is the judgment toward which every person outside of Christ is headed. God has already set the date. All people, of all races and nationalities, both past and present, will be there. You may make and break appointments in this life, but this is one appointment you are going to keep.

In “that day” the books will be opened, the Bible says. Those who have not accepted Christ—whether they were rich or poor, titled or common, old or young, healthy or ill, sound of body or crippled, famous or obscure—will be revealed for all to see. What a terrifying moment for millions when the books are opened at the judgment!

This is the day that Jesus referred to in the Sermon on the Mount: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Even people who did the work of the Lord will be included. They were busy in the church. They did many wonderful works. But Jesus Himself will say, “I never knew you.” What a dreadful thing! They thought their own good works would save them. It should sober us to realize that some day Jesus Christ will be Judge. “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).”  (The Justice of God – Billy Graham)

It is an urgent message.  It is a message that people openly criticize and condemn.  Their humanistic sensibilities will not allow them to believe that to reject Jesus Christ, is to ultimately condemn “good” people to hell.  Christians are vilified for saying it.  Many can’t believe that a God of “love” is capable of judging people so harshly.  However, Graham understood he could not withhold the truth from his audiences even if it made them angry or offended.  He asked in every one of his crusades, “Are you prepared to meet God at the judgment? Because, you see, we don’t have very much longer to live.”

He knew time was short.  Those who die in their sin of unbelief are lost for eternity.  It is the harshness of this reality that should drive all Christians to share their faith so that their family, friends and neighbours may hear and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.  We don’t want them to be separated from the love of God!

I have been challenged recently to be more bold in sharing my faith online and in person.  James McDonald describes what it means to be Biblically bold for Christ:

“Biblical boldness for Christ is a fountain that bursts forth from a satisfied soul. Even when facing the authorities, Peter overflows with the Gospel, referring to Jesus seven times in Acts 4:10-12 concluding with, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Boldness springs from something that is happening deep inside. Jesus Christ has changed my life. Everything that I was looking for and longing for, I found in Him. I have the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life. I have a peace that passes understanding. I have a love for people whom I should hate. I have joy and a strength I knew nothing about, so how could I not try to tell others that they can have it, too? That is boldness!”

Dr. Graham had that Biblical boldness for Christ.  His voice is silenced now, but not his legacy.  I pray that we can continue the work Graham spent his entire life devoted to:  boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.



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Cleaning Lessons

House a Home

For the past couple of weeks, after our plumbing disaster, we have had our house cleaned from top to bottom.  My husband and I lived in a hotel for ten nights until the air quality in our home was deemed safe enough for us to return.  Great to be back in our home but there is still much cleaning going on around me.  Five very loud “air scrubbers” are still filtering out the soot particulates, and the cleaning team will continue to be on site for as long as it takes wiping down flat surfaces where soot continues to land despite all their best efforts.  Still, the team assures me, they will win the battle and I am so grateful for their hard work.  Really, my house has never been this clean!

The supervisor of the cleaning team met with us the other day and wrote down areas he wanted his workers to concentrate on this week and next.  As we chatted with him, he commented on how the team has grown to know and “love” our home and us through this cleaning process.  I was taken aback by the comment and he explained, “They have learned much about you by the pictures, items and such you have around your house.  They know what you value and place importance on and that’s why they have taken such time and attention to clean and care for this home.”


I never realized how our personal décor items would have an impact on someone else until I realized he was especially commenting on the pictures of our family we display prominently, the cross stitched pictures that I sewed so many years ago that have scripture embroidered on them; a book case filled with study Bibles and books written by Christian authors.  The team has taken special note of all the ways we honour the Lord in our home and how we showcase our tight-knit family in the portraits that hang on the wall.

As we chatted with the supervisor, the Lord steered the conversation so we were able to share a little about our home church, and we quickly realized we were just watering the seeds that had already been planted by what they had already discovered about us by just cleaning our home!

Today, I have been chatting briefly with the three gals who are busily scrubbing down furniture and floors in what has become their bound and determined pursuit of ridding my home of soot.  They are some of the most pleasant, cheery gals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know.  Can’t say I’ve ever been this enthusiastic when I have had to clean my house on my own, but seeing them hard at work, doing a task that I have never really enjoyed but knowing that they care about my home as much as I do, gives me peace that all is in good hands!

When it is all said and done, our home, whether we purposed it or not, was another way to provide personal testimony and bring Glory to God.

Who knew??

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”  Ephesians 2:19-22



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