The footsteps behind him were unrelenting and were gaining on him. He was running as fast as he could, so much so that he thought that his lungs would explode at any moment. Exhaustion would soon force him to stop. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep up this pace. His legs were getting tired and sore and he could feel his shoulders begin to sag and lean forward. He gasped for each breath he took and was now running on pure adrenaline. Looking from side to side, he hoped to see someone that could intervene on his behalf and help him.

Nobody was there. He was all alone except for the person chasing him.

Just when he thought his lungs and heart would burst. . .he collapsed. He quickly turned on his back and instantaneously looked down the barrel of a 45-caliber handgun and into the face of the man who was chasing him. The assailant had a smug expression on his face as he raised the weapon and aimed it at the downed man’s head. The attacker’s eyes enlarged and his smirk became a full-fledged smile, almost a laugh.

Was the downed man going to wake up any moment sweating all over his sheets with his heart thumping out of his chest? Would he soil himself? On the other hand, was this real and he only had moments to live? As if he could stop a bullet, but with a condition reflex, he raised his hands in a desperate action to futively ward off the projectile he knew was coming. In desperation, he cried out, “Oh God, no! Don’t shoot, please! God…help me!

Deep within the soul of every person lays the knowledge that there is a God, whether we want to admit that fact or not [1]. Many a person has cried out to God in any number of situations, as the unsaved man did in the story above. The act of crying out to God stems from a hidden inherent knowledge that God exists [2].

v18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
v19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
v20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse [Romans 1:18-20 KJV]

Through that knowledge [3], God calls us and invites us into the Kingdom for one reason; He loves us [4] and doesn’t want even one to perish. Free will [5] dictates that we can choose to accept that invite from God in order to become part of His Kingdom. . .or not.

There are many reasons why man rejects this call. I recently sat down and in a little over three minutes I came up with some 21 reasons why people reject God. If I continued for an hour, I could have probably come up with two or three times that amount. I surmise that the number one reason for rejecting God is because of the death of a loved one, especially if there was much prayer involved. Because of the death of a loved one, people become angry with God, because they falsely believe that God is in control of everything, and therefore reject Him. They feel that God allowed the death, or the least of which that He doesn’t answer prayers. Alas, some even believe that God had a hand in their loved ones demise just to further His kingdom. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As we learned in the last two blogs, God is not in control. God IS sovereign, but He is not in control. Control belongs to man given to him in the Garden and through free will by God. Why did my mom die at such a young age? Why did my best friend die while he was in his prime? Why did my loved one die, especially since they were Christians? People have been asking that question for centuries. Who can answer these questions?

No one. I know that I cannot. But Scripture points the way to some possible answers. Ecclesiastes 3, Deuteronomy 29:29, Isaiah 57:1, 2, Matthew 5:45, James 4:14, and Revelation 12:12 give us partial answers. I prefer to think of an early death of a believer as a promotion. When we think of early death in terms of eternity, how can we say otherwise? Life here on Earth is but a vapor that appears for only a short while and vanishes [6]. I do not say this lightly because I am now the patriarch of the Warren family. All of my family before me has gone to be with Jesus: mom, dad, my maternal and paternal grandma and grandpa, my uncles and aunts save one, and many friends. They are all now in glory.

Although the deaths that have gone before me have saddened me tremendously and I miss each and every one of them terribly (underline terribly), their deaths encourage me, bless me, and give me hope that one day I will reunite with them and I too will be promoted into the arms of my Lord. I really feel sorry for those who do not believe, for they cannot have that hope of a blessed eternity. They will have an eternity though, but a very hot one. I choose NOT to be mad at God for their deaths, even if He comes for my spirit [7] before I finish this blog. I will remain in the faith and still follow the Lord. He blesses me every day. My eternity with Him is my blessed hope.

In among all my sadness because of all the deaths that have gone before me  in my family especially the premature and innocent deaths, I am reminded that Jesus was also innocent and did not deserve to die. However, because of His death, I live. Because Christ walked the Cobblestone Road to death, I can walk my path to life but ONLY through Him who died for me and saved my soul from eternal damnation and fire. Christ, the innocent lamb of God, the propitiation for our sins upon the Cross. Thank you my Jesus.

Why do so many of us wait until Satan aims his 45 caliber weapon of temptation, circumstances, even death at us, and our proverbial backs are on the ground, before we cry out to God? The one who loves us, who is always there for us, who will never leave or forsake us, who has all the answers for life, who promotes us, who can save us, and He is the one that we reject. Go figure. This is beyond my comprehension.
[1] Jeremiah 31:33, 34; Romans 2:14-16; Romans 1:18-21
[2] Romans 1:18-20;
[3] 2 Peter 3:18; Colossians 2:3, and others
[4] 1 John 4:19
[5] Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 3:31; Acts 13:48; James 4:17, and more.
[6] James 4:14
[7] Ecclesiastes 12:7

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