To gain or to lose: what will your choice be?

John 18:3-5 “So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.””

Do you want your life to matter? Is it important to you that your life count for something?  Alternatively, do you want to live a life of complete and utter futility with absolutely nothing to show for it in the end? Of course, nobody really wants futility, if they are honest.  However, everyone who lives their life without a relationship with Jesus is headed for just such futility in the end.

In the passage above we see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane about to be betrayed, arrested, and crucified.  Before it is over his own apostles will abandon Him, one will betray Him, and one will deny Him three times. The Jews would give Him a sham trial, Pilate would be boxed in a corner by the Jews and condemn an innocent man, and the soldiers would spit on Him, flog Him, put a crown of thorns on His head, beat Him, pluck out His beard, and hang Him on a cross to die.  It was a moment when the whole world was against Him.  Yet it was Jesus Who was in total and complete control.  He knew all that would happen to Him before it happened.  Indeed, He had known it from all eternity.  It was all prophesied throughout His holy Word.  There were no surprises. Everything worked out as it was ordained, and in the end, Jesus became the Savior of the world.

As for the others – Judas ended up hanging himself, Pilate was racked with guilt, and the Jews were eventually besieged, starved, and slaughtered in 70 A.D.  Even worse, all of those who opposed Jesus at that time, if they never repented, are at this very moment living in torment in hell.  What futility in the end, no matter how it looked for these people who really thought they were in control in the beginning. And that’s how it will be with everyone else on the face of the earth. 

Oppose Christ, reject Him, and live your life to serve yourself and do your own thing, and futility will result.  Throughout the Scriptures we are warned that such efforts will be burned up in the end.  Anything that has been gained on earth will all be taken away.  Naked we came into this world, and naked we will leave. 

On the other hand, those who love Christ, who have determined that they would follow Him and who have received His payment for the penalty of their own sin on the cross, will find that their lives have been anything but futile in the end.  They will find that all their trials and all their pain only served to help them to mature in their relationship with their Savior with eternal fruit the result.  They will find that because they have Christ, throughout eternity they will lose nothing and, in fact, more will be added (Matthew 13:12). They will inherit the earth, and they will inherit everything which is God’s. 

It’s your choice and it’s mine: utter futility and a wasted life or eternal pleasures at God’s right hand. That’s the way it will be in the end, no matter how things look at the present time.

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