This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
For over a week, deadly wildfires have ravaged Northern California and seem to have given no indication that they are about to let up. Forty people have perished and tens of thousands have fled their homes. Hundreds are missing. And millions of dollars worth of property and possessions have been lost. According to The Washington Post, “the horrific scale of death and destruction is coming into focus. The blazes have killed more people than any other California wildfire on record. The death toll is certain to rise as authorities — some accompanied by cadaver dogs — continue to explore the destruction.”
It is tragic to hear about people dying, being injured, and being uprooted from their homes and livelihood due to this monster fire. It is doubly sad to know that many are now grieving the loss of loved ones. Because much of the area affected by these fires belonged to California wine country, businesses have been destroyed, many are without jobs, and the losses will take decades to recover from. For many of the families affected, it may seem like the worst thing that could have happened.
We live in a world that appears to be awfully temporary. The events of each day seem bent on making us understand that we are living on borrowed time — that at any moment everything we know could come to a screeching halt. Everyday, lives are cut short by illness, car accidents, and criminal activity. Each hour serves as a reminder that we ought to be grateful for every breath we take. As the Bible says, life is just “a vapor that appeareth for a little while and then passeth away.”
Just this past week, dozens of high school students from Los Angeles were on a bus heading to northern California to visit a university. The journey was an expression of their dreams, aspirations, and plans for the future. However, it was cut short when a FedEx truck exploded into flames and crashed into the bus. Ten people on the bus were killed — their lives cut short, the dreams they had for the future forever left unfulfilled.
Despite evidence that seems to point to the contrary, death is unnatural. The cessation of a human life at any age was never meant to be. The reality is: we are eternal souls meant to live and enjoy a never-ending relationship with an eternal God. Death was not a part of the Creator’s original plan for you and me.
You may think that when you die, that will be the end of everything for you — you will simply cease to exist. But that is not the case. When your body dies, your spirit will separate from it and continue to live throughout eternity in one of two eternal locations — Heaven or Hell. Heaven and Hell are just as real as the city where you live. And your immaterial soul is just as real as the physical body it is held in right now.
Heaven, Hell, and your soul — these are things that last forever.