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.
He is a tight end for the Baltimore Ravens. Before signing with the Ravens, he played with the Indianapolis Colts from 2003−2011 with whom he won Super Bowl 41. He also played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012. During his college career at the University of Iowa, he earned All-American honors, and was recognized as the top college tight end in the nation. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in 2009. And his team was twice named AFC Champions in 2006 and in 2009.
He says of his faith that his mother’s death before his high school graduation pushed him toward God. He said, “Graduating from high school is supposed to be one of the greatest moments of your life. You’re looking forward to college; feeling like you’re on top of the world, all set to run off and explore everything life has in store for you. Four days before my graduation, that’s exactly how I felt. But then something happened that changed things in a hurry: My mother passed away. Suddenly, my entire future looked a lot different. I had every reason to sink down into the dumps at that point, to be bitter at the world and everyone in it. But my mother’s death actually pushed me in the opposite direction instead. It helped to strengthen my belief that God is in control of things, and that even though bad things happen, they happen for a reason. In my mom’s case, even though I thought she was the best person in the world, I really feel that her time here was done. She got me through high school, and now it’s my turn to go out and use what she taught me to make the world a better place. You may be going through a similar loss right now. If so, I feel for you. But I encourage you not to get stuck there. Bring it to God, and ask Him to help you make sense of things. Speaking from experience, I realize such events can feel like the end. But if you give them over to God, He can show you how to make them a new beginning.”