For 26 years Pope John Paul II led the Roman Catholic Church around the world. He traveled extensively as a world leader. He expressed his views on war, violence, terrorism, peace and morality. World leaders sought an audience with him, including President George W. Bush. Anyone who influenced 1.1 billion people was a significant leader. But now he is gone. He is in eternity.
Stumbling through Life
A few years ago, one of the Pope’s Encyclical Letters to the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church caught my eye. In Paragraph 26, Pope John Paul said: “The first absolute certain truth of our life, beyond the fact that we exist, is the inevitability of our death. Given this unsettling fact, the search for a full answer is inescapable. Each of us has the desire and the duty to know the truth of our own destiny.” Reflecting on society’s popular belief that no one can know for sure anything, that we only have opinions and there is no such thing as ‘exclusive truth’, Pope John Paul II said the result of such uncertainty is: “many people stumble through life to the very edge of the abyss without knowing where they are going.”
Your Eternal Destiny
Friend, do you know where you are going? Pope John Paul II is in eternity. It is too late to pray for him or anyone else after they die. The destiny of a person is decided in this life. Your destiny is not something that God weighs up on a set of balances after you die, when He examines your life retrospectively. That is false teaching.
Where Pope John Paul II is now and where every one else will be in eternity depends solely on one thing: before the person passed from time into eternity, did they have a moment in their life when as a sinner they personally trusted Christ as their own Saviour? This is a conscious act of simple faith. Not faith in our own works; not faith in our church; not trusting our baptism, the sacraments or our lifestyle – but trusting Christ alone for our personal and eternal salvation.
Even Mary, the Mother of Jesus, recognized her need of the Saviour. The very term ‘saviour’ means a ‘rescue from perishing’. (Luke 1:47) Faith alone in Christ saves a soul.
I never had the privilege of a private audience with the Pope. I never got to ask him what he was relying on for eternity.
But today, I can ask you: what are you depending on for eternity? Are you, in the words of Pope John Paul II, stumbling through life to the very edge of the abyss in the dark? Are you uncertain about where you are going?
Religion is Not Part of the Eternal Equation
Eternal life is not through a church or in a church. Listen carefully to what the Apostle John says in 1John 5. “Eternal life – this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life. And he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” That’s definite. And then John says: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: that ye may know that ye have eternal life.”
Do you know the truth about your own destiny? If you would like to discuss this further by email click here.