DECEMBER 20, 2012
I write this on the eve of December 21, 2012. If you believe the Mayans, the world is ending tomorrow. It will not………..but what if it did? Would you be disappointed? Or would you welcome it? If you would be disappointed, I suggest you change the way you live.
A person of faith should welcome the end of the world, as it would mean the return of Our Blessed Lord. I’ll expand more on that later, but first I’ll address those who do not profess a belief in God.
I have never understood, nor, I suspect, will I ever understand, just exactly what gets atheists out of bed every day. Without God, I see no reason for living. Life is pointless without any repercussions for our misdeeds on Earth. Why, if they do not believe in God, do they find any incentive to behave themselves according to a moral code. Furthermore, if there is no God, who sets the moral code? If the individual or a periodic popular vote sets the moral code, then a moral code does not exist. A moral code is, by definition, permanent and unchanging. A moral code is not man made. Simply put, life is absurd and not worth living without God.
Blaise Pascal’s famous “wager” states that it would be better to live as if God exists even if you don’t believe in Him. If you lived as if God exists and does not, when you die you don’t lose anything because there is nothing. If you live as if God does not exist and he does, when you die your eternity will be spent in torment.
This brings me back to believers. Some do not believe in Hell. Someone once told Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen that they did not believe in Hell. He responded, “You will when you get there.” I promise you Hell exists. Think about this: if Hell does NOT exist, what is the point of following Christ? Answer: there is no point. Would God have sent His Son to suffer and die for us if there was no danger of going to Hell?
Some others believe that if Hell exists, that no one actually goes there. This is also foolish because God Himself came to Earth and preached otherwise:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations* will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ l And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
So if Hell exists, who goes there?
Most Protestants will tell you all one needs to do to get to Heaven is to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. However, this is not Biblical. I offer two notable refutations of this point:
1.) Matthew 7:20
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
2.) James 2:14-26
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.” See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
I have painted a gloomy and ominous picture, but this shouldn’t frighten you. If it does frighten you, repent. If it does not frighten you, repent anyway!
In summation, those who say live each day as if it were your last are not far off from having the right idea. You should live everyday like it could be your last day because it might be. However, most often these people are saying this for the wrong reason. That reason being summed up in the #hashtag #YOLO. #YOLF would be a better #hashtag for living your life like it is your last day on Earth.
You Only Live Forever.
If the world does end, it should not be a crisis. One should always be ready for the Second Coming of Our Blessed Lord. We should live as if the Lord will be here any minute, for He very well could be, or we could die unexpectedly.
Will He return soon? I would be foolish to make a prediction. I cannot know, nor should I know. Regardless, when the Lord comes again, I want to be able to say (and I want everyone to be able to say) “Yes Lord, it is good You have come now. Thy will be done. I am ready.”