Lay it to Heart

The Meaning of Life

Life is an open book test and Jesus is the answer. Jesus is the only answer. You either pass and go to heaven or you fail and go to hell. If you do not answer you still fail. Why? Romans 3:23 tells us, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;". We know from Romans 6:23 that, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." God is looking at our hearts. It is amazing that so many people reject the answer even when it apparent to them. In my senior year of college, attendance was poor in the class one day, so my engineering professor gave a quiz. The only question was, "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?" Just about everybody passed. The only guy who didn't is the one who answered, "Your horse!". The professor had a race horse and the smart aleck student had an "F". It was a matter of the heart. He chose to fail.

Life is a choice and we have to decide on Jesus. God will not force any one to receive him. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." God leaves it up to us to believe upon his son Jesus and to call upon his name.

Luke 16
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

The rich man was not saved because he was rich. He was not condemned because he was rich. He who dies with the most toys, still dies. He may have had more fun for a while but he ignored the most important thing. When he died, he went to a permanent place of torment. He was not saved because he was rich and when he died, he was not in a better place. His problems were not over. He did not rest in peace.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:26, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" There is only one way not to lose our own soul and that is Jesus. There are not multiple ways. There is only one way into this world and that is to be born. There is only one way into heaven and that is to be born again. We are born again when Jesus gives us new life. The rich man requested that someone be sent to warn his brothers. What was he told? Abraham said, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Even though the rich man did not deserve it and even though we do not deserve it, one did rise from the dead and his name is Jesus. Buddha did not rise from the dead. Confucius did not rise from the dead. Mohammed did not rise from the dead. Joseph Smith is still dead and the Popes cannot come back either. In Matthew 12:38, we find where some of the scribes and the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked him to prove who he was, saying, "Master, we would see a sign from thee." When Jesus rose from the dead he proved he was "the way, the truth, and the life:" and that "no man cometh unto the Father, but by " him as he said in John 14:6. Jesus is the only way and we are saved by his grace.

It's not acceptable just to go to church. In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus talked about "good" church people that will go to hell. He said,

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Good works cannot save you. One day in a restaurant an angry customer asked the waiter, "What's this fly doing in my soup"? The waiter responded, "It looks liking he's swimming, Sir"! "Well what are you going to do about it?" asked the customer.

The waiter brought out more good soup and poured it into the customer's bowl. The customer complained, "There still a fly in my soup". The waiter got a bigger bowl poured the old soup into the bigger bowl and then added more good soup.

"You gotta be kidding me. Do you think I'm stupid?" asked the customer. "There's still a fly in there."

The waiter went into the kitchen. After seven minutes, he came out, circled the table seven times like he was on a mission from God, burned incense, meditated for three minutes, said twelve prayers, sprinkled holy water on the soup and put more "good soup" in the customer's bowl. The customer walked out and never came back.

No matter how many good works you add to the bad works, you cannot change them. Waiting, burning incense, going on a mission, meditating, praying, sprinkling holy water and trying to do good works cannot change the past. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Only Jesus can wash away sins.

Without Jesus, good church members will go to the same place as the rich man. Only after the rich man died did he understand the meaning of life and he wanted to share it with his brothers. It's allowable to copy the answer but you need to copy the right answer. God wants us to give other people the answer. One of the last things Jesus said on earth that we have recorded is found in Matthew 28:

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

In John 1:37-51, Andrew went and found his brother, Simon Peter, and brought him to Jesus. The next day Jesus called Philip. What did Philip do? He found Nathanael and brought him to Jesus. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins. He rose from the grave the third day. The first thing you need to do is to put all of your faith, hope and trust in him so that he can be your Saviour. When you do that, you will have found the meaning of life. Then you and I will want to tell others about it. The next time someone mentions the meaning of life you can tell them, "Life is a test and the only answer is Jesus".

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