How to prepare for the future!
As I was sitting out on my back porch this morning having a cup of coffee, I observed some little squirrels as they were scampering about. They were quite busy preparing for winter and next year. “How do you know?” you ask. Well, you see, in our back yard, which is not quite an acre in size, we have four prominent trees. The youngest tree is probably forty years old and the oldest is maybe a hundred years old.
There are two oak trees, one hickory tree, and one pecan tree. The pecan tree is the oldest, probably a hundred years old, and is by far the largest. Each of these trees bears as its’ fruit a nut. The pecan and the hickory are by far the tastiest, but the acorn of the oak tree is just as tasty to the squirrel as the pecan and the hickory not is.
Storing for the future
As I was sitting and observing the four or five squirrels, they were busily scurrying up and down the trees. One would run up the tree trunk and out on a limb and grab a pecan or hickory nut and rip it from the stem and head back down to the ground. He, or she, would then navigate to a section of the yard and proceed to bury the fruit and cover it. At this time they were not eating any of the nuts that they were gathering.
Having lived at this location for almost fifteen years I know that the little squirrels are not consuming the nuts that they are gathering today. They are wisely storing them in anticipation of the winter and spring and summer when these trees will not be producing the food which it has at this time. As the trees come to the end of their production season and they are no longer full of edible fruit, the squirrels will by then have stored up enough nuts to not only see them through the winter but also through the spring and summer of the following year.
How the squirrels remember where they have buried each of the hundreds of nuts they have stored is still somewhat a mystery to the scientists who have studied them. Yet, they seem to find plenty of them throughout the winter, spring and summer to see them through and raise a litter of little ones in the coming year. And, by the way, those that they miss this year or next, will help to carry on the off-spring of the trees from which the fruit came.
Not temporal, but eternal
Most people would think that I would liken this to human beings preparing for retirement. If you have bought into this “world system” and have an evolutionary world view, then you would naturally think that way. However, there is a much more important worldview which should take precedence over that view. It is the Biblical worldview.
The humanistic(evolutionary) worldview says that this is all there is and once you are dead you, as a person, cease to exist. The Biblical worldview says that you are a unique individual created in the image of your Creator, and because of this you will live forever. In living forever, it must not be construed that you will live forever with your Creator. Because you are created in His image, you have the right to choose where you will spend that eternity.
Who made the choice
Unfortunately, for all of us, that original choice was made by the human being from which we all are descended. His name was Adam. The Creator set up a system by which Adam could choose live with the Creator and enjoy all the good that comes from that, or he could choose to do things his own way and bear the consequences. To make a long story short, our “father”, Adam chose to do things his way instead of the Creator’s way. Adam had been warned that if he made that choice that the results would be eternal separation from his Creator. Adam was aware of that, but still thought his way was best.
When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit he found out that he was wrong. He could not handle it. All of his descendants would now have to suffer eternal separation from their Creator because of Adam’s “sin”, rebellion against the Creator. Ever since Adam all of his descendants have that tendency to think that they can do it their way and be alright. But, they cannot. Not one of us can live this life and not “sin” against our Creator. How could we ever get back to a place of right standing with our Creator?
Is our situation hopeless
The answer to the question is, “We could not and cannot.” The only answer to our dilemma was the Creator, Himself, would have to provide Himself a ransom. That was done when He sent His only-begotten Son into the world as a man, the Last Adam. He would show what the original Adam was suppose to be like. He would live a life in perfect harmony with His Father, our Creator. Then, though He would not deserve it, He would suffer the consequences as if He were a “sinner”, a rebel against our Creator. He did that when He hung on a cross. And being the God-man, He could suffer an eternity of separation from God, the Creator, for every man, woman and child that would ever live on the earth. When He cried, “It is finished,” on that cross, He was declaring that the price was paid in full.
The choice is yours
Does that mean everybody goes to heaven, now? No, it does not. It does mean that everyone can choose to go to heaven, now. Here is how Jesus, the last Adam, said it. “He that believes on the Son is not condemned. He that believes not is condemned already.” To put it plainly, you must choose to believe on the Son of God. By making no choice, you remain in your original state as a son of Adam, that state, being condemned because of your “father”, Adam’s choice.
Back to my little squirrels. If you wish to make this little parable about earthly storing up, then you will suffer eternal consequences. Jesus, the One Who paid the price for our rebellion said it this way, “Lay not up treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and thieves break in to steal, but lay up treasures in Heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt nor thieves break in to steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
The question comes to you today, “Where are you laying up your treasure?” Are you preparing to live a leisurely retirement and enjoy the pleasures of this world? Or are you investing in the lives of people who need to hear the “Good News” of what their Creator has in store for them if they return to Him and receive that “right standing” (righteousness) which has been purchased for them by Jesus, the last Adam.
Jesus, the last Adam, put it this way, “If you confess (agree with) me, before men(everyone you come in contact with), I will confess(agree with) you before the Father.” He also put forth the negative. “If you are ashamed of me before men, I will be ashamed of you before the Father.” There is not neutral ground. If you are not actively “for Him”, then you are actively “against Him”. Where do you stand? There is no middle ground.
I hope that today you are preparing not for retirement, but for eternity by laying up treasures in heaven. May God bless you.