There is the thing searched for, and then there is the effort or cost involved in searching for the thing. If you’ve lost your keys and you are late for your kid’s doctor appointment you are going to put a lot of effort into finding those keys. You aren’t going to make a cup of tea and kick back on the couch because the keys are important. In this case you know the thing you are looking for and you know the cost. How often in life do people have no clue what they are looking for and yet spend their heart, mind, body and soul looking for it? They look to drugs, sex, cars, clothes, jobs, money, love, charities, religion, church… whoa whoa whoa. Yes, I said it, people look to the institutional church to meet the same need as drugs, and they don’t even really know what the need is. Happiness? Excitement? A place to belong? Intimacy? Nothing is wrong with any of these things. God hard-wired a need for those things into us so that we would look for them. But the only place they can be found is in Him, personally. Job’s analogy of mining for precious things is great. All the time, effort, and resources put into finding such things, and they are ultimately worthless. Wisdom is knowing and having the fear of the Lord. The action of turning away from evil is understanding. These are the things that are worth something. These are the things we should be investing our lives in.
This is funny, to me anyway. In chapters four and 5 Zechariah asks the angel “What am I looking at?” three times. The first two times the angel says, “You don’t know?” to which Zechariah says, “No, I don’t.” Twice that happens. It’s as though Zechariah should have known and the angel is surprised that he doesn’t know. The third time Zechariah asks the angel doesn’t even bother asking him, “You don’t know?” He just tells him what’s up. Over the past few years (it’s the end of 2008 at the time of this writing) it’s become popular to asks questions about Christian doctrine, to challenge it from within the church. I have no problem with the act of asking. How else does one know anything (other than being taught of course)? However, with this recent wave of questioning has come a built-in assumption that there are no hard answers. The answers have become unimportant. It’s the questioning that is important. This concept is contrary to the nature and reality of both God and His word. We can know. We can ask and get answers and have confidence in them and Him. We can have certainty. Because of this recent movement, some within the church have reacted in such a way that if you ask questions you are one of “them”. This is also a wrong response. After all, didn’t Jesus tell us to “Ask”? And didn’t He go on to say that we “shall receive”? I say, ask away. God loves honest, humble questions from hungry minds and hearts that want to know Him more.
Isn’t that the name of a Bond movie? At any rate, here is a riddle. I didn’t make it up. I don’t know who did, but props to them. You will either be born once and die twice, or be born twice and die once. Deep thoughts, I know. But it’s true. You will be born once physically, and die once physically, be resurrected, and experience the “second death” of eternity in the lake of fire along side of Satan. Or, you will be born once physically, be born again in and through Jesus Christ, die once physically, be resurrected and live out that second birth along side of Jesus for eternity. Did you ever realize that all will be resurrected, even the wicked? They get resurrection bodies just like believers do. It’s just that instead of spending eternity with Jesus they spend it with Satan who, by the way, isn’t in charge of Hell (lake of fire) but a prisoner there as well. Which is it for you? Have you been born again? Given a choice, and we have been given the choice, I’d rather die once and not twice. Why would anyone turn that down?