Thursday, January 7, 2010

Is Your Time Running Out?

     A real estate lady friend of mine shared some sad news with me, that a dear friend of hers died the other night. She said her friend’s death was totally unexpected. One day she was alive, and the next day she was dead. She was a healthy lady who was a mere 47 years old. I myself had met her when both realtors visited me to discuss some property my wife and I own. She was an extremely friendly person who lived in my neighborhood; we struck a special bond and promised to have her over for dinner one night soon. Now she’s gone, just like that!

     Not a day goes by where we don't hear or read about similar stories all across the country. I hear and see ambulances racing by daily in my neighborhood and wonder if someone else close by has passed away. I personally have lost many friends and relatives these past couple of years; a few high school mates, a few colleagues and longtime best friends. My mother passed away two years ago, my sister and brother a few years before that; but none of these deaths were unexpected. Some had acquired cancer, some of old age, we knew they had little time left; but none were taken unexpectedly!

     What a shock it must be to those who lose a friend or family member overnight! Emergency rooms throughout the country are filled nightly with victims of unexpected death! It gets one to thinking. Did they know Jesus? Had they made Him the Lord of their life? Were they devoted and committed and were working in His service? Who truly knows what their relationship was with their creator. It is not for me to guess or assume; it actually is all about them and how they feel (or believe) in Jesus Christ and His Gospel, that those who believe He died on the cross to pay for their sins and gain ever-lasting life, and have chosen to follow and serve Him to the very end!
     Many folks find this subject very complex and actually don’t want to hear of such nonsense. And that is their choice! God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus (the only persona that mankind can comprehend God and His personality through) are one and the same. The Holy Spirit is already here ministering to believers.

     When Jesus Christ returns (which is sooner than lots of folks believe or think) many people will see God (in the form of the flesh man Jesus) and they will groan and moan as they realize who it was they actually pierced. Who was it that actually gave Himself up as a sacrifice for us, who paid the penalty for all of our sins and those of all mankind?      
     Way too many people fail to understand what actually happened on the cross. They don't understand the concept. I have always recognized this aspect and I very graphically wrote about this in my book, Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation. Hopefully I was able to drive that point home more clearly than they have ever been taught in the past.
     In that book’s Chapter Six, entitled The Purpose for Tribulation, page 104, I reached deeply and personally into my heart to describe not only the painful passion experienced by Jesus Christ at the cross, but envisioned what He actually feared and experienced in the last few seconds of His life:
     "As the author concludes this important chapter, please indulge him to share a very personal message. On many occasions, one of the sermons that the author preached in various churches during his brief ministry as an evangelist, he used an extremely graphic example of how he saw himself drowning in a pool of filth before coming to Christ. He described a gory scenario that included them picturing a giant vat filled with decaying dead animals, mixed amongst rotten meat, mingled with live venomous spiders, scorpions and snakes, all floating atop a pool of bodily waste material, generating the most odoriferous stench imaginable.

     He used this graphic example in order for the audience to get a more profound picture of how decrepit the author felt about himself before turning to the Lord. He told his audiences how he once was down in the bottom of that vat, bound by alcohol, drugs, illicit sexual liaisons, failed marriages and other human frailties, almost to the point of suicide because he could not see any way out of the devil’s trap.

     But, after it was explained to him that Jesus Himself became sin in order for all of us to have eternal life, when he finally turned his life over to Christ, he told his audiences that he could actually see Jesus Christ diving head first into the vat, becoming all of its content, just so he could be set free. This was the only way he could make his audience not only see how he felt, but to have them also visualize and graphically experience what the author imagined Jesus went through at that precise moment of His death!

     Make a mental picture of this scenario. Picture Jesus diving head first into the vat of that abysmal stench. Not only becoming all of the individual sins of filth you and I have personally committed throughout our entire lives, but He also became the putridity of all of mankind’s combined sins throughout history! This thought simply boggles the mind. But, yet, that’s exactly what Christ did. He willingly leaped head first into humanity’s vat of sin, not only drowning in it, but also becoming the despicability of humanity’s waste.

     The author has often wondered why Jesus Christ cried out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, (Matthew 27:46)? Was it because the physical pain was too much for him to endure? Maybe that was a part of it. Death by crucifixion is known to be one of the most painful and heinous ways to kill a person. However, the author believes in his heart that the agony and despair Jesus Christ felt at that moment was due primarily because our sinless Lord was not only experiencing the sting of sin for the very first and only time, feeling the horror and the anguish of the sins of all mankind consuming his entire human persona, He was also experiencing a separation from God for the very first time!

     Can you believe this? God, Himself, comes to earth in the form of the flesh man Jesus, leaving behind His total power, persona and rulership over all that He has created, surrendering His complete authority solely to provide you with eternal life and unprecedented joy with Him? Do you not know what the word LOVE really means now? And yet you choose to sit there and tell others and yourself, “Well, that’s all nice and good, Joe; but I have more important things to dwell on.”

     OK! Fine! But, dear friend, it’s not too late to connect with Him. There is still time. Or, who knows, you could be one of those folks who all of a sudden dies unexpectedly! Who really knows?
     But you must act soon because after He returns, it will be too late. If you die in the next few seconds, it will also be too late!
     Get off the computer for a few minutes, close your door, close your eyes and simply begin praying for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon you, to help you understand all things of God, to help you turn your life around, and to help you commit to becoming His disciple, and to make your life count for something besides your own ego, wants and personal desires. Go ahead! Do it now! As God's word states:
     And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)
     For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)


Joe Ortiz is the author of The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation (Author House). For more information on Joe, his blogs, web sites and how to order his books, click here Joe Ortiz

1 comment:

  1. Great blog for procrastinators! You say a mouthful, Joe, and you say it well. What the world really needs is true Christianity - what one well-known newsman said the other day in regard to Tiger Woods. Lord bless you and your pen!