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Monday, 22 December 2014

The transcience of life.

In an age when we are assured that, at least in the 'developed' world, life expectancy is constantly rising, an event such as that in George Square, Glasgow this afternoon is a stark reminder that there are no guarantees as to how long the individual mortal life will last.

Just one year after the tragic failure of a helicopter over the Clutha Bar, which saw the deaths of nine people, a bin-lorry has crashed and, at the latest count, six people have died, with another eight having suffered serious injury, and an unknown number having sustained non-life-threatening injuries. 

The precise cause of the accident is still not clear, and it would be unwise of me to speculate therupon.  However, with just a couple of days to go before we celebrate the birth of the most amazing Child ever to be born, it is perhaps worth remembering that He came to die; that the Babe of Bethlehem became the Christ of Calvary, taking upon Himself the penalty for your sin, and for mine. 

Why is this important?  Simply because you, and I, and everyone else, is a sinner.  As such, we deserve nothing other than the wrath, judgement, and punishment of Almighty God.   What we need is a sinless sacrifice to be made on our behalf.   And that is the real story of Christmas - that in the persona (not a typo - read my book: Great Words of the Faith; chapter on the Trinity) of the Son, Almighty God became that sacrifice.  Indeed, He became sin, in all of its foulness, and evil, and nauseous disgust (see III Cor.5:21) so that we might be set free, and experience His forgiveness, and His eternal life.  "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:23).

Of course, just as with the gifts that most of us will receive on Christmas morning, that gift has to be received, and opened, before it is of any benefit to us.  That's where so many go wrong.   They recognise the Gift, but ignore it! 

So why raise such a subject just now?  Because the only opportunity that we have to accept the Gift is while we are alive in our mortal bodies.   Once that life has gone, our eternal destiny is sealed and settled.   The incident in Glasgow this afternoon reminds us that not one of us knows the moment when our mortal life will end!

It's a sobering thought, and one that is dealt with in God's Word.  Under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, Paul writes: "... in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We beseech you, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He [Father God] made Him [the Lord Jesus] to be sin, Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.  Working together with Him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For He says, 'At the acceptable time I have listened to you,
and helped you on the day of salvation.'  Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation
." (II Cor 5:19-6:3).

If you have not yet placed your trust in Him, please do not put doing so off any longer.  You simply do not know when a vehicle might career off the road, striking you fatally.  If you wish to discuss this on a more personal basis, please use the e-mail address at the top of the page to contact me.  Alternatively, check out some of 'My favourite links'.

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