Is It My Right To Question?

Lots of the culture nowadays seems to be very self-centred, doesn’t it. Things like your rightsyour desiresyour feelingsyouyouyou. Maybe you have even heard people say something like, when I get to heaven, God has some explaining to do...

Is this right? Is this one of our rights?

…Elihu answered and said:

“Do you think this to be just?

Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’

that you ask, ‘What advantage have I?

How am I better off than if I had sinned?’

Job 35.1-3

Is it our right to question God? Are we to calculate just how much we can get away with (how am I better off the if I had sinned?)? One particular consequence of a society where the individual is held up as the pinnacle is that thoughts like this will start to become more and more acceptable. What does the Word say?

Amos wrote that we should all prepare to meet our maker (Amos 4.12), and we see in the New Testament the truth that we will all stand before the throne, either to receive our heavenly reward and posting (Revelation 20.4, 2 Corinthians 5.10), or to receive the sentence for our rejection of God and His Christ (Revelation 20.11-15).

All this to say that for you, believer, there will be no need to question.

For you, the not-yet believer, the truth is this; no, there will not be an opportunity to question God, it is not your right to stand before your Maker and argue your case, to demand explanations, or bargain your way into eternity. Should you stand before Him having rejected His salvation on offer through Jesus here on earth, your standing will be a sentencing, not a hearing. Friend, your actions and decisions in the here and now will determine how you meet your Maker, please, choose wisely.

The only question that we have the right to ask is this: have I put hope, trust, and faith in Jesus alone for my salvation?

Facing Him

It’s Easter Weekend, yesterday was Good Friday, tomorrow is Easter Sunday. 

One commemorates and proclaims the death of Jesus, one celebrates the resurrection. 

Today we are in-between. 

The deep breath before the plunge. 

What do we do today? Do we dwell on the death, do we rejoice in the resurrection? Both.

We dwell, we rejoice. We take a deep breath. We face Him. 

At the end of Mark’s account of the death of Jesus we read this,

And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, 

“Truly this man was the Son of God!”

15.39

The centurion gives us a model of what to do today, the in-between.

Simply, we face Jesus. Look, observe, ponder, pray, thank, worship, face Him.

As the centurion faced Him and came to the inescapable conclusion that this man was the Son of God, so we will too when we spend time facing Him. 

Facing Jesus leaves no other conclusion.

We see His manner, His character, His devotion, His control, His obedience, His sacrifice, His love, His death, His resurrection, and we see God.

We need to face Him to see who He truly is…not walk past and deride Him, face Him and watch, look, observe. 

We see how He took upon Himself the sins of the world, see how He became sin even though He knew no sin that we who believe in Him might become the righteousness of God, righteous and right in the eyes of God through faith in Jesus.

So yesterday was Good Friday, tomorrow is Easter Sunday, what do we do today? Face Him, because facing Jesus leaves no other conclusion.

…why have you forsaken me?

The next last word we see is found in Matthew 27.46,

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This is actually a quotation from Psalm 22, a wonderful Messianic Psalm. Louis A. Barbieri Jr. wrote on this and said that in this moment, Jesus was sensing “a separation from the Father He had never known“.

Friend, because He was separated from God the Father in this moment and because He who had never sinned became sin so that the holy and perfect justice of God may be satisfied, you and I need not ever be afraid of experiencing this separation. 

This was the moment, the beginning of the greatest spiritual transaction to ever take place; Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the entire universe past, present, and future, He took it upon Himself to drink the cup of God’s wrath (Psalm 75.8, Isaiah 51.17, Jeremiah 25.25), He endured spiritual and relational separation from God, He did all of this so that you don’t have to. 

Why did He endure all of this? For you, so that you never have to.

Death, life, virus’, pandemics, trials, tribulations, troubles, height, depth, angels, nor demons, will ever cause you to have to experience and endure what He experienced and endured that day for you. 

He was, in this moment, forsaken so that you never have to be. 

…behold, your son!

The hardest thing I have ever had to do as a Pastor, maybe even as a person, was be present in an ICU room when, individually, members of a family came in to say goodbye to a lady who was only alive because she was connected to a ventilator.

Her sister came.

Her friend came.

Her partner came.

Then her children came.

Thinking of this now still brings tears to my eyes. What do you say to a child saying goodbye to their Mum? Preaching the Good News to the assembled church multiple times each week is a huge privilege. Being there for moments like that is perhaps the most profound privilege we can have as ministers of the Gospel. 

Today’s last word is found in John 19.26,

“Woman, behold, your son!”

Making provisions for those we love for a time when we won’t be around may seem morbid, but it is maybe the most loving and practical thing we can do. Even on the cross, in the throws of agony, Jesus cared for and provided for others. He was, and is, so others-focused that some simply cannot believe it.

For those of us that do, we see His heart on display; others.

Even in His dying moments, He wanted to make sure that those He loved were going to be taken care of.

Brothers, sisters, please don’t wait until it is too late. Take actions today to care for and provide for those you love so that when a day begins without you, they will be ok. They will have enough to deal with, enough to organise, enough to do, enough to grieve over, enough to think about.

Please follow His example and do all you can today to provide for their tomorrows.

What Happens When I Die?

Job is lamenting the present and seems to be wondering about the future, and asks, 

“For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out branches like a young plant.
But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and where is he?
As waters fail from a lake
and a river wastes away and dries up,
so a man lies down and rises not again;
till the heavens are no more he will not awake
or be roused out of his sleep.

Job 14.7-12

It looks like Job is wondering, what is going to happen to me? What happens when I die?

As human beings we must all endure a physical death. This is one thing that unites every single person ever to set foot on Earth. 

Our bodies were not made to live eternally in their current state, evidenced by the fact there are no double-centurians in our midst. Do you know anyone who is 200 years old? The oldest recorded and fully authenticated human life in modern times was one hundred and twenty two years, one hundred and sixty four days. All this to say, Job’s question here is something that will certainly affect every one of us, and is consequently something of the utmost importance to us.

The Word is so clear about what happens for the believer. In as few words as possible, for those that have put hope, faith, and trust in Jesus, physical death brings ‘immediate transition…into the presence of Christ‘. As a believer in Jesus, your earthly death means closing your eyes here and opening them in the presence of your Redeemer. 

There is no uncertainty for the believer, no apprehension about destination, no fear of the future.


For a more in-depth look at this with many Scriptural references, head over to GoodLion;

Personal Eschatology: What Happens When I Die?

Personal Eschatology