I hear Christians use the phrase “critical issue” a lot and it sets me on edge. It took some time to figure out why. Usually, the things made into critical issues aren’t even close to being critical. Such as family problems. Or better yet, material issues.
But are these things really critical?
Families are going to have issues. Material world and the like are always going to have issues. So let’s cover both of these as we search for an answer to this question. I think this topic deserves a little time and scriptural study to get things set up properly.
1. Families are going to have issues. Jesus foretold this, and in fact outright stated being a cause to it.
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
Behold, the words of Jesus of Nazareth.
“But Paul. That contradicts his words on peace! He said he gives us his peace!”
That’s right! Very astute, he does say that. So let’s look at the scriptures for that too, what do ya say?
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27 KJV
Yes, he leaves his peace with us, not peace like the world gives though. He is talking about true, inner peace. People have discovered, for millennia, that the outside, physical world, cannot give this peace. Some people get peace of mind from things, others from people’s. But inner peace goes so much deeper. Buddhists have inner peace themselves. It took them a lot of hard work. They discovered that detachment from the present world is secret to this. The apostle Paul alluded to this when he talked of discovering the secret of contentment with his life, whether he had much or little. And Jesus gives it to us! How sweet a gift, and how blessed we are To have it. But if we get caught up in this present world and the darkness therein, we forfeit it.
Jesus gives inner peace. It is possible to be at peace inside, even amidst the conflict between people and among the believers. In fact, the worries most people allow into their hearts leads them into sin, against the commandment He gave us regarding peace. Look back at that verse real quick.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Worries are a type of fear. And many times in scriptures we are explicitly told to take no worry for anything, based upon the fact that none of us could change our own stature by worrying. In fact, in his caustic way of explaining simple things to those around him, Jesus told us that since we couldn’t even do something so simple as change our height, that we had no business worrying. Does anyone else here know that if Jesus said it, it’s important?
So quick recap. Amidst the struggles and battles of life, many conflicts being caused by belief in Christ himself and being predicted by him, we can have peace. The two are not, in fact, mutually exclusive. Family matters are not critical to a Christian. In fact, if we all lean on Jesus in the conflicts of family, instead of on threats and more conflict coming from it, we will all get through any conflicts, together. So what is critical then, in our lives? Well. You’ll have to wait on that for a moment. I have the other point still to cover.
Material and physical things. Oh such a big one. Everyone can make a case for anything of this world to be critical.
But what does Jesus say about this? Let’s take a look at this as well.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
There we have it, folks. Physical and material possessions are not to be something we focus on. Jesus said it himself.
So.. Without further ado, what is, in fact, a critical issue for a Christian? That would boil down to one thing. And it should be a critical issue for all people.
“Where will I spend eternity?”
The only critical issue for anyone, the only truly critical issue, is that of salvation. And Christians, true believers, already have the answer for that. There are two eternal destinations.
Heaven and Hell. Heaven is a place of eternal life and Joy, of Gods presence.
Hell is a place of eternal wrath, torment, and death. You will be there, because a physical death had no bearing on your spirit. Death, to the body, means no more physical body. Death is nothing too big unless you’re going to hell. But eternal death. That’s the thing to worry about.
Eternal torment and constant state of complete and total loneliness. Loss of the presence of God in its entirety. Words can’t even begin to describe it. I’ve felt this before. I know a small taste of it. And I know how maddening it will be.. But it’s eternal. You won’t get to go mad. You will suffer that torment in its entirety completely sane. You will suffer. And suffer. And suffer. Forever. Eternity is a long time, without end. Eternal death. There will be no reprieve at all.
Yeah, I know. I’m speaking more about hell than about heaven. Did you ever actually read what Jesus said? He too spoke more of hell. He emphasized what it was going to be like. Hell is spoken of more than heaven. So it must be pretty important to know about it. Many times in life we don’t get to know about the consequences of our actions. But this one, this one choice, to choose Jesus or to not choose him, we can know the eternal ramifications of.
Jesus loves you. He came down to earth from heaven, to be born a baby, born of a virgin. He lived a human life, suffering the way people normally do. Getting to know our sorrows. Being tempted. Eventually being crucified for crimes he was unjustly accused of committing. And yet, he didn’t defend himself. All the power in the universe. You read the mythology of any religion and the gods they have so much power and very seldom sacrifice at all. They wield it and defend themselves. So.. Why didn’t Jesus?
Sin requires a blood sacrifice to be remitted. And the blood of a perfect, sinless sacrifice was the only thing that could take and erase all sin for all time for anyone who accepts him. Besides. He fought the real battle for three days.
He went to Hell for you. He faced down Satan and took the keys of death and of the heavens from him, then he went to the temporary paradise called Abraham’s bosom, and swept them all up into Heaven. But he didn’t go himself. He had one more task to do before returning to his home. He rose from the dead, and appeared to over 500 people for the period of 40 days, teaching the scriptures. Then ascended into the heavens, finally returning home.
What does all this mean? Well, this critical issue means that you don’t have to go to hell. It means that if you accept Jesus as your Saviour, you too can be with Him in Heaven. Eternal life as opposed to eternal torment. How is this a hard choice? But you and you alone have to choose.
If you want to know more, then by all means, leave a comment below and reach out to me.