She was overly fond of money. In fact, lies were a means to acquiring more money and not parting with her own. One of her biggest secrets was that she had some money stashed away that only she knew about. Money changes people. They get greedy and want more. It's almost strange, you don't have to be rich to be greedy, and you don't have to be poor to avoid loving the stuff. (Charles Stanley has a great message on God's view of money. It's in two parts, some overlap, and the MP3s are here and here. I highly recommend it.) What was she holding onto her money for, anyway? Tomorrow?
Monica did not have any more tomorrows. Ironically, her money went for her own burial expenses.
Monica made her plans. We all have our plans, dreams, hopes, expectations, dreads, fears, whatever. But I have to be very direct with you: Today may be your last day on Earth. Like these people:
- Michael Jackson was getting ready for another attempted comeback tour
- Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin was scuba diving
- Gemma Hayter was found dead at age 27
- Olympic figure skater Sergei Grinkov appeared to be physically perfect
- Children murdered by their own mother because she wanted to be rid of them
Aside from murder, misadventure or freak accidents, we can die with friends and family in earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks —
"Cowboy Bob! You're bringing me down! Where is this going?"
OK, you got the point that we're all mortal? Good.
It's important to me to emphasize to you that we all need to be ready to take our final journeys. At some time or another, we're all going to meet God face to face and give an account of our lives.
"But Uncle Bob, I already have my religion. I'm very sincere in it."
Hooray for you. But guess what? I don't care about your religion, or anybody else's. Do you know who was instrumental for nailing Jesus to the cross?
Sort of. Try again.
"I got it! The Romans!"
Sort of, again.
The fact is, it was the religious leaders, especially the Pharisees. They pushed for the Romans to crucify Jesus because of what they considered blasphemy: He called himself God. But never mind about that now. Nobody is really concerned about religion, you see. It's all about a relationship. You can have a relationship with God, through Jesus.
"Aw, get over that, Cowboy Bob! I'm a good person. At least, as good as the next."
Let's look at that. God laid out his standard in the Ten Commandments. Have you ever told a lie, even a little one? Sure, we all have, even "little white lies". Have you ever stolen anything, even something small? Yes, that music download counts... Hey, how about taking God's name in vain? Funny, even people who do not believe in God will use his name as a profanity. Did you ever look at someone with lust? I know I have, but you're not getting names. Anyway, Jesus said that looking at someone with lust, you've already committed adultery in your heart (Matt. 5.28).
Shall I keep going? Nah, I think you get the idea, we've all broken a few of the commandments, if not all of them.
So, if you, Good Person, stand before God on your Judgment and try to get into Heaven, you're in for an unpleasant surprise, because you've broken his commandments. And by then it'll be too late. Heaven or Hell? Seems obvious to me.
Don't run off, it's not too late. While there's life, there's hope.
Let me lay it on the line. We're all sinners (Romans 3.23), and we deserve the penalty (Romans 6.23). Guess what? God sent his only son (John 3.16) to die for us. If we admit we're sinners, repent (Bible talk that means to give up or to turn from) our sins, accept Jesus as the lord of our lives, we have Heaven in our future. And he is with us in our lives on Earth.
I won't kid you, that's not my job. It's not easy to follow Jesus and be his disciple. But it's most definitely worth it.
What's stopping you, really? Pride? Sorry, Buttercup, you can't make it into Heaven on your own "goodness", or merits, or religion, or anything else. Just faith in Jesus. Or are you afraid of what your friends might say? Ha, some friends they are. Family? They'll have to adjust, won't they? Your own ego, that you "don't believe in God"? Spare me. Evidence for God exists all around, but are you willing to believe? Or maybe you have a "pet sin", some activity that you won't give up that's keeping you from God. Big mistake. It's really not worth it.
Are your waiting for tomorrow? Tomorrow may not happen, and your fate will be sealed.
Let me add this, that I've taunted people (impolite, I know) that I am looking forward to meeting my mother (who died of a malignant glioma), father (who had Dementia and did not even know who he was), brother (who had Down Syndrome) in Heaven, and all will be perfect, free of pain and in our right minds. (Monica's family are expecting to meet her again in Heaven, despite her flaws and mistakes, because I'm told that she accepted Christ at an early age.) People who deny that God exists have nothing to offer. I've studied, and believe that the Bible is true. That's a far cry from lame arguments of, "No, it's not!" Those people sound so childish, as well as ignorant of history, archaeology, etc. I'll take the Bible over pitiful excuses for disbelief any day. But I digress.
"Now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6.2).
If you want to know more about getting right with God, click here or here. I really hope and pray that you do it. And do it soon, because tomorrow might not be here for you. He's ready to talk to you.