What’s the Big Surprise? :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

“And I shall say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said, ‘Fool! This night your soul shall be required of you; then whose will these things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:19-21, NKJV).

“For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

“And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this, the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

By the time this article will be placed online, all investigations, memorials, eulogies, and the funerals of not just the basketball legend Kobe Bryant, but of his daughter and fellow passengers will have taken place, and a time of remembrance will no doubt be held; but on the same day as the demise of Mr. Bryant and his company, thirty of our heroes also went down in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Flag- draped caskets will be flown into Dover Air Force Base, where widows, widowers, children, and friends will be there to also remember and place into the earth those who pit the safety and welfare of the nation above their preferences.

Doubtless, there will be news of other notable deaths of the famous and obscure in the days ahead. Some will go peacefully; others will be the victim of an accident or crime, and others will feel they have no hope and take their own lives, and there will be no let up or time to collectively catch our breath as individuals and a nation.

There have been a lot of famous people over the years whom I admired and liked who are now in their graves. I was in my last year of high school when the news bulletins came across the screen that Elvis had been found dead in his upstairs bathroom. Not too glamorous, that’s for sure.

Now he is close to being worshipped as the most famous dead celebrity, where thousands gather at his Graceland home every August to either remember him or hear stories about the man that are almost biblical in nature. He gave some evidence in his last days that he was turning back towards faith in the LORD, but the truth is that we just don’t know. I pray that he is in the presence of the LORD. I suppose we’ll all find out when we’re taken one day to meet the LORD in the air. I don’t want to spend time on one person, though. I have had to say goodbye to those who were the dearest on Earth to me that I thought would always be around, like my parents, grandparents, friends, and children. I know beyond a doubt, however, that they were ready to go when the time came.

I’m trying to make something clear to those of you who have no real understanding or relationship with God, and are reading this website out of curiosity, sarcasm, serious inquiry, or an inner feeling that you needed to stop here and read what people have written about what the Scriptures refer to as “the Last Days.” Here’s the hard truth:

We don’t last here in this world forever, not in the shape in which it’s in. Despite all our efforts, marches, and grouchy teenagers telling us that we’re killing their future, this world is slowing down, and with it, the essence of life as we know it. It, as well as your life and everything you hold dear about it, is going to end up in a casket or urn, where you’ll be eulogized, remembered briefly, put in the ground or on a mantle; and then everyone will head back to the church or home where they’ll spend the rest of the day eating chicken, potato salad, and various casseroles with their feet kicked up in the recliner, ready for a nap. Tragic, but true. After a generation, you’ll be another anonymous figure in the cemetery, but your future is not being worm food or dust. Let me explain.

The intellectual, condescending snobs who spend their time and breath in the media and universities telling you that there is no God, or that Jesus never existed, or some “new breakthrough” scholastic declaration are feeding you a line of plain bull, hoping that you’re not going to take the time or effort to examine these statements to see whether or not there’s any validity in what they have said. Do not let ANYONE do your thinking for you. The same atheists who beat the drum for rationality hope that you don’t use your own rationality, logic, or critical thinking to see other points of view or sound explanations for what one would describe as “supernatural” or “Spiritual” worldviews.

Freethought applies to everyone, not just a few anti-deists or self-centered limited thoughts and beliefs. Deep down, these atheists and other deniers of life beyond this realm of experience know that there is a Designer, Intellect, or Higher Power, and that we may have to be held accountable to Him, which almost everyone in the world would wish or hope not exist. No one can ever scientifically declare that there is no afterlife or God, however He might be defined. We do not possess that line of higher intellect, nor do we have the ability to know everything. It’s just not there, and there is no one who can claim otherwise.

If we think that we’re all that is, then try and make more air, or a tree, or design anything aligned with nature and improve everything. Sorry, not possible. We don’t control the geography, geology, meteorology, botany, or zoology; and the disasters that pop up more frequently than ever, carbon footprint or whatever the rich and famous say while being obvious hypocrites with their jets, yachts, energy-sucking mansions, and the like. They’re just as confused and at a loss as a lot of you are right now.

Let’s be the adults in the room and confess that the lifetime loons who tend to run Congress and have a demonic hatred for the President, while doing nothing of merit, sure don’t have any legible answers for the world’s problems except bang the same old drum we’ve heard for years. Having the government take care of everything – like Bolshevik Bernie and airhead AOC are constantly throwing at gullible groups who’ve been told that they somehow can’t better themselves – is as sensible as having a member of Planned Parenthood babysit your toddler.

All right, if we can’t figure out how to make things better personally and socially, and we’re faced with situations that look hopeless at best, what do we do? Stay with me here and think.

Is this how the world is meant to exist, or is there something that we’ve either forgotten or neglected that would truly bring about peace, to ourselves and those of whom we care. If God does exist, why doesn’t He do something about the mess? Actually, He has, but a lot of people don’t want to hear His plan, because we want to be the center of everything. Has it ever occurred to you that we’re the problem because we didn’t listen to God and live according to His laws, and we decided that we’re somehow smarter than Him? Well, if that’s the case, we sure have screwed up the whole system, and if you stop and ponder this, you know it’s all too true.

First off, drop the idea that you’re somehow a “good” person. Now, you probably abhor a lot of the absolute evil things going on, but if you’re thinking that you’re off the hook, I want to present a few comments from a book that is the number one bestseller, and also the most reviled and hated work of literature ever written. It’s the Bible, and you can sneer, laugh, ignore, or mock it if you want, but it’s the ONE book that will give you the unvarnished truth about this world, and our own nature and being, and what God will do about it. I invite you to put aside any prejudice or skepticism for a while and read the following books from the section known as the New Testament:

  • The Gospel according to Luke
  • The book of the Acts of the Apostles
  • The Gospel of John
  • The book of Romans

That’s a lot, but it will give you an overview of the fact that God does love you and wants you to be with Him when He creates a new world and heaven, free of sins and evils. He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to this world to live among us and to fulfill a mission of rescuing us from our wickedness that we cannot do on our own. Jesus Christ is both God and Man (despite what other religions and people say or write), and He took it upon Himself to die for our sins on the cross and redeem us. His resurrection from the dead (which can be proven) meant that His work of saving us was satisfactory to God; and if we accept that fact, we can be saved (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16; Romans 5:6-11; John 14:6; Acts 4:12, 16:31; Luke 15).

Read these verses for yourself and make your decision. I’ll be perfectly honest with you. Jesus Christ’s offer of salvation is the only way you’re going to be able to make sense of everything and is the only way you’ll get out of this world safely and eternally.

I’m speaking from a lifetime of study, prayer, research, and the visible testimony of millions across the span of history who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, often at the cost of their own. I’m not some backwoods, cousin-marrying, fundamentalist yokel who doesn’t live in the real world. My own story of being redeemed by Jesus Christ is one of triumph as well as the testing of my faith under tragic circumstances. He has brought me to places of service and ministry that I never believed would have been done by another individual. He gives everyone who turns their life over to Him a sense of meaning and purpose, as well as the joy of being with Him in heaven for all time with those who have gone before me. It’s an offer I simply could not pass up.

So, with everything I’ve presented, let’s go back to the title of this article. What’s the big surprise?

It’s this. If the Lord doesn’t come back in our lifetime, you and I will one day die, and there’s no drug or routine to change that fact. The question is, where will you be eternally when that inevitably occurs? With the LORD in heaven, or in hell, forever separated from Him with no hope, love, mercy, grace, empathy, relief, or second chance?

If what I believe is indeed real, and I was faced with those two options, I’m not going to ignore or laugh this off. You know perfectly well that all the junk going on will not solve anything, and that you do not control when you eventually assume room temperature.

Please consider what I’ve written, and think for a moment. Is it worth it to have everything here, and then lose your soul eternally? Your heartbeat is limited and could stop before the day is done. Please consider Christ’s offer of salvation and get that settled today.