Archives For Heaven

Sentenced to Die

April 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

178368337

Ernest Gordon was a prisoner held by the Japanese during WW2. The captors in his camp were forced to build a railroad through the jungle and over the River Kwai. The prisoners were treated inhumanely and soon fell into living the law of the jungle where every man was out for himself.

At the end of each day, the tools were counted. One day, it was discovered a shovel was missing. A guard became enraged and demanded to know who had stolen it. When nobody confessed, he screamed, “All die! All die!” He raised his gun to shoot the first man in line when suddenly, a man stepped out of the ranks and said, “I did it.”

The guard began furiously kicking and beating the man. He eventually brought down the butt of his rifle on the man’s head. As the man fell motionless to the ground, the guard continued to kick him. After the violence stopped, the prisoners carried the man’s body back to the camp.

That evening, the tools were recounted and it was discovered there were no missing shovels.  There had been a miscount. The man was innocent and sacrificed his life to save his fellow prisoners.

The man’s selfless sacrifice changed the attitude in the camp. Everyone began looking out for their fellow prisoner. Hatred was still present but there was also love. Death did not stop but there was also life. (Gordon, Ernest. Miracle on the River Kwai. Collins Publishers, 1963.)

This story reminds me of Jesus’ sacrifice. If you’ve ever wondered about this sacrifice, the following are some questions I’ve received along with answers.

Why does God hate sin?

  • Because sin separates us from Him.

“But the trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God. Because of sin he has turned his face away from you and will not listen anymore.” Isaiah 59:2

So there’s punishment for sin?

  • The punishment for sin is death. I don’t like it any more than you but we don’t make the rules. God does. So yes, there is punishment and it’s harsh.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15

Is there a way to get out of this punishment?

  • Absolutely! And it is so easy! Through Jesus!

I don’t get it! How does Jesus make a difference?

  • Just as the man stepped out of ranks to take the punishment for the missing shovel, Jesus steps in front of us and takes our death sentence for us.

“He personally carried the load of our sins in his own body when he died on the cross so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours!” 1 Peter 2:24

We all die. So I don’t understand how this saves me from death.

  • We do not avoid death in this life. But death is just a doorway to spending eternity in heaven with God or in hell without Him. God loves us and wants our eternity to be spent with Him so He provided the ultimate sacrifice. I would die for my children but I wouldn’t sacrifice them for anybody. My love has a limit. God’s love doesn’t.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

So what exactly do I have to do to be saved?

  1. Believe Jesus is the Son of God, He came to live as a man on this earth, He died for your sins, and overcame the bonds of death by rising again on the 3rd

 “He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’” Acts 16:30-31

  1. Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Simply pray: “Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the son of God and that you came to earth and died for my sins and rose again on the 3rd day. I confess that I am a sinner and in need of your salvation. I come to you now and ask that you will come into my life, be my Lord and savior, and forgive me of my sins. In Jesus’ name, amen!”

It’s that simple. Next week I’ll explain the next steps and changes that occur with this decision. Meanwhile, I would LOVE for you to message me if you prayed this prayer.

 

© 2015 Connie Davis Johnson

 

 

Advertisements

aplaceaftermyheart

One of the first Spanish words we learned upon entering Ecuador was, “Chau.”  It means, “See you later.”  This is a bit friendlier than saying, “adios,” which means, “goodbye.”  “Adios” is used when people do not expect to see each other again.

On the last day of our Kid’s Club in Portete, we had a great time with the kids.  We laughed as they tried on and decorated the pipe cleaner eyeglasses we had made.  We had fun as we played games.  And we made funny gestures as we tried to communicate since we were unable to speak the others language.

Kids Club

Once club was over, Amanda and Chandra (the missionaries) asked our team to line up.  I turned and asked our youth pastor why and he simply said, “It’s to say ‘adios.’”  Those words wrapped around my heart like a vice.  It was at that moment I realized my time with the kids I had fallen in love with had come to an end.  And it was unlikely I would ever see them again.

Kids club1 IMG_3194

 IMG_3217

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tears began running down my cheeks.  I tried to gain control but the first child through the line squeezed my neck in such a loving hug that it only made the tears pool in my eyes blurring my vision.  The next child hugged me and I cried even harder.  It was a losing battle so I just let the tears fall.

The kids were concerned but also seemed to understand.  One little girl held on so long I knew she was experiencing many of the same feelings.

I hate goodbyes.

I not only fell in love with the kids of Ecuador but all the adults we met as well.  They are all wonderful people.  When people capture your heart, it’s hard to say “adios.”

DSC_0324Being a Christ-follower, I don’t want to say “adios” to anyone.  I want to say, “Chau,” meaning, “I may not see you in this lifetime but I’ll see you in heaven.”  Unfortunately, I will not see many of those I love in heaven.  Being a Christ-follower, I believe the bible when it says in John 14:6,

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

Many Ecuadorians worship idols and believe praying to them will get them to heaven.  But God makes it clear that is not acceptable.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…”  Exodus 20:4-5

I never want to say, “adios.”  My desire is to spend all eternity with my friends in heaven.  We have much more to talk about it.  Games to play.  Laughter to share.  So I will pray God will use our work and the continued work of the missionaries to reach the hearts of my friends and those friends I have yet to meet.  And I’ll support any way God desires including going and giving when He asks.

ecuador team 2013I will also continue to pray for my friends here and afar who have yet to accept Christ bridges the gap between them and God.  Spending eternity with me may not sound appealing to some of them 🙂 but living forever in paradise should.

“Adios” can just go “adios.”

Other posts in this series:

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Disclaimer:  These blog posts and other social media activity contain my own personal views & opinions and may not represent the views, beliefs, or ideas of my teammates or the church I am involved with currently or have been involved with in the past.