Summary: This a short talk I gave at my sons high school graduation party as he prepares to go into the US Army. It is the gospel presented as concisely as I can make it.
July 22 2007
A Farewell Message as My Son Goes to the Army
As you will soon be leaving the nest, I wanted to give you the most important counsel that I have to offer.
1. Get and Stay Humble
Pride can be a good thing for instance; it is good to have pride in your country, pride in your family, and pride in a job well done. Never forget though that it is God who has given you all of those things for which you can be proud of. It was God who put the desire into the hearts of our countries founders to form this great nation. It is God who has placed you into this family, given you a healthy, though imperfect, father, mother and siblings; and it is God who has given you the skills and abilities to be accomplished at anything.
Something else God gave you is the Ten Commandments to show you His holiness, perfection or goodness. He is the creator and sustainer of the universe, the earth, everything around you, and you. He shows you in His commandments that you are incapable of matching His holiness, and therefore you are imperfect.
Do you think you have kept the commandments? Do you think you are a good person? Well let’s go through them and see.
Go through each one briefly but thoroughly.
If you have broken even one of them, even once, then remember, you’ll never be better than God; and not only that, but it also makes you a lawbreaker, a person who has sinned against God which brings me to my second bit of advice.
2. You will stand before God, so be ready.
The bible says that it is appointed unto man once to die, after this the judgement. It also says that every idle word a man speaks he shall give account to God for one day. All idolaters, blasphemers, adulterers, fornicators, thieves and liars will have their part in the lake of fire.
Do you fall into any of those descriptions? One lie makes you a liar; one wrong look at a woman makes you an adulterer and God promises eternity in hell to anyone who breaks His holy law.
You may believe that God is a loving God and would never send you to hell as a result. It is precisely because He is a loving and righteous judge that He will punish all lawbreakers.
Let’s say a man murdered your best friend or your brother or sister. He is found guilty in court and the judge asks him if he has anything to say for himself to which the murderer replies; “I can see that you are a good judge and because I have no criminal record and feel really bad for killing this person, I believe you should have mercy on me and let me go. In fact your honor I deserve to be let go because I have done more good things with my life than bad.”
Would you say that he was a good judge if he let this murderer go? Of course not! In fact, a good judge would look that murderer right in the eye and say, “You’re right, I am a good judge and because I am a good judge I am going to see that you are punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
This is exactly how God is going to judge your lawlessness one day. Answer these questions to yourself.
When you stand before God are you going to be guilty or innocent of breaking His holy law? If so, do you realize that your punishment will be eternity in hell because you have sinned against our holy God? Does that concern you?
It should concern you because it concerns me. This brings me to my next piece of advice.
3. God loves you.
The bible says that you are dead already because you have broken God’s law and you will face eternal punishment in hell as a result of your sin. In fact, it says that because of your sin that God’s wrath abides upon you and that you are building up wrath upon yourself with each sin you commit against the day of wrath. However God doesn’t want to send you to hell because of his love for you. In fact God loves you so much that he sent His own son to pay the debt you owe, to be the sacrifice, the replacement for your sin. Jesus Christ willingly came, suffered the painful beating you deserve, was nailed to a cross, suffered a brutal death and rose again from the dead to take your punishment. The death of Jesus Christ satisfied God’s wrath against sin…in fact it is the only payment God will accept as payment for your sin.