Summary: Do you know where you will spend eternity? Are you so completely morally pure that you do not fear judgement? How can anyone know that they can be saved? Only by trusting in Christ and His merits.
Jude verses 20-25
Snatched from the fire
One day a young boy sat in a pew at church,
listening attentively to the sermon on the consequences of the fall into sin.
His eyes grew wide as the pastor’s voice rose while he quoted from Genesis 3:19; “You are dust and to dust you shall return.”
The sermon made a big impression on the boy.
Later that same day the boy’s mother heard a yell from her son’s bedroom.
She went running up the stairs and he met her halfway.
“Mum”, he said with great concern,
“Do you remember that the preacher said that we are dust
and to dust we will return?
Well, I just looked under my bed and someone is either coming or going!”
It’s quite amusing but Scripture does say that the first man was made from dust.
Adam was not born from a mother’s womb.
Genesis 2 tells us “The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life
and the man became a living creature.”
He was in every regard a perfect creature,
because God had breathed life into him and bestowed His image upon him,
and in the very beginning everything was very good,
not least mankind’s relationship with God our Creator.
Unfortunately it did not last.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command.
They allowed themselves to be manipulated by Satan.
They thought there was some sort of special knowledge to be received,
and there was; Adam and Eve did not know about sin or the consequence of sin.
And because of the devil, they got what they wanted; further knowledge;
the knowledge that one day they would know what it is to die!
And they came to know what we know; that life is cursed by sin and evil.
And they learned that a perfect life lived in the glorified image of God
can be forfeited,
because the day would come when they would return to the dust
from which they came.
We will all go back to the dust from whence we came,
but not all will be the same kind of dust.
Those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ will be “gold dust”,
because on day God will gather our remains,
every one of our particles whether we were buried or cremated,
and we will be put back together;
not just as we were in physical life, but better.
We will be resurrected into the glory in which mankind once was.
We will be re-made in His presence; we will be perfect.
What makes the difference between being just like the rest of the dust
and dirt of the earth
and being as gold dust?
Certainly not our thoughts or words or deeds,
because every human being has sinned
ever since that first awful sin in the Garden of Eden,
we now possess that knowledge that Adam and Eve
came to know,
that our human condition is fallen
and without Christ we cannot please God.
We thought there was something that God was not sharing
and we desired further blessings,
as if God in His benevolence was not loving us enough.
And don’t we still today question the suffering in the world and blame God?
In what way can we be set apart from the average sinner? Or can we?
The boy listening to that one sermon should not have gone away with the message that there are people combusting into dust
or that men can simply rise out of dust today.
But there was a very profound message that he took home
that is only too true and heart wrenching today:
We shall die.
We will be brought back to the existence or non-existence that was before we were born.
It sounds morbid, but one day we will return to the ground that the first man came from
and our flesh will become one with the ground again.
It is very, very backward to the way God created us and intended us to be.
No one will rise from the dust of this earth again, except on the very last day.
The only time man shall rise from the dust is at the last.
That, as Christians, is what we look forward to and put our hope in
because death is then promised not to be the end.
Our dust is not thought of as just dirt but as I said, “gold dust”.
We are to be set apart as men and women
who will be gathered again at the last, as God’s precious Children.
For God is gracious and He is merciful. He is love!
And because of Who He is, He promises to raise us up from the dust once again;
to restore life and restore His image in us.