Summary: At some point in my life, whether I’m still alive or dead, I’m going to face Jesus. My name is in the book of life. My life is registered in heaven. I’ve given my flawed and imperfect life to the authority of Jesus Christ. My question this morning is,

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to know the outcome of any decision you were about to make? How would your life be different if you could know the result of a decision before making it? In the trilogy “Back to the Future” this is the idea that these movies experiment with. The main character played by Michael J. Fox is Marty McFly. With the help of his scientist friend, Dr. Emmit Brown, and his time machine, Marty is able to go back in time to change decisions that he and others in his family make so that their future experiences are improved. In this scene from the third movie in the trilogy Marty, through a series of bad experiences, finally learns not to impetuously give in to jerks who challenge his courage by daring him to do dumb things, especially after calling him a “chicken”. {Back to the Future clip}

In Marty’s former reality, before he went back in time to change his future, he did race. And he did collide with the car. And that traffic accident changed the course of his life, but, by learning from his past mistake, he makes a better decision and changes his future for the better.

Wouldn’t it be great to have this ability? I know of some decisions I’ve made that I regret; for example; I’d like a do over on that 1967 Chevy Nova I talked about a couple weeks ago.

As I was reading through Revelation this week it came to me that there is one outcome that we do know for sure. We know that at some point every one will die. Every human being dies. We may not know when, or where, but we can be certain that our final breath will come. So there is one decision I can make and that I’m confident in what the result will be. I have the choice to make a decision to be a follower of Jesus. And I’m confident that as I daily make that decision to follow Jesus, to lay down my selfishness and live out his priorities, I will, at a time of His choosing, live with Him at His place. This is the central theme to the book of Revelation. It’s not an easy thing to talk about. Those who choose to live with Jesus on earth, will live with Jesus in heaven, and those who don’t live with Jesus on earth will suffer in hell.

For me the reason this is difficult to talk about, or even to accept as truth, is because many people I know, love and care deeply for, are making the choice to deny a life with Jesus. Some of these folks are religious. They even attend church sometimes, but, they don’t want the life of a follower. They’re happy with a few liturgical sentiments a couple of times a month, maybe throwing a few dollars at the offering plate, but, they just don’t want the every day life with Jesus. I’ve come to the conclusion from studying and reading the words of Jesus, that he doesn’t find a difference in the person who doesn’t believe in him at all and the person who says they do, but, doesn’t live it.

I’m not going to get into a lot of the theology of Revelation this morning, because there are so many different ways to interpret this book. We don’t have time in 20 minutes or so to discuss all the scenes, images or characters and discuss their meaning, although, I would have fun doing so. So let’s just focus on what is the most important teaching in the Bible, not just what we can learn in Revelation, but, really the whole theme of the Bible in general. For just a few minutes let’s take a look at why we celebrate Christmas, Easter, and come together as a church every Sunday.

There’s really only one reason, and Paul calls it the most important truth in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 15:1-3; 17-20 “Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said…if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.”

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