When Life Is Cut Short, Truth Gives Hope
Seeing a car with only slightly scraped icy windows took me back to a terrible tragedy—the kind that makes you wonder about death and God’s plan.
It was early morning and our first severe frost had arrived. As I walked the local streets, I saw a car with frost scraped away from two patches on the windscreen so that both driver and passenger could see out—at least a little.
It’s not an uncommon sight as winter comes along. However, this scene took me back to an incident many years ago in the U.K. when a tragedy took place.
On that fateful day, a driver set out from home after scraping only enough ice from his windscreen to give himself a small patch of clear glass to see through. He obviously thought it was too much trouble or too cold to clear the windscreen completely.
It wasn’t long after the driver set off for work that an accident happened.
A young man working on the roads was just doing his job when this driver plowed his car into him! The young man was severely injured, and those injuries took his life.
The young man and his family had recently begun attending church with us, and this was a terrible blow for the family and all of us.
What should we learn?
The most obvious lesson is that the driver should have taken the time to properly clean the windscreen. Perhaps then the incident wouldn’t have taken place. This would have been putting safety first—even if it was cold, difficult and took time to do.
The Bible says, “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). This may sound condemning of a driver who, when he set off for work, had no intention of hurting, let alone killing, anyone. Nonetheless, the results of laziness or carelessness eventually brought about the death of a young man.
A clear principle
God makes it very clear that He wants humans to consider their ways carefully. He admonishes us to look at our actions and, if they are wrong or bad, to change them! He tells us that He takes no pleasure in death!
“‘For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘Therefore turn and live!’” (Ezekiel 18:32).
The Bible says this, and yet millions of people—from newborn babes to the very old and all ages in between—can, and do, die. So what is God really saying? Physical life always ends in death. But is that God’s ultimate goal for His creation? No!
God’s goal centers on “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). He wants us all to accept His offer of eternal life with Him.
This pathway all humanity is on
For thousands of years man has lived, suffered and died, but for what purpose? Is there a reason?
The Bible tells us that Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), yet most die unsaved—and millions die miserably! He wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
And this is the key to it all—the knowledge of the truth. There is a link between salvation and truth.
What is truth?
This is not a new question. It was asked nearly 2,000 years ago by Pontius Pilate of Christ and by many others through the centuries.
The answer is given in John’s Gospel. Before His crucifixion, Christ asked His Father to “sanctify them [set the disciples apart] by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
In a direct sense, truth refers to Jesus as the “Word of God.” (Please refer to John 1:1-14, which shows Jesus is the living Word of God.) Jesus also referred to the Bible when He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Putting it all together
God, through Christ, is offering forgiveness of sins to all humanity, but it is being offered according to a timetable that God controls. On the very day the New Testament Church commenced, the apostle Peter was asked, “What shall we do?” Peter’s reply included not just the instructions—repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit—but also the explanation that God’s calling would be offered to “as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:36-39).
God isn’t willing that any should perish!
In time, according to His perfect plan, salvation will be offered to all who have ever lived.
Both the driver who caused the accident and the young man who died because of that carelessness will be given a first full opportunity to know the truth of salvation in the Kingdom of God. Then corruptible man will be able to put on incorruption (immortality) and death will be swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).