WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?

An Evangelistic Tract

"What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14b).

Dear friend,

Have you ever wondered about the meaning of your life? Have you considered why you need to work so hard to make the grade in school or to earn enough money to make ends meet. Have you thought about how meaningless life can be? You are suffering most of the time in order that you may enjoy yourself a little in life. You want to earn a lot of money, but you know that money cannot really buy you happiness. You may be a top student in school, and you may climb up the corporate ladder, you may buy a car or two and a condominium or bungalow. You may retire as a very rich man all eager to enjoy the labour of your years. But old age comes upon you in no time. Not only do you have to suffer aches and pains, but you pay for your medical bills with your hard earned money. And all too soon it is time for you to leave this world. All the remainder of your savings goes to your children who will reluctantly dig out a sum to pay for your funeral expenses. Then, after you are gone it will be your children’s turn. Like you, they will suffer hardship and pains just for a few years of pleasure in life. Life seems to be so meaningless! Being rich doesn’t make your life very different, you know it. History tell us that one the richest and most powerful man who ever lived in this world, at the end of his life had to conclude that his life of pleasure was meaningless. I am quite sure that if you think about it honestly, you will come to the same conclusion about your life. So what if you have done some good in your life? So what if history records your name? The world, we are told by scientists who do not even believe in God, will end one day: either the sun will burn out or the universe will collapse into itself. Many people have committed suicide because they woke up one morning and realise that their existence is meaningless regardless of their status or contribution to society.

Have you paused and wondered about your life? Have you considered what you are doing or where you are heading to? Have you ever wondered if you are really different from an animal? I mean, an animal lives in this world, then it dies and it is gone forever. After a while, it makes no difference whether it really existed or not.

But you know deep in your heart that you are different from animals don’t you? Animals don’t think about the future? Animals do not know the difference between right and wrong. Ever seen a cute mother hamster eating her new born babies? The sight is revolting! But is it wrong for her to do so? No, because animals have no morals. But you are different. You think about the future and you have a sense of morality. And your sense of morality tells you that your life does not end here, or your life would be utterly meaningless. But the problem is what will happen after you die? I don’t know you, but I believe that you suspect in your heart that there is a God and that you will be judge for what you do in this life,—whether good or bad. I’m right, aren’t I? And I also know that you are probably thinking that you are not all that bad, or that you have done more good deeds than bad deeds, and so it should not be difficult for you to do well at the day of judgement.

How do I know so much about your heart? Well, I know, not only because I have been through it myself, but because the Word of God, the Bible, speaks about these things so clearly. The Bible tells us that man is created in the image of God, and that is why we are different from animals. Animals have no souls, but we do, and our souls will exist forever. And you know what? You are right that there will be a judgement day. The Bible says: "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

However, I must warn you that your notion that you are not so bad after all is terribly wrong. You are deceiving yourself as to how bad you are, for the Bible says: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer 17:9). God is a holy God. He will not tolerate sin. If we are to pass the judgement of God, we must be 100% sinless, but God says: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). Yes,—all,—including you and me. And God tells us that sinners will be condemned to hell forever and ever.

You believe in hell, don’t you? The Bible teaches us that it is a place of terrible torment. Almost every religion acknowledge that there is a hell, though most will paint hell as less terrible than it really is! Nevertheless, almost every religion teaches that we must do good in order to get to heaven, that is, every religion except true Christianity. Why does Christianity not teach that we must do good in order to get to heaven? Because the Bible says "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." No matter what good works you do, you will not meet the standard of God! Indeed, don’t let anyone fool you: No religion can bring you to heaven. Not even Christianity!

I thought this is a Christian tract? Yes it is. But I want you to know that Christianity as a religion does not bring you to heaven. No, the Bible tells us that there will be many who claim to be Christians who are on the broad road that leads to hell (Matt 7:13). Make no mistake, you may be baptised and you may be going to church faithfully, you may even be a leader in your church, and yet be heading to hell. No, it is not Christianity that saves. The Lord Jesus Christ says: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). He did not say as all other religious leaders might say: "I showyou the way, the truth and how to live" No, He is the way, the onlyway; He is the truth; and He is the life. Jesus, not Christianity is the way!

And did you listen carefully to what the Lord said? He did not say "no man enters into heaven, but by me." He says "no man comes unto the Father, but by me." You see, human beings invent many religions because of a restlessness in their soul. This restlessness is there because man is created in the image of God, and until his soul returns to God and find rests in Him, there will be a restlessness and emptiness in his soul. I believe you know what I mean, for if you think carefully, you’ll find an emptiness and a sense of incompleteness in you. Our souls are restless until they find rest in God. Heaven is only meaningful for our souls if God our Creator is there. Eternal life is not just life that does not end. That would be meaningless. The Bible tells us that eternal life is a living fellowship with the Living and True God and Jesus Christ forever (Jn 17:3). True Christianity is not only about going to heaven, it is about fellowship with God, and this fellowship begins in this life.

But how can we have this fellowship with God? Amazingly, man, by nature has an inborn notion that if we do what is right then, we can go to God. This notion, I believe comes about because God has imprinted His laws in man’s heart when He created man. This is the same law that gives us our sense of morality.

The first two persons created by God, the Bible tells us, are: Adam and Eve. They knew they had to obey God perfectly, and as long as they did, they enjoyed a very meaningful life in which they had intimate fellowship with God their Creator. But one day they disobeyed God, and the Bible tells us, they brought death to themselves and to the world: not just physical death, but spiritual death and eternal death; for "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23a). We are all descended from Adam. We were not only represented by him and so legally guilty, but we are also born as sinners. Our actions are all tainted with sin. So, though we know we should do what is right because of the conscience God has given us, yet we cannot be good enough because we are by nature sinners. All seemed so hopeless.

But God did not leave us without hope. He sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to be born as man of the virgin Mary. He came to do what Adam did not do, and we cannot do, i.e. to keep God’s holy laws perfectly. After living a perfectly sinless life for 33 years, He was sentenced to die by being nailed on the cross. The death of the cross is the most cruel death ever invented by the Roman empire. But Christ did not commit any crime. He was sentenced to death for our sakes. Seven hundred years before Christ was born, it was prophesied that Christ would suffer and die for His people: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isa 53:5).

Why is this necessary? It is necessary because God is not only a loving God, but a just and holy God. God has to punish sin, or He would not be just. Even a good human judge will sentence his own children to death if he finds them guilty of crimes punishable by death. We have all sinned. In God’s holy standard, every sin deserves death. We deserve to die eternally. But God our heavenly Father, in His good pleasure was determined to show mercy to some of us that we may be restored to fellowship with Him.

But He has to show mercy without compromising His justice. How does He do that? He does so by inflicting the punishment due to us on Christ, His only begotten Son. This is possible because Christ and His Father, together with the Holy Spirit are united as one God, equal in power and glory. When we sin, the Scripture tells us, we sin against God because He is the ultimate standard of right and wrong. So when God the Father punished His Son for our sins, He not only deals with our sin as justice requires, but He forgives us of our sin against Him. What Jesus did, therefore, was to reconcile us to God by paying for our sin: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

This is why Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn 14:6). He is indeed the way to the Father by His being punished and dying on behalf of His people. He is the truth of God or the Word of God manifested in the flesh, because the whole Bible points to Him. Since the creation of the world, everything was being prepared for Christ to come as man. And so we find that there were many prophesies about Christ—where He would be born, of what family, how He would live, what He would do, how He would suffer, how He would die, how he would be buried, etc. All these prophesy were fulfilled to the letter.

Now, Christ is the life for two reasons: Firstly, Christ did not die like any other prophets or religious founders in the world. They died and remained dead and buried. Not so in the case of Christ. After He died to pay for our sins, He rose again from the dead. Many people saw Him after He rose from the dead, and some even had the privilege of seeing Him ascend into heaven. The Bible tells us that He is now seated at the right hand of the Throne of God, and constantly praying for His children. He prays with compassion knowing all our needs because He once suffered as we did (Hebrews 4:15-16). Secondly, Christ is the lifebecause all who repent of their sins and believe in Christ and embrace Him as Saviour and Lord will have eternal life. The Bible declares: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (Jn 3:16-17).

Dear friend, if this is the first time you are hearing the Gospel presented, there is probably more facts than you can grasp in one reading. May I urge you to read this tract over again, while thinking about your life and searching your heart honestly. And if you find what I am telling you having any meaning at all, may I urge you to come, and seek the Lord with us! Come, and hear the Gospel preached each Lord’s Day! Come, and know more about Christ! Come and we will give you a Bible that you may read for yourself what God reveals about Himself! Come, and get to know Christians who were once in the same situation as you are, but have found peace and comfort in their lives through knowing Christ. Come and ask what questions you may have.

I want you to realise that you are in a very very precarious situation. Do you realise that if you are out of Christ, you are standing at the edge of hell? I say this because the Word of God teaches us, if you are trying to get to heaven or to the Father by your own effort, that the moment you die, you will plunge into hell, never to have a second chance. Your efforts cannot save you. Your good works cannot save you. The Bible tell us that "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isa 64:6). It also remind those of us who are Christians: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2:8-9). None of us deserve to be saved; neither do you. Your religion cannot save you: not even if your religion is Christianity. Only Jesus Christ can save you by rescuing you from the punishment due to you for your sin and freeing you from the bondage of sin and Satan by changing your heart, and making you hate sin.

If you are not in Christ, you are dead in your sin and helpless to save yourself. Repent of your sin, believe wholeheartedly in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you do so, you may have the assurance that the perfect righteousness of Christ covers you and you have a righteous standing before God. Then will you be granted rest for your soul; and your life will have true meaning and purpose. Until then, you are, as it were, hanging on a spider web suspended over hell. Your life is not only meaningless, but in danger of eternal lost at any moment. I don’t know if God would have called me home by the time you read this article. You won’t know if you will be in hell before the day ends. Consider the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36); "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24). Do not wait! Come seek the Lord with us! Repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!