"My name is Benjamin Button, and I was born under unusual circumstances. While, everyone else was agin', I was gettin' younger... all alone."
Can you even imagine? Being born as a really old dude, living life backwards, and then progressively becoming younger. In other words, the day that would normally be your last is your first, and the day that is normally your first is your last.
Confused? Well, Benjamin Button isn't. In the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt's character is born as an extremely elderly person , and for almost three hours you'll see him go through a reverse aging process that will truly capture your imagination and make you wonder...what if?
What if everyone was born old with a destiny to die at their 'youngest' moment?
What if the 'older' I grew, the less people took me seriously?
What if I literally watched my kids get older than me and eventually have to like, feed me? Ew? The interesting part about this movie is the clear message that whether you go forwards or backwards in age, the end result is the same every single time...
We die. We expire. We 'pass on.'
And then what?
Not to be dark or anything, but the statistics on people that die are overwhelmingly convincing. The latest evidence shows that ten out of every ten people born on this earth will eventually have their life come to an end.
So have you given much thought to what's commonly known as the 'afterlife'?
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button should be a wakeup call to all of us on the subject of life, death, and most importantly - what's next?
At least that's the conclusion that an emergency room doctor named Maurice Rawlings came to. Not from a movie, but from eyewitness experience. According to his book Beyond Death's Door, those who have near death experiences later speak of seeing light, lush green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and tremendous peace. But what he found after interviewing 300 people immediately after being brought back from the near death experience is that nearly 50% reported lakes of fire and brimstone, devil-like figures and other sights hailing from the darkness of hell. He says they later changed their story because most people are simply ashamed to admit they may have had a glimpse of hell, they won't even admit it to their families.
Check out his conclusion:
"Just listening to these patients has changed my whole life. There's a life after death, and if I don't know where I'm going, it's not safe to die."
The great news is that you can definitely know where you are going, so that it actually is 'safe to die.' Think about it, the only way we could know for sure about what's on the other side of death is to hear from someone who had been there and came back. But more than that, we need someone who can give us more than just images and descriptions - because we need to know how to avoid Hell at all costs.
Thank you, Lord Jesus - for the most hopeful words in the universe:
Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life.Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?" (John 11:25-26).
How about you? Do you believe this? The key thing to remember is that this promise comes from the One who died and came back from the dead - and He makes it clear that death is really not the end...rather it is the beginning of your eternal and final destiny. In other words, like Benjamin Button, your last day on earth is really your first in eternity.
So are you ready to choose your afterlife? No one in his/her right mind would want to go to hell, and no one in his/her right mind wouldn't want to go to heaven. The good news is that making sure it is safe to die is one of the easiest things on earth. You don't deserve it, you can't earn it, so give up trying and simply put your faith and trust in Jesus' death and resurrection as your only hope of salvation. The moment you do that, your afterlife in heaven is secure. The bad news is that if you haven't done that, it is definitely not safe to die because...
Believe me, you don't want to go there. Believe Jesus, and you won't have to.
Head: What you need to know about this truth
The reality of an afterlife should cause us to put our trust in Jesus Christ as our only hope of salvation
Heart: What you need to feel about this truth
There are some things we should be afraid of - and one of them is a place of eternal judgment called hell. Remember, just because people don't believe in hell does not make it go away!
Hands: What you need to do about this truth
If you have not trusted in Jesus as your only hope of salvation, please don't wait any longer.
If you have, this week, take some time to evaluate your life in light of eternity. Will you have reward for serving Christ, or will the Judgment Seat of Christ make you wish you had lived more faithfully for Jesus?
Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.