Many years ago, I started off my personal blog as a way to share stories and drawings I worked on. However, the responsibilities in my professional and personal life increased, making it hard to focus on any such projects. I still wish one day to write and illustrate stories that will inspire others. With that said, I did not abandon regular writing practice as seen here on my blog. Some of those entries dip into various theological lines of thought. On the other hand, many recent ones center on my other hobby, gaming.
To some casual web surfers, as well as some of my followers, all they see is my passion for games, stories and other nerd-related hobbies. Certainly, I do enjoy these endeavors and I delight in sharing these experiences with others. Furthermore, doing so provides me valuable opportunities to practice my writing, even as I struggle to get through this busy season of life.
Yet, those who choose to dig deeper into my blog, or spend some time asking me questions outside of gaming, will find that I still have a burning passion to share the gospel message. About a quarter of a century ago, God opened my eyes to His truth. He changed my life, my heart, my desires and so much more. And while I certainly experience challenges that pull me away from a faithful walk, He never forsakes me. He always draws me back, closer than before.
And it is with this passion in my soul that I wish to invite you to consider where you stand with the Creator. In Final Fantasy IX (one of my favorite RPGs) a number of the characters question the reason for their existence, but none as deep as Vivi. Created solely to be a weapon, Vivi finds out that he (and later his fellow creations) has only months to live. He questions his purpose and looks hard at life after death. You rarely see this perspective in video games. Sure, NPCs die from time to time from combat or war. However, you rarely see a character face the inevitability of a natural death like this.
Yet, we all face the same endgame. Eventually, we all get a “game over” and have to face what comes next. Atheists claim that, as the result of random explosions and natural selection, the end means simply ceasing to exist. Yet, many of us know deep in our hearts that more waits for us on the other side. How many of us have seriously considered what waits us there?
The Bible says that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb 9.27). It also points out that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23). If we think hard, this makes sense. After all, who has walked through life without stealing, or lying, or committing much worse acts … especially in our hearts? (Yes, God judges our hearts, not just the acts we commit).
Some believe that their ‘good works’ will somehow outweigh their sinful hearts. This argument falls flat for two reasons. First, compared to a perfectly Holy God, our best acts seem like dirty rags (Isa 64.6). Second, no amount of good deeds offset our bad ones. Ask any judge after you break a serious law! If you steal from someone, or assault them, you will pay the full penalty even if you have given to charity. (Check out my article at https://jcservant.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/are-you-a-good-person/ for more information on this topic).
Given the above, it would seem that we all deserve Hell and God. We could expect a perfectly Holy and Just Judge to throw us in. Thankfully, He also loves us perfectly, and paid the ultimate price. John 3.16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Romans 10.9 states “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” In order to turn to Jesus, we must repent of the sin that separates us from God. These are two sides of the same coin: repentance and faith.
True salvation produces fruit of the spirit and a change in our lives. The person becomes ‘born again’ as a result. If you have attended to a church, and said a prayer, yet you live your life not concerned about God, you may have never been saved. The Bible warns us about false converts, as well as other examples (see Matthew 13). Others have simply never stopped to seriously consider Jesus’ call to repentance and faith. They should reconsider. While John 3.16 (above) promises eternal life to those who believe, the following passages give a stern warning for those who do not.
John 3.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Where do you stand? In your heart of hearts, do you truly love and seek the light of God, or do you cling to your own darkness? We all die, eventually. What’s your endgame?