Tuesday, June 23, 2015

To Infinity and Beyond!

I still remember the original Toy Story, and to this day it remains a classic favorite for me. Who doesn't love the story of Woody, the cowboy who has always been Andy's favorite toy, and in some cases heads the other toys from Andy's childhood. Thinking that would always be the case, Woody is thrown for a loop when on Andy's birthday, he gets a new toy, Buzz Lightyear, who when left alone with all of Andy's other toys comes to life but doesn't realize he is a child's play thing until the other toys manage to convince him, but that takes the majority of the movie. Woody and Buzz remain at odds while Woody deals with his jealousy of being the toy now left behind while Andy is spending more time with things about space and Buzz Lightyear.

At one point in the movie, Woody challenges Buzz to prove he is a real space ranger when Buzz's ability to truly fly is called into question.

Vowing to prove Woody wrong, Buzz climbs to the top of the post of the bed, eyes his target and shouts those familiar words, "To Infinity and Beyond!" and takes his leap of faith, which through a series of odd coincidences makes it appear that Buzz can in fact fly.

But Buzz learns a hard lesson when the neighborhood bully, Sid manages to capture both Buzz and Woody and he realizes as he attempts to fly that he can't and falls into a deep depression believing he has earned his fate in Sid's diabolical twist to destroy toys, while Andy searches in vain for his two long lost favorite toys! For most of us we know how it turns out if we have seen the movie.

But for those of us that believe in Jesus, we know that one day we will face an eternity when this life is over and it will take us to the one true infinity and beyond, Heaven and all that it offers. Yet some mock us, they tell us, Jesus isn't real, that the Bible is merely a book of fantasy and myths and that Heaven and Hell don't exist.

But why is that? Why such a degree of hate to get us to give up our beliefs? Why go to the extremes like beheading if this is all one big lie. Shouldn't they just let us be, and go about doing their own thing? We aren't radically violent in our efforts to share the gospel of Jesus with people.

The point is, that some people just don't like others telling them that their lifestyle choices are absolutely wrong, or that the life they are choosing to live bears consequences that one day lead to either eternal damnation or eternal life. Our lives are one of two things, depending on who you talk to, a battlefield or a playground.

For believers in Jesus, it is a daily spiritual battlefield while we watch the god of this world, Satan attempt to convince the majority of the people in it, that Jesus isn't God and who He said He is, and that Hell isn't real. That when we die, we simply cease to exist. It's over, there is nothing more.

But somewhere deep inside us all, we long to know what really happens when we die. There is an eternal element within us all the wants to know for certain. There are tons of historical reports of martyrs of the Christian faith or faith in Jesus Christ, that were and are still willing to die for what they believe. From Stephen from the Bible in the book of Acts to all 11 of the disciples of God, they were willing to die for their faith. I don't know about you but if it were all just one big lie, would you seriously go willingly into a vat of boiling oil, faced stoning to death, beatings of 39 lashes, crucifixion and beheadings just for a lie?

This is the most overwhelming evidence besides the Bible that Jesus was who He said He was and still is. He is the Son of God. You don't see Christian storming embassies all over the world, beheading people who refuse to believe in Jesus, or even flat out rioting all over the world because someone mocked our God in a blaspheming way. That is because we serve a God of love and forgiveness not a God who wants to force people into a submission in a religious effort to take over the world, killing those who refuse to bow down to Jesus. Why is that? What does that bother some people so much to hear about Jesus? To even hear the name Jesus, that they almost walk away with their hands over their ears in flat out refusal?

Because deep down inside, they know the name of Jesus contains power that is unmatched in this world. God has placed a homing device inside all of us for heaven, but ultimately how we answer that call is up to us. One thing for sure is that eternity awaits us all, the choice is where will you spend yours? For me, it's infinity and beyond in heaven with Jesus Christ!!! Remember You have a friend in Jesus Christ!!!

Romans 14:9-12 ~ "For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: "As surely as I live," says the Lord, "every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God..." So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." (NIV).

Isaiah 45:21-24 ~ "Declare what is to be, present it - let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no others. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, "In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength." All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame." (NIV). 

Philippians 2:5-11 ~ "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in the very nature, God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on the cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (NIV).

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