IRONTON, MI – How many of us, with our final breath, will be able to say, “It is finished.” I ask this question because we have Jesus’ final words, “It is finished,” as he bowed his head and gave up his spirit in John 19: 30. Jesus completed the full mission before him during his short life as another example of us to follow as we strive to finish the race.
How many of us will be able to say the same? I am not questioning a believers eternal life and salvation as a legalistic fellow might do, only what is written in the Book of Life under each of our names. How many incomplete sentences are under your name? This is something that keeps me awake at night, what have I left undone that God gave me the opportunity to do for his kingdom?
In the Book of Revelation, chapter 20: 11-15, we read:
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done….And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
How many unfinished sentences will be in the book of life under your name? In Jesus’ case, we know he fully accomplished the mission, he put a period at the end of each sentence. Jesus did everything required so people could be reconciled with God through his ultimate sacrifice for their sins. There are no unfinished sentences under his name.
What about yours though?
Has God whispered in your ear to share the Gospel with your neighbor and you have not? That is an unfinished sentence. Have you always felt a call to a foreign or local mission, but made excuses like finances and time not to go? Those are unfinished sentences.
Does your church and community have needs you could fill, but you do not want to risk missing a football game or sacrificing some of your own time and money? That is an unfinished sentence. Is there a Bible Study available in your church where your presence would make a difference in another person’s walk, but you did not commit to being there for whatever reason? That is another unfinished sentence. Remember, if you can, all those people throughout your life God put in your path and you were too scared to share the Good News of Jesus with them? Those are all unfinished sentences.
We will all stand before the throne and the book of life will be opened. We will be judged for our own lives, not anyone else’s. Therefore, I urge everyone to finish those sentences in the book of life and in so doing, give even greater glory to God. When you do this, be prepared to stand out among the crowd. People will ask why your faith is so transformative and you can honestly tell them, “I do not want unfinished sentences in the book of life.”
I urge all Christians to get more involved, and finish those sentences. We have one life; let’s write more than a short story and glorify Jesus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ian Minielly is pastor of Catalyst Baptist Church in Bessemer, MI.