The terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center has now gone into the records as one of the worst disasters in the history of the United States. Three thousand and forty four persons have been officially listed as killed. Scenes from the event have been indelibly burned into the memory of those who saw the scenes played and replayed in the news. One of the most terrifying scenes was of people on window ledges faced with the horror of deciding whether to jump to certain death in the street many stories below or to be consumed by the flames that were approaching ever nearer. We can imagine their thoughts. How will it feel to plunge to the concrete below? On the other hand, how will it feel to not jump and be burned alive? There was no other alternative. Which death would be the least painful? We will never know the processes they used to make such a difficult decision but we do know that many did hurtle to their deaths.
If in this life we made our decision concerning eternity with the same stark immediacy as from an eighty-story window ledge we probably would be assured of making a better decision than many do. Below us would be an eternity of agonized existence that God chooses to describe as a lake that burns with fire and brimstone, an eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness in the company of the Devil and his angels. Behind us would be a loving Savior extending a strong helping hand to deliver us from the horror of the jump. He is trying to convince us that a plunge is not the wise course and He exhausts the power of language to encourage us to come to Him and safety. He is telling us of the joys of a better life here and unending bliss in that which is to come.
In such a circumstance, how difficult should the decision to truly follow Christ be? The problem we have is in the immediacy of the matter. Solomon said, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11.
The writer of the book of Hebrews said, “If two or more witnesses accused someone of breaking the Law of Moses that person could be put to death. But it is much worse to dishonor God’s Son and to disgrace the blood of the promise that made us holy. And it is just as bad to insult the Holy Spirit, who shows us mercy. We know that God has said He will punish and take revenge. We also know that the Scriptures say the Lord will judge His people. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” Hebrews 10:28-31. The choice should be easy if we try to see it as it really is!