Sunday, May 23, 2010

For the LOST (read only after viewing series finale)

Spoiler warning! Do not read if you are a LOST fan and have not seen the series finale! You must have seen it for understanding this article. Repeat Spoiler ALERT!

I just finished watching the LOST series finale. I have a couple mixed feelings about how the show ended. I loved the Island ending for the most part with Hurley being the protector, but I despised the off world ending.

You may or may not have noticed the universalistic nature of the ending. In the chapel where Jack and Christian were speaking there was a window with all the symbols of the major religions of the world. Then all they all meet in the chapel and the “light” encompasses as they “move on.

I'm not sure, but it also seem to have a sense of Purgatory with Ben staying. It seemed as though he still needed to work his way to “move on.”

Here is the problem: Not everyone does go to Heaven and no one goes to Purgatory. You don't quote lead a good life (as Hurley suggested to Sayid) and then get some great reward when you die.

It seems the premise of the end was that there was good in everyone. The Bible makes it clear that is not true at all.

As it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.'"

(Rom 3:10-12)

We are all completely sinful in the in the sight of God. Many of us feel or think we are good but it is a lie.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

(Jer 17:9)

We were created by a perfected and holy God, but ever since Adam sinned we have all been born in sin and we all die because of sin.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned--

(Rom 5:12)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Rom 6:23)

Consider the heroes of LOST. They were mainly portrayed as liars, murderers, and fornicators. I think that is why we loved watching as they tried to redeem themselves throughout the series. We could relate to all of those people because, while perhaps not to such a visible extreme, we are broken ourselves.

But they couldn't ultimately redeem themselves. None of us can redeem ourselves because as I stated earlier our very being is sinful and broken.

God sees the person who has told a single lie as a liar. He sees the one who stole or cheated as a thief.

Christ even declares that the one who hates is a murdered (Matthew 5:22). And the one who looks with lust is an adulterer (Matthew 5:28).

We, just as our heroes from LOST, are seen as liars, murderers, thieves, adulterers, blasphemers, and so much more because God's standard is absolute perfection and none of us can meet that standard and thereby deserve God's wrath.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

(Rev 21:8)

But there is hope and this is where LOST really got it all wrong. If you noticed all the symbols on that window in the chapel there was one that was completely out of place. The cross.

Every other religion on that wall say that you must do this or that to earn salvation, or nirvana, or what whatever else you desire.

But not Christianity. Christianity says that you don't deserve to be in Heaven in the presence of God. It says that you are not good and you are actually an enemy of God. If you were to be honest with yourself you hate the true God of the Bible. You deserve eternal Hell and there is nothing you can do about it.

Yet God can and did do something about it. He sent His Son, Jesus, to take on the wrath you deserve. Jesus was completely perfect, born of a virgin, fully God and fully man. Though He never sinned He willingly suffered and died on a cross taking not only physical pain but the wrath of God the Father.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

(Eph 2:1-9)

Christ death and suffering was a legal transaction. He paid the price that you and I deserve and now God the Father, who is a just a righteous judge, can look at Christians and say we are justified. Not only did Jesus take our debt, but His righteousness is imparted upon us so that we may be seen as righteous.

The great news of the gospel is not just that Christ died, but three days later He rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God the Father where He is seated because the work of salvation is done.

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

(Heb 10:12-14)

So what must you do to be saved and no longer “LOST”? Nothing. There is nothing you can do on your own to be saved only Jesus can save you. But when changes your heart from one that loves sin and hates God to one that loves God and despises sin then you will respond to this good news by repenting, turning away from all your sin, and trusting in Jesus Christ alone and His completed work on the cross to save you.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

(Eze 36:26-27)

I urge you today to look at what I have written. Examine your heart. Are your truly repentant of your sins and trusting in Christ alone to save you or are you hoping to work out and earn your salvation?

You cannot hope to earn favor with God by your works. Only the work of Jesus can save. Please look to Jesus today. Read the gospel of John in a Bible. Read 1 John if you seek to know if you are truly saved.

Christian Sheppard was absolutely right in one thing, “We all die at some point.”

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