Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 3, 2023
The writing on the wall, or the idiot light?

It is an interesting characteristic of many Americans that we like to be entertained-scared. In other words we like to watch movies that portray scary things, like the world almost ending, but in the end somehow we are saved.

A very popular movie of that genre is “Armageddon,” with Bruce Willis. There are certainly many other movies that portray the world as about to end until… Everyone just loves a “saved at the last second” ending. That’s probably why many people don’t like the movie “On the Beach;” whether the 1959 original, or the 2000 remake; mainly because not one person in the entire world survives. Bummer.

Still, we love to be scared to death, as long as our fears don’t actually lead to death. On the other hand, considering our taste for avoiding death by the skin of our teeth it is somewhat ironic that the most popular book in the history of mankind is an apocalyptic account in which most people don’t survive, and those that do end up in a heavenly reality. That book is the Bible.

In the Bible you find our “origin” – our creation in the Garden of Eden, and you discover our purpose (the plot) – to have fellowship with God, and to live in a way that glorifies Him. Of course you find the primary protagonist – our Savior, the Lord, and you find the antagonist – the spoiler – Satan.

Throughout the Bible you have many sub-plots that underscore God’s great concern for us, and that bring to light the many ways the antagonist tries to distract us from seeking a relationship with God. But you also find the unwavering warnings that we need to avoid enticing temptations, and encouragement to turn to the narrow way that leads to life – eternal life.

Throughout the Bible you find what I refer to as “the writing on the wall,” which has the intent of warning us of our impending doom if we choose not to turn to the Messiah, our Savior Jesus Christ. These aspects of the Bible act somewhat like the “robot” on “Lost in Space” that is well known for crying out – “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” Unfortunately many people, possibly most people, do like Will Robinson often did, and do not heed the warnings that are intended to save their lives.

Of all the books of the Bible, obviously the one that is most clear as to this apocalyptic doom that we are cascading toward at a break-neck speed is the Book of Revelation. This book makes the dire situation we are in extremely clear, although unfortunately most people get so bogged down in the often cryptic particulars that they miss the clear big picture: God has set an end to the calendar of human history, and you must make a choice as to how you will meet that end – with God (which can only occur through repentance and faith in Christ), or apart from God – which is not a wise choice.

I have entitled this article “The writing on the wall, or the idiot light” because, as I said, God has made it clear you must make a choice. In truth you only have one choice. You can stay on the path you are on without Christ, in which case you will meet your doom – not a wise decision, OR you can choose to turn to Christ in repentance and faith – a most wise choice.

In other words, you can read the writing on the wall – which is called the Bible, paying particular attention to the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the Good News, OR you can wait for the idiot light to come on upon the dashboard of your life, in which case you will find yourself separated from God for all eternity.

Why do I refer to that “non-choice” of continuing where and as you are as an idiot light? On older automobiles there were typically only factory installed warning lights on the dashboard that were indicators linked to things like the radiator fluid temperature, and the oil pressure. If you read the “owner’s manual” it would tell you how to check these vitals of your car so as to avoid a catastrophe.

The reason they called them “idiot lights” is because people often failed to check their radiator fluid or oil, and by time the warning light came on it was too late. In other words, all you could do was to pull over and turn your engine off, and hope you hadn’t damaged your motor.

The Bible is the “owner’s manual” for life. Reading the Bible, and listening to God’s call to turn to Christ, is similar to checking the fluids in your car so that you don’t end up in an eternal catastrophe. As Moses said, the Word of God is “life to us” (Deuteronomy 32:47).

As I stated earlier the Bible begins in the Book of Genesis with our creation, and it ends 65 books later with the Book of Revelation outlining the end of our current history with God’s judgment of every single person – ever – in the history of the human race. To end up on the right side of history – in other words, to end up in fellowship with God requires that “wise choice” I mentioned earlier – to choose to put your faith in Christ alone.

Many people do not like the fact that they only have one good choice. They would like a “multiple choice ending.” But God has made it clear that it is His way, or a highway you won’t like at all; but He does give you that choice; He doesn’t make you choose Him.

In the third Indiana Jones movie, when they finally make it to the cave in which the old knight was protecting the cup of Christ, the bad guy chose a cup that looked shiny and valuable, and as the knight said – “He chose poorly.”

I encourage you to read the “writing on the wall” in the Bible, especially the Gospel found in the New Testament, so that you know how this all ends, and thus you can make a wise decision about your relationship with God, as opposed to choosing “poorly.”

You may think that you won’t be here when the world finally does come to an end, but that won’t help you much, because the way you leave this life is the way you will stand before God on Judgment Day – with Christ as your Savior, or on your own.

I encourage you to choose life – choose Christ.

Jon McCartney is pastor of First Baptist Church of Tooele.

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