On Saturday night (14th May 2011), we were having our usual outreach in Brisbane city. While I was preaching, a few young blokes who had been listening to my message for a bit decided that one of them should plank beside me.
Planking is a recent fad in Australia which involves simply laying down very flat in a random location and then getting a mate to take a photo of it. It has recently gained lots of popularity, and even has been featured on news programs on television where some of the hosts 'planked' as well.
Well on Saturday night, a group of young guys planked beside me while I was preaching. I was at the time speaking about how life is so short and the reality that tonight could be any one of our last nights. For no one is guaranteed 100 years to live on this Earth.
I didn't think much about the planking incident from that point on until I received a phone call from a friend the next day. He was watching the news and he told me that very early Sunday morning a 20-year old man had been planking on the railing of his 7-storey building very near the Brisbane CBD and had fallen off and died. The news report mentioned that this man had been planking in Brisbane city with mates that night.
It struck me, that the young man who planked beside me was very likely the same man who fell off the 7-storey building to his death just hours later. My words about this possibly being our last night alive rang true for him. It is sad to hear of his death, but at the same time it should make us think about our own human mortality too.
The young man who died didn't expect to die that evening, but he did. And you may not expect to die until a very long time away, but the reality is that you could die at any moment. I hope that makes you recognise you should start thinking about what comes after death.
The Bible speaks about everyone having to give an account of how they have lived after they die. How would you do? The Bible says that God's standards to get to Heaven is perfection. But you'd have to agree that none of us have lived perfectly in our lives. For as soon as we tell a lie, steal something, use God's name in vain, or get drunk we tarnish our record. And the Bible says that what we deserve for our sins is eternity in Hell.
But the good news is this, that even though we don't deserve to go to Heaven (we haven't lived perfectly), God sent Jesus to this Earth to live a perfect life and die on the cross. His death on the cross provides forgiveness of sins; for Jesus on the cross takes all the punishment that we deserve in Hell. Jesus then rose from the dead three days after he died.
Jesus will only take the punishment for you if you do two things:
I hope you do that today if you haven't already, for today could be your last day.
Brisbane Team (Night) (QLD)
Meets every Saturday night in King George Square 7-10pm.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.