We understand that ego must relinquish the throne to the Lord, but what we may miss us that we are the usurper, not God. In yielding this seat to Him we are not surrendering anything that was ever rightfully our own! No, rather we are returning the stolen goods to God Who created all in the first place!
Pastor Steve’s EGO acronym accurately tells the story: “Edging God Out.” We want to govern this life but may not yet realize we are in way over our heads! We cannot do it. Even if we may seem to have done it the time will come when we reach the end of this life and discover our bag of tricks is empty! We may have gained this whole world but have nothing for the next.
Here are the last words of some very famous atheists as they faced this ultimate reality:
Victor Hugo, author of “Les Miserables” tragically remarked as he was dying, “Here is the battle of day against night. I see black light.”
Sir Francis Newport, who headed an English Atheist club, said these terrifying words…
You need not tell me there is no God for I know there is one, and that I am in His presence! You need not tell me there is no hell. I feel myself already slipping. Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I am lost forever! Oh, that fire! Oh, the insufferable pangs of hell! …Oh, eternity, eternity forever and forever!, Oh, the insufferable pangs of Hell!
Sigmund Freud suffered from cancer and died by physician-assisted suicide. As he slowly slipped away, he yelled out, “This is absurd! This is absurd!”
Vincent Van Gogh spent time in a number of psychiatric hospitals during his lifetime because he suffered from delusions as well as depression and psychotic episodes. When his depression finally became too intense, he shot himself in the chest. He died about 30 hours later and his brother reported that the tortured artists last words were, “La tristesse durera toujours” which translates to “The sadness will last forever.”
W. C. Fields, after a life of mistresses, drink, and debauchery, was on his deathbed. One day, a friend of his came into his room and found him thumbing through a Bible. Puzzled, he asked what he was doing.
Fields looked up and said: “Looking for loopholes.” His eventual dying words in 1946 were spoken to his longtime mistress Carlotta Monti, “God damn the whole friggin’ world and everyone in it but you, Carlotta.” [with my apologies!] Evidently he had found no loopholes.
Do these scenes unnerved you? They need not unnerve the true child of God who has rested his faith completely in the completed acts of Jesus Christ to atone for his sin. For the believer death is but a transition… a riddance of all that is fallen.
When Peter preached to the crowds on the day of Pentecost the people “were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” (Acts 2:37) So what are we to do? We must acknowledge that we have ‘edged God out’ and we must restore that rightful rule to Him. It is His throne, our bodies are His Temple.
Then, like that thief on the cross, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer we can have confidence as we face eternity. At age 39, facing his executioners noose, Bonhoeffer’s final words were these: “This is the end – for me, the beginning of life.”
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