What a sick feeling knowing when my hard drive crashed it took along with it years of photos and documents. That was a time before economical thumb drives and “cloud computing.” You see, the rule is hard drives only last an average of three years, and ones that last longer are an exception to the rule. I learned the hard way not to live under an exception by expecting hard drives to secure my information for the long term.
I now save my documents in “Google Docs,” and store my photos at “shutterfly.com.” I believe in cloud computing because I can trust my documents and memories with the cloud. I delegate managing data to professional data centers used by service providers. I no longer live under the exception by trusting in faulty hard drives to secure my records and memories. Unfortunately many people, like my friend Harry, still trust their valuables to exceptions.
One day, Harry told me he was losing vision out of one eye and having dizzy spells. I called Harry’s home to check on him a few days later and his family said they admitted him into the hospital for tests. In just a few short days, doctors presented the worst news a family could receive; Harry had incurable late-stage cancer.
Harry unfortunately hoped for a spiritual exception. As a young man he grew up in the church and, like many teens, he left the church after leaving high school. In the last few years he returned to the church service, mainly to help as a sound technician, but did appear to have a love for God and authentically sang the choruses during the worship service. However, he made it clear Christianity was just one of his religions. He said, “I’m covering my bases spiritually by embracing all the world’s different gods and religions; that was his story and he was sticking to it even after receiving news of terminal cancer.
It took only a few weeks for Harry to move from headaches to headstones, and his quick passing left his family in shock. As a pastor for the family, I’m left with a people grasping for straws of exceptions. His parents of great faith agonized with only one desire saying, “I just wish I knew with certainty he was in heaven.”
His family would be at peace if only Harry trusted in the only reliable spiritual cloud. Jesus laid out the formula to provide a guarantee for life after death in His heavenly clouds. “If anyone believes in Me”, He said, “I guarantee to take them away in the clouds with me.” He also said, “I would provide a home in the clouds of heaven.” “But Pastor, couldn’t God make an exception for Harry’s family,” some may ask?
I believe God makes exceptions for ignorance and offers grace for those incapable of making decisions for Him, like young children before the age of accountability and the mentally impaired, for instance. Also, there are some who never had the privilege of hearing the gospel in their heart and died ignorant to it, and we believe God makes a judgement based on their heart, as Paul teaches in Romans stating, “20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:20-21 NIV)
Those who died without knowing the gospel are the exception and will be judged on what they knew. Paul says they just needed to look at nature to know God exists, and therefore should have worshiped Heavenly Father instead of Mother Nature.
Based on Harry’s own words he leaves his family only to hope that some exception will reunite them in heaven. Maybe on his deathbed he had a change of heart, but we’ll never know in this life. Rather than be like Harry and hope in an unreliable Godly exception, we should take the safe and guaranteed route. Just as it is foolish to bank on a faulty hard drives to secure your precious memories, it’s equally foolish to bank on false gods to secure your eternal soul.
So, I encourage you to store your valuables in the cloud where Jesus lives and be sure of your eternity. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) He also promised, “My Father’s house has many rooms and I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
Jesus was taken up in the cloud, will return in a cloud, and one day will rapture those left on earth up into a cloud of witnesses. Don’t leave your family behind at your memorial hoping for an exception to the rule and wondering about your eternal fate. Sign up for Jesus’ cloud computing which guarantees to deliver your soul, without any crashes, into the clouds of heaven.