Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mysteries Revealed

For the past couple of weeks, I've been working on the third book in my middle-grade mystery series, The Delaware Detectives, and I have to admit, I've been having a blast.  For the most part, I enjoy writing nonfiction more than fiction, but there's something about piecing together a mystery novel that is utter joy for me.  Using my rough outline (which is actually a set of index cards organized by chapter), I type out the story, inserting embellishments and other little ideas that come to me as I write.

My favorite part of the writing process is when I add in the red herrings.  For those of you who don't know what that is, red herrings are little clues or components added to the story in an effort to distract the reader from the truth of the mystery and instead lead them to their own false conclusions.  In other words, I'm faking you out!  Red herrings are a vital part of any mystery, and to be honest, they are a lot of fun for the author of the story.  For example, the other day, as I planted evidence (twice) that leads my reader to suspect John Doe to be the culprit, I literally laughed out loud.  I knew the secret.  I knew who the real culprit was.  And I reveled in the fact that I was leading my readers astray.  Why?  Because it makes for a better mystery.  (That, and according to Jason, we mystery writers are a bit sadistic.  Who knew?)

What aggravates the life out of me, however, is when people put a question mark where God has placed a period.  Why does the world insist on making a mystery out of something that is quite clear? Take, for example, the end times.

I told you a couple of posts back how I was watching a series of documentaries on the "science of the Bible," where scientists (both Christian and non-Christian) debate whether or not the Bible is true and if there is any evidence to its claims.  For the most part, the show has just made me angry, but they've also said some things that have made me want to dig deeper into God's Word.

In the episode I watched this morning, the scientists were discussing the validity of the book of Revelation.  Wow, some of those people were out there on what they believe!  And get this, some claim to believe that Jesus is coming again in the final revelation just as the Bible says, but it will be a time of peace and joy for all because that whole "hell thing" is just not true.  How is it, exactly, that man can determine which parts of the Bible are true and which are not?  As far as I'm concerned, either it's all true or it's all false!  After all, if part of it is false, how can we trust anything it says?  That line of thinking makes absolutely no sense to me, yet there are entire movements out there that pick and choose which parts of the Bible are true and which parts are not.

The segment that really stumped me, though, was one of the closing statements.  The narrator stated that over half of the world's population seems to agree that we are in the end times, and that soon Jesus will return.  Then, he said this, "But the question that remains is one that has been passed down through the ages:  who will be rewarded with eternal life and who will be cast into that place of eternal punishment?"  Then he commenced to talk about people living in fear because of not knowing what God will do to them in the final days, like it was some big mystery.

My friends, I have news for you:  There is no mystery here.  God has made this abundantly clear throughout the entire Bible.  Who will be rewarded with eternal life?  Those who have trusted in the precious blood of Jesus Christ.  Who will be cast into the place of eternal punishment?  Those who have not accepted Christ's sacrifice on the cross.  The Bible makes that abundantly clear!  There is no question about it.  People don't need to wonder what God will do to them.  They can know beyond a shadow of a doubt.  All they need to do is accept Jesus.  After that, there is nothing to fear.

If you are unsure about what would happen to you if Jesus were to come back today, I urge you to seek salvation immediately.  If you don't know how, contact a local pastor, a saved friend or send me an e-mail.  I would be happy to show you the way.  For those of us who are saved, there is no need to fear the future.  We already know that God wins and that we will rule and reign with Him for all eternity.  There's no mystery.  No red herrings.  The Bible is clear, and unlike sadistic mystery writers (myself included), God is not out to trick us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - John 3:16-18

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