Reaching out to the Spirit World
The Day of the Dead holiday centers on gathering with family and friends to pray for, remember, and, some people believe, to visit with friends and family members who have passed away. During the three day celebration certain people will try and reach out to their lost loved ones by performing rituals or good deeds for them (building altars, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and providing favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts).
Many people believe that, by their good deeds, they can connect with their deceased family members, in the afterlife, during the Day of the Dead celebration. Do you believe in an afterlife? You should. However, performing rituals does not bring us any closer to the afterlife, nor do good deeds in any fashion. The bible says in Isaiah 64:6, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds (Good deeds), they are nothing but filthy rags (Before God)… and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”
Are you really a sinner?
Have you ever lied? (A University of Massachusetts study asserts that the average person lies four times per day while God says that all liars will have their place in the lake of fire.) Have you stolen even something small or looked at a person with lust? Used God’s name in an empty way? Been extremely angry with someone? (In God’s eyes, this is the same as murder.) If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you are a sinner. And these sins will stop you from entering Heaven. This is based on God’s Holy Standard – the Ten Commandments, and the above was only five of the ten. James 2:10 says that if you have broken just one of the commandments, you are guilty of all. In Romans 6:23, it states that the payment for our sin is death, an eternal separation from Him, in Hell. Hell is an unpleasant word, but a very real place. In the Bible, Jesus talks more about Hell than He does Heaven. This should be a very real indicator that our predicament is serious and we should be careful how we move forward.
Are you ready for some good news? Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This what Jesus did for us over 2000 years ago – A sinless savior came down from Heaven, in human form, to be our sacrifice, and to give us a second chance. He died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins (I Peter 2:24) and rose up on the third day to show that He is God. This is the highest form of love (John 3:16). Your only requirement is to turn away from your old life (sin) and turn toward God (Acts 3:19). This is repentance and it is mandatory for entrance into Heaven.
God’s Grace, Your Choice
It is because God is merciful that we have this amazing opportunity, through His unfailing love. We have clearly sinned and not lived according to His righteous standard. Even so, God has provided unmerited divine assistance. This is grace. Think of where you stand before our Holy God. Do not choose to ignore the Gospel Truth (John 14:6) and let your way of thinking separate you from God. We, ultimately, know that we have a God and we have not met His Holy Standard. He has pursued you with an everlasting love and is ready and waiting for you to repent and turn toward Him. How will you move forward?
Know that God loves you (John 3:16). Humble yourself. Repent of your sins (Acts 3:19). Put your faith in Jesus Christ alone to save you, and become His follower.
This encounter was not by chance, but ordained by our Holy God.
Stephen John Spivey
Instigator of Hope