It was 43 years ago today that a plane crashed just outside Huntington, WV. It carried most of the Marshall University football team and coaching staff among others as they were returning home from a football game. Every November 14th Marshall has a ceremony in which they turn off a fountain and remember those who died in the crash. When we lived near Huntington, WV for six years, Diane and I always meant to go see the ceremony and see the fountain turned off. We never went. Now we live 4 1/2 to 5 hours away from Huntington and it’s too far to go.
It’s not a life and death regret for me, but I do hate it that we never went. Some things, however, are life and death decisions that can bring an eternity of regret. This brings to mind the story Jesus tells of a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. The rich man died and went to hell. The poor man died and went to heaven. And Jesus tells of the rich man having certain requests while in hell, but Jesus said there was a great chasm that has been set in place so nobody can cross between heaven and hell. That chasm is in place for eternity. One day there will be no way to cross over. And there will be eternal regret.
But by God’s grace, He has made a way to cross from hell to heaven. We must do it while we’re alive on earth. When we die, that bridge is no longer there. That bridge is Jesus. And I know everyone doesn’t believe that. Some people don’t believe that Jesus died for our sin, some don’t believe Jesus is God, and some don’t believe that God exists at all.
Stephen Hawking, arguably the smartest man alive, doesn’t believe God exists, but Hawking does believe aliens exist. Some people think aliens created the earth. Some think the sun, earth, and all our lives are just a fluke. Some people believe you die and that’s the end of it. Some people don’t believe in a Creator because of things like plane crashes or cyclones like they just had in the Philippines. If there was a God, why would He allow things like that? And for that, I wish I had a satisfactory answer. I understand it to be a reasonable question and how difficult it is to accept not getting an adequate answer. Yet in spite of things like cyclones and plane crashes, I believe that God loves me and sent Jesus to allow me to cross from death to life.
Everyone believes something. It’s just that some of us believe that people are one day going to have regrets about what they believed and how they lived while they were here because one day there is going to be a great divide, a great chasm, that no man can cross.