The Train Ride
The Train Ride
All aboard! The train ride through life is leaving soon. Each of us has a point of departure when we begin life's journey. After that, we normally make several different stops until we arrive at a final destination.
The first stop is childhood, and that should be a good experience, but quite often it can be a bad one. Children often get abused and misdirected by adults in their lives. Many parents don't realize just how critical this time of development is for their children. This is when they begin developing positive and negative ways of thinking.
Next stop is the teen-age years. Teenagers are influenced by famous people who appeal to them, especially popular actors and musicians. They also try to "fit in" to the fashion and lifestyle of their popular friends. Teenagers are often tempted by others to smoke, drink, take illegal drugs, and get involved in promiscuous sex. Many go "off the track" when they fall into these temptations. This is a time of great pressure for teenagers as they try to find their place in society.
Life can be confusing for teenagers as they consider various destinations. Many just go to the place where life consists of working 9 to 5, paying bills, and trying to get ahead. Others depart to a place called "military" where life is even more regimented. Others, unfortunately, get off the train and become involved in a criminal lifestyle.
At some point many teenagers are offered a free ticket to a place called eternity. Some understand and accept the offer; others are suspicious and reject it.
Soon after high school, many teenagers take the next stop, which is college. Some take this seriously and try to "make the grade" because they want to have a good future life. Others just want to drink, do drugs, and party; they don't care about any academic achievement. Going to college should be a time of learning and accomplishment, but for many it is meaningless self-indulgence.
College is supposed to help prepare people for the next stop, which is a promising career with financial security. For many, college does that, but for others it is a waste of time. Sometimes college students and other young adults are offered a free ticket to eternity; but just as they did when they were teenagers, some accept it and others reject it.
Many pass by college and take the next stop, which is marriage. Maybe they can't afford to go to college or they just don't want to go. In any case, marriage is a place where, hopefully, they will be in love with the right person, and stay happily married a long time. It's a big responsibility, and becomes even more so if they have children right away. Sadly, at some point, some leave marriage and go to a place called divorce. This is usually a bad experience for those involved.
Whatever place you arrive at, you want to be happy. Many times things work out and the place you choose becomes a happy experience. Other times, however, it can turn out badly. As the years roll by, you get older and older until you reach a place called retirement.
Retirement, for many, is a wonderful time. However, some people find themselves looking back, and wishing they had done things differently. They waste time, regretting mistakes that they made. Others look more toward the future and wonder what lies in store for them.
Retirement should be a place of happiness, but all too often it is a train wreck filled with regret, guilt, and apprehension. The problem seems to be that most people fail to plan for the future, and become victims of their own neglect.
At some point in their lives, people are most likely to have an opportunity to receive a ticket to eternity; they could go to a place of peace and happiness. If they did not get a ticket, they could have searched and found one.
What is this free ticket to eternity? We are all guilty of sin, and if we are not forgiven, then we will eventually be destroyed. But God loves us and He sent Jesus to die for our sins. The free ticket represents God's forgiveness. If you accept Jesus as your savior, then you will be forgiven for your sins and receive eternal life.
Each of us must board the train one last time and ride to a final destination. After you take your seat, the conductor will walk by, saying "tickets please." If you don't have your ticket, he will say, "Sorry, you will have to get off at the next stop called Judgment." Then you will remember those times you could have gotten a free ticket, but declined.
However, if you have a ticket and give it to the conductor, he will say, "Congratulations, you will be arriving in Heaven very soon. Your friend Jesus will be there; He paid the price of your ticket."
The mysterious train will be on schedule until everyone is accounted for. You must board this train when it's your time to go. This train is going to Heaven, but those who reject Jesus as their savior will not be able to stay on the train. They will have to leave the train and be judged for their sins. When they are found guilty, they will be sentenced to die in a place called the Lake of Fire, without the possibility of ever living again.
Why do we need Jesus as our savior? We have a sinful nature that makes us imperfect and we commit sins. That is why we die. But God loves us and He sent Jesus to save us. Jesus was crucified; He suffered and died for our sins, and was resurrected. If we believe in Jesus as our savior, we will not die in the Lake of Fire. We will have eternal life in a place of peace and happiness.
In Summary, the train ride is life and it normally takes us on a long journey with many stops along the way. From childhood to the teenage years, we develop positive and negative ways of thinking. As teenagers we are influenced by popular actors and musicians, and we try to "fit in" with our popular friends.
Many teenagers go "off the track" when they fall into the evil temptations of life. Most end up in an average lifestyle, working, paying bills, and trying to get ahead. Sometimes teenagers are offered a ticket to eternity, which means they are told about Jesus and the way to receive eternal life. Some accept the ticket and others reject it.
Many teenagers go on to college, and try to "make the grade," hoping to have a good life in the future. Some, however, just go for fun even though it should be a time of learning and accomplishment. College is supposed to help people prepare for a promising career, but for many it's just a waste of time.
Many young adults skip college and get married. This is a big responsibility, and even more so if they have children right away. Sometimes a marriage works out, but often it ends in divorce. Again, sometimes these young adults are offered a ticket to eternity, and some accept it and others don't.
Wherever you go, you want to be happy. As people get older and reach retirement, sometimes they look back and wish they would've done things differently. And sometimes they look toward the future and wonder what lies in store. Retirement should be a happy time, but often it is filled with regret, guilt, and apprehension.
It seems most people fail to plan for the future. And at some point, they most likely had a chance to get a ticket to eternity, to a place of peace and happiness; but many did not. If not, they could have searched and found one.
After death, you will someday arrive at your final destination. If you are not saved from death, you must be judged on Judgment Day. Those who reject Jesus as their savior will be judged for their sins, found guilty, and sentenced to die in the Lake of Fire. But if you are saved, you will soon arrive in Heaven where God and Jesus will be.
Why do we need Jesus? Our sinful nature makes us imperfect and we commit sins. This causes us to die. But God loves us so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Those who believe in Jesus as their savior will be saved from death, and have eternal life in a perfect world.
God promises this in His Word, the Bible:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
(John, Chapter 3, Verse 16)
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