Presently on the world stage, there is conflict regarding the Crimean Peninsula. It's not the first time, and it reminded me of the haunting poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It also caused me to think of whether we should question God about eternity. Absolutely, we should! But the reasons why are found below after you have read the two verses of the poem. Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, all in the valley of Death rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!" he said. Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!" Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die. Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred. The charge of the light brigade was a failed military operation and an excellent example of many people's spiritual journey.
In 1854, during the Crimean War, the British light cavalry (Light Brigade) was to be despatched to a battle well within its capabilities. Yet, instead, it was mistakenly directed to a completely different war zone—into the jaws of a much larger and well-armed, battle-ready enemy with an outstanding line of sight. It was a slaughterhouse, with most of those riders blown to bits. From the time of that misjudged and mismatched ride into the cannon-shelled inferno, the location was labelled the valley of Death.
Who made the error? It's complicated, as are religions. Someone higher had written the orders and made the mistake, but the brigade leader delivered it to the men, as religious sub-leaders do to their flocks. He died within the first minute of the charge.
Most people in the world are religious. According to a quick Google search, there are 4300 religions, including some who claim to be Christian but are not. Either way, that's a monumental shift from God's One Way plan delivered to Adam.
Will all those followers get to Heaven or whatever destination their religious leaders preach? The answer is a blunt NO! Most, to their shock, will arrive at a vastly different destination—a place called Hell. Why? Because they didn't question their leaders.
All is not right in religions, yet they have so many blind followers. If we asked any of them before death, would Hell be their objective of choice? The answer would be NO! Would your answer be the same?
Every religion seeks to affect our eternal future. Even some sects feigning as Christian will take you to hell. How do you know where you will end up?
"Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die. Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred." This line in our poem aptly explains the behaviour of most religious worshippers. They blindly gallop after their blind leader to a destination they have never questioned.
Have you an assurance you are going to Heaven? Can your leader guarantee your eternal life if you remain a faithful follower, or will you end up like the Light Brigade galloping into destruction?
All those apparent routes to Heaven, and yet God made it clear there is only one way—through Jesus Christ His Son.
Every religious adherent should question their leader. Christianity also has blind followers—those who attend church without ever asking questions of salvation or whether, in fact, they are saved. Showing up in church does not mean you'll show up in Heaven, as some religions and so-called Christian sects affirm. We're a long time dead, so we must know personally, without any doubt, that we are bound for glory. We cannot take someone else's word for it. The question of eternity is too important.
The difference between questioning the leaders of religions or false Christian sects and questioning God is that God has the answers. Of all the people who claim their way is authentic, there is only one way, one truth and one life, and that is found in Jesus Christ, the destination of which is life everlasting. (John 14:6).
All the answers and promises are in the Bible, which is God's Word for humankind. True believers won't be hurtling blindly into a valley of Death when they die. They have a blessed assurance that no religion can either offer or deliver.
In a speech, James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, called the engagement "the greatest apparent certainty of death which could possibly be conceived."
There is one greater certainty of death that has not only been conceived but sanctioned by God, and that is the spiritual death when one dies without Christ.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for the assurance of salvation. I have often searched your Bible for promises and found them every time. But I weep for those who have no proof of their eternal destination. Please wake them to the certainty brought by your Son's crucifixion, and please keep me humble when I speak to them.
Photo by Diana van Ormondt