During the Revolutionary War, Ethan Allen made a name for himself as a capable colonel and the leader of the Green Mountain Boys. He was also widely known as a religious skeptic who had no use for the Christian faith. Allen’s wife, on the other hand, was a devout believer and taught their daughter about Jesus as the one who loves and saves sinners. It happened that the daughter fell seriously ill and her father was summoned to her bedside. As the girl was nearing death, she took his hand and asked, “Father, should I believe what you have taught me, or what I have learned from my mother?” The long moment of silence after her question must have felt like an eternity. Her father finally found his voice to say, “My child, believe what your mother has taught you.”
In the twists and turns of life, we can fool ourselves into thinking that there are any number of paths we can take and that any road will do. But when we are finally forced to face the question of life and death, with the prospect of where we will spend eternity, our viable options begin to dwindle very quickly. How will we stand before the Almighty on the great Day of Judgment? How can we hope to enter Paradise when we have angered our Maker with our selfish deeds and our self-centered lifestyles? Will any amount of scoffing or pretending that God doesn’t exist make him go away or keep me from falling into the hands of my eternal Judge?
When faced with the reality that we too will one day die, we cannot ignore the question: “Where will you go? Whom will you follow?” The answer, like the one given by Peter, should be, “I believe that Jesus has the words of eternal life. I believe that Jesus is eternal life.” His death for sinners has paid my debt. His rising from the grave assures me of God’s love. His word promises me forgiveness for my sin. Who else can give me these blessings but the eternal Son of God?