Perhaps you've seen news reports like this one: "A winning $396,900,000 lottery ticket was sold at a store in Bonita Springs, Florida, on January 29th, but nobody has come forth to claim the prize. The winner has six months, and if it's not claimed, the lottery will keep the money."
There are sadder things in life, but this ranks fairly high. How could it happen?
Loss of faith could be a reason, as when someone takes the ticket home and carelessly loses it because they're thinking, "I never win anything. The odds are astronomical. I shouldn't have wasted a dollar on it...."
This is a good parable for our lives, because there is a vastly more valuable, priceless treasure out there waiting to be claimed by a lot of people. It's their inheritance, but they're fast asleep to it, and caught in a dream. If they never awaken to the truth that something wonderful is out there, they'll never look.
In addition, there are powerful, dark forces that actively devise ways to keep us asleep, and enthralled with them. Distraction is one way. Fear of appearing foolish is another.
How can we help to awaken these sleepers? First, we need to check and make sure we ourselves aren't tragic dreamers. We need to use a little skepticism when looking at the condition of the world now. How sane is it, really, the politics; and particularly the media? Is it meaningful and good? It's possible that we got very far off track a long time ago, and are headed for a reckoning.
If we connect again with our Creator, our lives will be improved beyond all measure. We will not die as others do, but will have a transformed body and live in eternal joy, power, riches, and unimaginable beauty. Many millions have passed over to the other side and claimed their inheritance. But God's laws prevent them from communicating the news to us, or even their beloved relatives; except in rare instances, like a "white light" event. Many thousands of these cases have been studied and validated.
This teenager had no heartbeat for twenty minutes and awakened without suffering brain damage, which is medically impossible; a miracle in itself:
Our world is a training and testing ground that determines our character. Many pains and losses have to be endured, and the way we behave through the years reveals everything within us, good and bad. If we knew early on without doubt that Paradise awaits - especially when great misfortune hits us - we wouldn't fully learn and understand what's at stake. Fear and doubt must be conquered by our will, in the face of pain and death, to be the transformative event that delivers us into God's hands.
All that's required is that we obey the Ten Commandments. How hard is that? Modern society has a million laws, and some are so lame and destructive that they're painful. God has no interest in those. In fact, He's warned us about these snares since Christ walked the earth. Man's laws will get you crucified if you overstep the wrong one. The LORD is vastly more forgiving.
Here's a real-life story of a real-life hero, the kind who immediately goes to Heaven with honors: