Daily Devotional for Monday October 20, 2008
Ken Lay, The Poster Boy for Greed and Corporate Corruption
(John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 10:8-13)
In July of 2006, you had the death of the man who perhaps was the poster boy for corporate corruption and greed, Ken Lay, and the announcement that two of the world's richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, were merging billions of dollars in a global philanthropic effort. Those two stories of ultra rich and powerful men are perfect to discuss in light of the greed and excess we are seeing in the financial markets today. They also make a perfect backdrop for talking about that moment we will all face one day when our heart stops beating and this life is over and we are standing before God our Creator to be judged.
In July of 2006, Ken Lay, the 64-year-old former CEO of Enron died of a heart attack. Lay was waiting to be sentenced that October to decades in prison for his role in the massive fraud that took place at Enron. Federal authorities claimed that Lay made hundreds of millions of dollars illegally in the largest business fraud case that not only cost thousands of people their jobs, but caused millions of shareholders to lose massive amounts of money, in many sad cases, all they had in this world.
The interesting thing about Ken Lay was that he was the son of a Baptist minister, an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Houston, and served on the Board of Trustees at his church. So the legitimate question that can be asked is simply this, is Ken Lay in Heaven today? The answer to that question can be answered very simply. If Ken Lay had accepted Jesus Christ into his heart and life by faith, then he is most definitely in Glory this moment and will be for all eternity according to the only Truth there is, God's Word.
Let me insure that you understand something critical. If Ken lay is in Heaven today, it is NOT because he was the son of a Baptist minister. If Ken Lay is in Heaven today, it is NOT because he was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Houston. If Ken Lay is in Heaven today, it is NOT because he was on the Board of Trustees at his church. No, if Ken Lay is in Heaven today, it is because at some point in his life he repented of his sins, asked God to forgive him, and invited Jesus Christ into his heart and life by faith. That my friend is the ONLY way you can be saved!!!
This begs the question, how could a man who knew Jesus have been involved in such fraudulent activity that destroyed the lives of many innocent people. Men sin! Even saved men sin! In the Book of 1 John, in a passage written to those who were saved, God's Word tells us that if we say we don't sin we are liars. When a saved man sins, it harms his daily relationship with the Lord, it causes him to not experience the peace or joy or abundance that Christ has promised to those who follow Him. When a saved man sins, it causes him to not fulfill God's plan and purpose for his life. When a saved man sins, it can even lead to an early death!
Many will say that it is not fair that a man like Ken Lay whose greed hurt so many people could be enjoying the splendors of Heaven. God's Word clearly teaches us that if he made a commitment of his heart and life to Christ by faith, He is without any doubt in Heaven today. Sadly however, he paid a huge price for his sins just like we all do when we sin. He saw the company he ran destroyed. He lost all of his power. He was publicly shamed and humiliated. The ripple effects of sin are far reaching and his family suffered greatly for his indiscretions. Spiritually it damaged his relationship with the Lord and caused him to forfeit the peace, joy, and abundance of this life in addition to never fulfilling all God had for him to do. In the end, it cut his life short.
Also back in the summer of 2006, it was announced that two of the worlds richest men, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffet would merge billions of dollars in a philanthropic effort to fund global heath and education needs. As commendable as this may seem on the surface, you have to understand that a portion of their global health efforts involve the funding to make it possible for millions of babies around the world to be slaughtered. A percentage of the Gates/Buffet philanthropic effort is being used to help women around the globe to be able to kill their babies.
It is no secret that as of today, both Gates and Buffet have rejected the God of the Bible, the Truth of His Word, and His Son Jesus. They are both on record over and over throughout the years clearly rejecting the Christian faith. The reality is, should they die in that state, they will stand before God and be judged for their sins and cast into hell for all eternity. Despite all the good they may have done in their lives, their souls will be lost for all eternity because they rejected Christ's love and sacrifice.
Buffet, while being such a savvy investor is clearly theologically challenged. In an interview following the announcement he would give billions to the Gates Foundation, he said, "There are many ways to get to Heaven, but this has got to be one of the best ways." First, there is only ONE WAY to get to Heaven, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ is the ONE AND ONE way to be saved. Second, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates maybe rich by the world's standards, but they, nor anyone can buy their way into Heaven. Please hear this clear. There is no amount of money, no amount of good works that will get you into Heaven. Only faith in Jesus Christ will get you into Heaven!
I love you and care about you so much. I pray that Ken Lay did make a commitment of his heart and life to Jesus and is in Heaven today. Sadly, his sins kept him from enjoying what should have been the golden years of his professional and personal life, a time that God could have used him to do great works for the Kingdom. I pray today for those employees and shareholders of Enron whose lives were dramatically altered by the actions of Lay and the others responsible for the fraudulent activities at Enron. May the Lord be with them in a special way as they continue to move forward in their lives.
I pray today for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and ask you to as well. Pray that these men will come to know Jesus as their Savior. I know many people envy them for their billions of dollars. I promise you my friend that the moment they die, you will not envy the fact they will spend eternity in punishment for their rejection of Christ. Pray that they may come to know Jesus as their Savior and that God will guide them to use their vast resources to advance His Kingdom and not the kingdoms of this temporal world that will one day be gone.
I also pray for you today. I pray that you will realize that there is nothing more important than having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As important as your day-to-day life is, the two indisputable facts of this life are that 1) we will all die one day, and 2) we are all sinners. The moment we die we will stand before God our Creator. At that moment, who you were in this life, all the things you did, how much money you had, none of that will matter. The only thing that will matter is DO YOU KNOW JESUS IN YOUR HEART BY FAITH! That, and that alone will determine whether you spend eternity with the God who loves you so much, or spend eternity forever separated from your Creator.
ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your Creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller