Sandcastles on the Beach: A Parable
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: ESV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the ESV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
One sunny day, some children were playing on the beach, making sandcastles. Suddenly, the sea-water started receding from the shoreline. Then from afar a man cried, “Come over here, hurry!”
But the kids did not hear and kept on playing. The sandcastle was almost finished and they were chatting with one another, so they did not pay much attention to their surroundings.
Then as one boy looked up to the ocean, and asked, “Hey, what is that?” the tsunami waves swept them all away.
Sadly, this is the life-story of many people today.
What kind of sandcastle are you building?
Some people build their castles by working really hard to earn lot of money and comfort in life. Others build sandcastles by pursuing their own dreams. But what you need to awaken to is the fact that one day, a tsunami called death will come sweep you away—along with the sandcastles you made.
Everyone knows that they are going to die. They also know that death will take away all their work and dreams. But just as in the story above, they ignore the warnings of death, and go on building temporary things. Why is that? There are two reasons.
1. Building sandcastles is fun
There are many joys that the world offers—pursuing good fashion, traveling around the world, playing games, enjoying convenience, watching sports, earning reputation, drinking alcohol, having sex, accumulating knowledge, money, power, and so on—all these capture people’s minds and eyes. The Bible calls these things “the fleeting [short-lived] pleasures of sin.” 1
The things listed above may not be inherently sinful. But when you turn your back on God’s desires for your life and pursue only things that make your life easier or give you pleasure, you have sinned. And these “sandcastles” give pleasure for just a moment. Your “high” will soon dissipate, and time will take you to your grave sooner than you wish.
The Bible also says the following about sin: “But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” 2 On top of that, those who practice sin become enslaved to sin. That is why you will often observe how people who pursue the things mentioned above will find themselves addicted to them. So the ultimate result of sin (God’s wrath and fury), and the enslaving power of sin add together to be a recipe for destruction.
2. People do not know the truth about life and death
The second reason why people still play on the beach when the tsunami of death is headed their way is that people do not know the truth about life and death. You only live once, and you will die. But it does not stop there. After death is judgment. You get one chance at life: you will not return to this earth as a different person or some other living organism. Death is an appointment you will keep, and tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. But after death is when judgment will happen.
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” 3
After death, you do not stop existing, or automatically go to some paradise. Rather, there is judgment. This judgment will also be stricter than the strictest supreme court of law on the face of this earth. This is because God will be the judge. God is perfect. He is in heaven above and man is on the earth below. God does not overlook any type of sin or evil. God loves justice, righteousness and purity. This perfection and the standard of judgment can be seen through the Ten Commandments. Here are some of them:
- you shall have no other gods before Me
- you shall not use the name of the Lord in vain
- honor your parents
- do not murder
- do not commit adultery
- do not steal
- do not lie and
- do not covet or desire others’ property.
Have you broken any of these? If so, you will receive judgment.
Come to Jesus
So I am crying out to you as the man from afar did to the kids in the story: “Come here, hurry!” The place to which I am crying, “Come here,” is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was God and man who historically lived and walked on this earth 2,000 years ago. If you were living at that time, you would have directly heard about Him yourself. Through countless and marvelous miracles and through His righteous and often surprising teaching, He proved His qualifications and showed His right to authority.
But as predicted in the biblical prophecies mentioned long ago, written in the Old Testament (BCE), He was crucified and executed. He was receiving the judgment against the sin of His people, on their behalf. But He did not remain dead—He came back to life! He walked out of the stone tomb and He went up into heaven forty days after His resurrection. Through this resurrection, Jesus proved to the world that He is the Son of God, and now calls everyone who has ears to listen to believe in Him and follow Him.
With the tsunami of death heading towards you and with the voice of the Son of God calling you, how will you respond? Will you admit that you have been building sandcastles your whole life, dust off your hands, and run to Jesus Christ with faith?
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” 4
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” 5
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.” 6
The Lord Jesus Christ “gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 7
Scriptures mentioned: 1 Hebrews 11:25, 2 Romans 2:8, 3 Hebrews 9:27, 4 John 6:37, 5 Isaiah 55:7, 6 Isaiah 55:1-3, 7 Galatians 1:4-5