“And as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, without sin, unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28
“And many of those sleeping in the earth’s dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproach and everlasting abhorrence.” Daniel 12:2
“And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. And books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, out of the things which were written in the books. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one, according to their works. And Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
One can make many observations, especially as one gets older in regards to the consequences of sin. Many reflections can an individual have on his or her life, let alone see the scars of sin on our society in general.
The other day I stopped at a roadside park with a nice waterfall with my family. Where I parked you could see the smoke billowing up from the cars. Walking to the actual park area there were young people ‘having fun’ with cigarettes in their mouths. The problem is there are consequences for those actions, particularly if one doesn’t quit sooner than later.
I’ve worked managing fast food restaurants off and on. I’ve fed tons of people and many of them were regulars. Fast food is known not to be healthy food, not that there is not tons of poor choices in the grocery stores either. However, if you go to your grocery store, I am sure that you can see those who are unfortunately suffering the consequences from overeating poor food choices their entire life.
Just yesterday I went shopping and noticed people who were suffering and unable to move fully, being both older and very overweight. These are things, choices that each of us makes throughout this life. Some of these things hold heavier weight, like drinking or doing drugs, others are not so much so. Yet many of the choices that people make can have consequences, though for those of us who are older recall, we didn’t think much of it when we were younger.
Yet whether we make poor choices in a worldly sense or not matters not as much as our eternal choice. One might find themselves with a cane at an older age due to having been overweight their entire life or having worked too hard or in a very demanding job. Things happen, even those who ‘do everything right’ can deal with circumstances that simply just happen, whether a Christian or not (Matt. 5:45).
One thing is certain, no matter how this life goes, good or bad, we all die. There is one exception, just one, that generation when the Rapture happens, those who are Saved will go to be with Christ. Other than that, Saved or unsaved, we all die.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shouted command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together at the same time with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. ” 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18
No one starts off smoking imagining themselves years later dying of lung cancer, they assume that won’t happen or they will quit before then. No one starts off eating junk and assuming they will have a massive heart attack and die or be in need of assistance at an old age due to their joints unable to have handled the additional weight for some many years. No one starts off doing drugs and imagines themselves living in skid row.
How many homeless people have you seen sleeping on a sidewalk without shoes on with empty liquor bottles next to them? Do you think they intended on being there? Do you think when they started doing such things that they thought they would end up on the streets? That they would be one of ‘those people’?
How many people sit behind bars because their stealing of items progressed from minor infractions to holding people up at gunpoint? Did they assume they would become the ‘bad guy’?
How many young women grow up and imagine themselves having multiple partners and living a life that would be despicable? How many who walk the street or stand up on a stage imagined that growing up, when they were a young woman fixing their hair, trying to look nice?
How many men imagine themselves becoming a raging man with their wife and children? How many of them could reflect, even for a moment, on the monster they became, one they hadn’t intended on being? The list could go on and on. Sin has consequences and many of those consequences are obvious in this life, yet some are not obvious until after this life.
“Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later.” 1st Timothy 5:24
Nonetheless, many people know ahead of time that they are dying. They have a debilitating disease that is going to cause their death. Much of those try to figure out things in their head, regarding their life, what they should have done differently. Some of them contemplate religion and having various rites performed, hoping that they will somehow come out okay in the end. Then there are numerous who simply die on the spot, unexpectedly, whether an accident or not. Sometimes people are in a position where they are incoherent for their final days in their body.
How many people find themselves dealing with the consequences of their sin and although they from time to time get a glimpse of disappointment at their own life, they still tarry on refusing to repent, refusing to change. In fact sometimes men can change, yet without repentance towards God, they all still die in their sins, whether or not they were able to overcome a certain obstacle of sinful behavior in their life. For instance, they might be able to go to an alcoholic anonymous program and quit drinking, yet they were still born into sin and without repenting and by faith believing into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, there is a common place that they will go to: Hell.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalms 51:5
…“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12
What one needs to understand is that this life is more than what meets the eye. We were all Created by God (Ge. 1:26) and we were all born into sin. Sin entered the world through Adam, Jesus Christ provided the solution (1 Cor. 15:45-47) to that by dying on the Cross for our sins. He paid the penalty for our sins.
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man some would even be bold enough to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to every person, because everyone sinned. For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not accounted when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like it was through the one who sinned. For the judgment from one offense was unto condemnation, but the free gift from many offenses is unto justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who are receiving abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment was to every person unto condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift is to every person unto justification of life. For as through one man’s disobedience many were declared sinners, so also through one Man’s obedience many will be declared righteous. Moreover the Law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:7-21
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until the present time, but some have fallen asleep.” 1st Corinthians 15:3-6
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but gave Himself over to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.” 1st Peter 2:21-24
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of Jehovah been revealed? For He grows up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of the dry ground. He has no form nor splendor that we should regard Him, nor anything spectacular that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men; a Man of pain, and knowing infirmity; a hiding of faces; being despised, we have esteemed Him not. Truly He has borne our sicknesses, and carried our pain; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. He has been oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opens not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is mute, so He opens not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken. And His grave was assigned with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased Jehovah to crush Him; to grieve Him; that He should give His soul as a sin-offering. He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the delight of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be fulfilled. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will apportion to Him with the great, and He shall divide the spoils with the strong; because He has poured out His soul unto death; and He was reckoned among the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53
You, yes you, dear reader must understand that even if you find yourself in the midst of dealing with the consequences of sin or if you are a young person who doesn’t consider such things, you must realize that none of us are guaranteed a breath beyond the one we are breathing right now.
“And He said to them, Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, since I have nowhere to gather my fruits? So he said, I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger, and there I will gather all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have prepared? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:15-21
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” 1st Thessalonians 4:14
Do not make light of Jesus and what He did on the Cross for our sakes. Do not make light of sin, in terms of a Holy and Almighty God. Do not kick the can down the road on pondering these things, without actually making a decision.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who has power to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Matthew 10:28
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has done, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall live life; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has done shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I delight with pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Jehovah, and not that he should turn back from his ways and live?” Ezekiel 18:20-23
One must repent towards God, one must not only be willing to change their mind about their sin, no longer wishing to do those things which are unfitting, buy you must realize your guilt before God Almighty.
“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has been released from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but in the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In this regard, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same overflow of dissipation, blaspheming. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” 1st Peter 4:1-5
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2nd Corinthians 7:10
“But what does it say? The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the Word of Faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:8-10
…“testifying both to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21
Jesus said…“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3
Understand, if you do not repent and by faith believe into Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, accepting the free gift of Salvation, understand that you will LITERALLY be at some point at the Great White Throne Judgment of God (Rev. 20:11-15). There you will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. The one believing into Him is not judged; but the one not believing is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But the one doing the truth comes to the Light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been worked in God.” John 3:16-21
“For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Understand at that point, you will realize God’s holiness (Is. 6:5), you will realize that indeed you are guilty (Ro. 3:23) and you will also know with certainty that it is too late (Ro. 6:23). You at that moment will know that when you heard of the Gospel (Ro. 10:15), when you pondered those things (Ac. 26:28), that you should have stopped, repented and been Saved by faith through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Just like the rich man who went to Hell (Lk. 16:19-31), you will know ‘dead men’s secrets’.
“For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2nd Corinthians 6:2
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1st John 4:10
“The fool has said in his heart, There is no God! They are corrupt; they have done abominable works, there is no one who does good.” Psalms 14:1
Yet the Bible is quite clear, Salvation is quite simple and in all reality it is no secret, the Bible plainly declares it (Job 23:12). Yet to those who scoffed and made light of such things or assumed to ‘just believe’ or acknowledge God without repentance, without simple faith into Jesus Christ, will forever hold onto that error. Why? Why won’t you turn, why won’t you just stop and pause from your wickedness?!
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“You believe that God is One. You do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder.” Jacob (James) 2:19
“Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not go in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil, and their sleep is taken away unless they cause someone to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the brightness of dawn, that keeps getting brighter until it is fully daytime. The way of the wicked is as darkness; they do not know at what they stumble.” Proverbs 4:14-19
Why do you push on? Just as men still push on, sometimes due to addiction, other times due to the hardness of their heart, why will you be the same? You don’t have to be sleeping on a sidewalk with a bottle next to you, you don’t have to be overweight and need walking aids, you don’t have to be dying due to consequences of sin (though death in general is a consequence to sin being in the world (Ro. 5:12)), you could live a great life in terms of the world’s standards.
You could have a great home, nice cars, plenty of money. You could be well respected in your community, volunteer time, feed the poor, make donations and have numerous rewards on your walls for being such a ‘great person’. You could make breakthroughs in society that help everyone and then you die. The same applies, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Ro. 3:23). You, my friend, are just as guilty before God Almighty as the man who sleeps on the sidewalk next to an empty bottle (Ro. 6:23).
I caution you to heavily consider your ways and to contemplate God’s ways.
“Seek Jehovah while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Jehovah, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9
For in them is the way of life.
“The way of life is upward to the wise, so that he may turn away from Sheol below.” Proverbs 15:24
“Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” Ecclesiastes 9:5