“And when He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:34-37
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
There is a reality, a true reality that is more important than anything else and is for each individual. We are born and whether or not we see it as imminent, each one of us will eventually die, except for that generation of Believers who are on the face of the earth when the Rapture happens (1 Thes. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13).
We all start off going through life doing our own thing. We pick up our own set of morals, based upon many influences. We make friends, we have our family members, we get jobs or do a host of other things, yet what about God? Can we go through life maybe going to church a few times, having heard about Jesus or even faithfully attending some church, without truly in our hearts repenting and by faith believing into Jesus Christ as our individual Lord and Savior?
Certainly we can and certainly most do, though we should not.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many entering in through it. Because narrow is the gate and distressing is the way which leads unto life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Along the way we will all know of someone who dies from time to time. We will have known them individually, whether quite well or simply an acquaintance. One day someone will know someone who dies and it will be you, whether of old age or not. Without truly being Saved at that point you will eventually find yourself at the Great White Throne Judgment of God Almighty. Consider what the Bible says about this event:
“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
I want you to consider this and consider it well. If you bother to read or listen to this, than you at least are considering that there is a God and ponder how you might assure that you are right with Him. Those who are in line at the Great White Throne Judgment will have no hope, there will be no excuses, in fact there is nothing but waiting for God to cast you into the Lake of Fire. So what’s your excuse?
“For ever since the creation of the world the unseen things of Him are clearly perceived, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they know God, they do not glorify Him as God, nor are thankful, but become vain in their reasonings, and their stupid hearts are darkened.” Romans 1:20-21
You say, well I am not there yet, so I haven’t thought of an excuse yet. Well for each person, there is an excuse and they have one right now, even if they are not keen to knowing what it might be.
For some they have an excuse that the world was formed by imaginary evolutionary forces and therefore the Bible is not true, thinking God didn’t Create the earth as He said. Is that your excuse?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:1-3
For others they don’t believe that they are bad enough to deserve Hell. After all, when people compare themselves to others that they read about in the news or know about, certainly there is always someone worse.
I can’t tell how many times over the years that I have read comments about someone doing something really bad, sometimes someone who is killed with a shootout with the police or executed while on death row. Oftentimes the comments from people will be ‘they are rotting in Hell’ or ‘burning in Hell’. If they didn’t repent of their atrocities, certainly this is true, yet on the surface it is a bit of a misnomer.
What about you? What about your family and friends? What about your neighbors? What about your coworkers? What happens to them when they die? Do you not realize that all have sinned, do you not realize that the wages of sin is death? Do you not know why Christ had to die on the Cross? Do you not see the significance of what Jesus did for you, should you chose to accept God’s free gift?
… “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
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2nd Cor. 5:21
“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 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.” John 3:16-17
“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.” Ephesians 2:8-9
You see, it is quite one thing to look at someone who has done something just terrible and know that they will be in Hell one day or are currently there, it is quite another thing to look at yourself as having fallen short and realize that you too are a sinner and without repenting and by faith believing into the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as your Savior (Ac. 20:21), you also will find yourself in Hell, with these same people whom who believe are assuredly there as well.
Good company? I think not.
“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
“You shall not follow the majority in doing evil;” Ex. 23:2a
Some have habits, bad habits. They are terribly addicted to alcohol or drugs. From time to time they sober-up, looking at their life and may even make an attempt to get help from a program or friends or however. Some will be successful at that, but what about the ultimate solution to these problems: Jesus Christ.
“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we watch or sleep, we should live together with Him.” 1 Thes. 5:6-10
Our world has gone mad and during the process of going mad, drug and alcohol abuse have increased substantially. For some, in certain jobs, schools, neighborhoods, it seems as if everyone is on something.
When I worked at a grocery store down in the Chicago area years ago, I became acquainted with every worker there. Over the time working there I realized that every single person who was not a manager (those I did not know about) did some sort of drug. Since then I have been a manager at numerous restaurants and have seen first hand the effects of people under the influence of a host of different things…quite terrible.
For some that is their excuse.
Others love to pursue wealth. Their goals are always trying to obtain the things that they cannot take with them. You could tell them that and the truth is most of them know that and simply don’t care. For them it is all about this life and living it to the fullest. If they can be rich, than they will be rich. If they can live nice, then they will live nice.
They like fast cars, nice homes, the comforts of luxury, but they deny God and the power thereof.
“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
“No one is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. It is not possible to serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Observe the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by being anxious is able to add one cubit to his stature? So why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matt. 6:24-34
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is evident that we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who purpose to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all evils, for which some being greedy, have strayed from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Tim. 6:6-10
Still there is some who simply live a promiscuous lifestyle with various others involved and for them, they simply won’t give it up (2 Pet. 2:14). Others are heavily addicted to viewing inappropriate things on the internet or late night television. They have chosen their lusts over their Creator.
“Likewise also the men, abandoning the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men with men performing what is shameful, and receiving the retribution within themselves, the penalty which is fitting for their error.” Romans 1:27
“Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual perversion, let each have his own wife, and let each have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except by agreement for a time, that you may be free for fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this by permission, not by commandment. For I wish that all men were even as myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be on fire.” 1 Cor. 7:1-9
Others will follow carefully devised religious organization, not based upon the Word of God (though they will say otherwise) and they will put their trust not because of truly having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but rather in the traditions and works of men.
They will go their whole life being a good Catholic, having their last rites as their final destination – Hell awaits (Eph. 2:8-9). Or they will partake of other clearly unbiblical churches that have no end to the list of names that they might be. The Bible warns about this, but those who truly are seeking God will find Him, He will be found by you, if you are searching with your whole heart. Perhaps that is how you have stumbled across this article or radio show.
“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And we heard this voice which came from Heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we also have a more sure Word of prophecy, which you do well to heed as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that not any of the prophecies of Scripture came into being from personal exposition, for prophecy was not formerly brought forth by man’s choice, but holy men of God spoke as they were propelled along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Pet. 1:16-21
“And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13
Many will care about what other people think. Whether it is the fellow gang-bangers in their hood or the cheerleading squad team members, there are those who don’t want to be different and won’t yield to Christ. For them they will choose what their coworkers, family or others think about them. Their excuse is that what people think of them is more important than God. What will they think when you are burning in Hell for all eternity with them? What will you think?
“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 Pet. 4:3-5
“But sexual perversion and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no prostitute, unclean person, nor covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one beguile you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.” Ephesians 5:3-7
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, prostitutes, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
There are also those who are too smart to believe or bother with the things of God. They have used their brain that God Created and supposedly advanced to a higher level of thinking that assures them that God cannot be real and those who profess to be Christians are foolish.
“The fool has said in his heart, There is no God!” Psalms 14:1
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who are believing. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, truly to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many of nobility. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are mighty; and the low-born of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should boast in His presence. But out of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who was made for us from God wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; that, as it is written, He who exults, let him exult in the Lord.” 1st Cor. 1:18-31
Some choose to believe in spiritual things but take the wicked approach and get involved with things of the occult. Whether it is a Harry Potter type interest or a serious intent, nonetheless they don’t realize that they are bound (Luke 13:6), like all other sinners, waiting to be broke free, if they so chose to be, through the power of Christ.
“Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of everyone. And they counted up the value of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.” Acts 19:19
“And the soul who turns to mediums and fortunetellers, to commit adultery with them, I will set My face against that soul and cut him off from his people.” Lev. 20:6
I could go on and on, listing page after page after page of some excuses or reasons why people don’t accept the free gift of Salvation, but I will only list one more.
A large number of people do profess, in fact they even have a pastor who will tell them that they are saved. You see they believe in Jesus, they ‘accept’ Him, they are loved by Him, just as they are. They are trying to get better and know that one day they will have more things under control than they currently have.
“You believe that God is One. You do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder.” Jacob (James) 2:19
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:20
They are quick to open up their wallets to provide some money. Many others who profess the same are their friends and they certainly know that even though in their heart something seems to be wrong, they ignore that by continuing to listen to what they want to hear. They found what they wanted.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing; and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked; I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Rev. 3:15-21
They have a loose religion, one where they can be nice, be good, but not change too much. They can go to church on Sunday, but still enjoy a couple of margaritas with their friends on Saturday night. They can ignore the unclothed movies, but still keep up with the latest flicks at the theatre. They can still talk bad about others or use some mild language, but they just won’t talk dropping full f-bombs all of the time.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, desiring to hear pleasant things, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths.” 2 Tim. 4:3-4
You see they got some morals, they got some standards and they are told that they got Jesus. Yes they know of Jesus, yes they believe in Jesus, but what they fail to recognize is they have not truly repented in their hearts, they have not truly yielded their lives in faith to Jesus Christ.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unyielding, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.” 2 Tim. 3:1-5
Though others around them provide good company, constantly assuring their minds that indeed they are on their way to Heaven. Yet they do not consider that they are still on the broad path to destruction. They allow others confidence in themselves to be their excuse that all is well. They are hearing what they want to hear and satisfy theirselves with that answer. They have added Christ to their life, but in name only, they have not put on Christ.