“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
For every man and woman, there is a day, there is a time when they are appointed to die. This is something that everyone knows, one day they will die (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Yet does one die with Jesus Christ as their Savior or without? For ultimately that is the question and the answer to that question has eternal consequences.
There are many who hear the Gospel message, attend Church, read a Bible tract or the Bible. In fact, I would dare say that most people spend some time praying in their life, whether or not they proclaim to be Saved. Even those who do not proclaim to be a Christian, during hard times, will often appreciate being prayed for.
The question is, how many are there who hear these things, realize in their heart that this is something that they should look further into or know that they should repent towards God and by faith believe into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Acts 20:21), but they, for various reasons, simply continue to kick the can down the road? Perhaps they recall from time to time that they have only so long, but for whatever reason, they go contrary to what God says in the Bible and decide that they will deal with it later on.
“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
The problem is, there is a day, there is a time, one that could be today or could be numerous years down the road, this saying nothing of the Rapture which could happen at any moment (1 Corinthians 15:52). Once that time comes, your fate is sealed. Consider the following verse, for those whose fates have already been sealed:
“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
Now there are somber times, times where an individual ponders their ways, ponders their life before their very Creator. Sometimes some of those times are a death of a loved one or perhaps even the death of a work associate, where they remember their own morality, they know that one day that will be them as well.
For God eventually calls the soul that He Created to their eternal home (Job 5:7). The Bible has a passage, that presents a very prudent question:
“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 8:35-37
Just how does one present the Gospel to make an individual understand the seriousness of this life, the seriousness and eternal consequences of sin? To remember, that they were Created by God and are held accountable by their Creator?
“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
One can not go through life with the presumption that at the very end, just prior to death or when they are aged, that they are then going to get right with God (Psalms 32:6). This is a very dangerous and foolish thing to do, on numerous aspects.
Take a moment out of your life and stop by a graveyard. Walk through it and look, look with your eyes and see, there are bodies buried there, not just of the old, but of the young. Of what did they think? Did they assume to all live to old age, as some of those which the tombstones testify? Did they accept God’s free gift of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), through His Son Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12), who died on the Cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3) and rose again from the dead (Matthew 28:6), sitting at the right hand of God Almighty (Hebrews 1:3)? Or did they not.
I tell you most did not, most died in their sins, most are going to be those who will stand at the Great White Throne judgment of God, where they will not find their name written in the Book of Life and will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity!
“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
As they stand there, awaiting their turn to stand before their Creator, their eyes will be fully open, their ears will hear, but instead of ‘well done good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:21) they will hear ‘depart from Me you who worked out lawlessness’ (Matthew 7:23).
“There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12
For there are many who try to get to Heaven a different way. They believe that it is not only through Jesus Christ, who truly is the only Way (John 14:6), but they take the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3) and make it into something it is not, creating their own religious beliefs, one that not a single religious group hold, one that is simply a figment of their own heart’s imagination, one that will have eternal consequences (2 Peter 3:16).
There are those who simply refuse, they do not want to change, they will not repent, they do not receive the Gospel (Matthew 19:22) and will reap the consequences of their decision. But how many are those who do ponder these things, yet consistently, often due to the cares of this world (Matthew 6:24; 1 John 2:15) or their own sinful lusts (James 1:15), kick the can down the road, something that they know they ought to do, but they simply never can seem to get around to actually doing it (2 Timothy 3:7).
The reality is these people are not only found across the world, but they are also found in the churches. There are many who believe because they attend church, some unbiblical Salvation messages and others which are cults or preach false doctrine, that they are alright, they will enter the pearly gates when they die; they believe in Jesus and that is good enough. Many even proclaim to have accepted Him in their heart, though for many their proclamation is one that never went from the head to the heart, one where they didn’t truly accept by faith Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but simply believed He exists.
“You believe that God is One. You do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder.” James 2:19
“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many works of power in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who work out lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23
You can read such things and scoff. You can get angry or simply disagree. You can refuse God’s free gift of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9) or you can realize that you have only so long to consider these things and you must decide what you are going to do. Are you going to yield your life to your Creator or not? Do you not realize that you are guilty, that your sins are great and deserving of God’s just judgment (Colossians 3:6)? Do you not realize that the wages of sin is death?
… “or 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
I have spoken with many people over the years, people who thought they were Saved and realized that they were not, people who said they were eventually going to be Saved, people who refused the Gospel message of Salvation, people who stated that there were other ways and would not hear anything otherwise and numerous others.
Sadly some of these were family members and friends, some of which are now those whose bodies are buried in cemeteries around the country. I pleaded, I explained, yet their hardened hearts would not fully listen (Revelation 22:20).
Salvation is an individual decision, it is a decision that must be made by each individual, it is not something that your pastor can make for you, that I can make for you or another person can make for you, but it is a decision that God desires that you make:
“The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is longsuffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2nd Peter 3:9
There is a reason that God sent His Son to die on the Cross for your sins:
“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
Dear reader, you have only so long to decide what you are going to do regarding Salvation. If I could implore you to consider that without Christ, within one minute in Hell you would fully realize your error, you would do ANYTHING to have another chance, yet your fate will be sealed (Luke 16:19-31). Dear reader, please understand that now is the time to take care of these things, now is the time to seek God, please do not continue to put off that which you know in your heart you need to do.
“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.” Isaiah 55:6-7