Saturday, September 27, 2014

What If Today Was Your Last Day On Earth?

Monday was a sad day around my workplace.  A man I've known for 23 years lost his mother. She lived a good, long life.  Nevertheless it was and is sad.  I will have fond memories of her.  Add to that a couple workplace killings in Alabama and Oklahoma.  Then the realization of a friend of my wife being declared terminally ill with just 2 months to live.  The old saying is two things are certain, 'death and taxes.'  Well, the one thing more certain than taxes is that after death we will all stand before our Maker and give an account of our life.  It will all boil down to one question.....but I'll save that for last.

Friends, Jesus was not simply a good man who wants us to be nice and treat people kindly.

He proclaimed that He was God, very God, that He and the Father are one (John 10:30), that He is the exact image of His nature (Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:15), that no one gets to the Father but through Him (John 14:6), that all of us
like sheep have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6), that He Himself bore iniquities and will justify many (Isaiah 53:11), that none of us is righteous (Romans 3:10), that all our works are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), that unless we believe that He is God we will die in our sins (John 8:24), that the wages of sin is death, physical and spiritual, but that the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23).

There is no second chance, for it is appointed for a man once to die and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27) where Christ will appear a 2nd time without reference to sin for those who eagerly await Him (Hebrews 9:28), those whose sins have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb. Not so for the one who rejected His word.  They can expect..... a fearful expectation of judgment for those that go on sinning willfully after receiving the truth (Hebrews 10:26-27), of which you are if you have read this blog or known me for any length of time at all.

The death rate remains 1 out of every 1. The reality of sin is that 1 out of every 1 is held captive by the power of sin. The offer of forgiveness of sin and freedom from its power is found in Christ alone (Acts 4:12). Sin requires a wage (Romans 6:23) and all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Yet if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive them and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Then how do we know we have passed from death to life? By keeping His word and walking as He walked (1 John 2:5-6).

There is a 2nd death (Revelation 20:6,14) where this happens; "the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8) All that can be avoided. Only then will any living person be fit for heaven and not only gain it at physical death but live life abundantly until that final breath is drawn. (John 10:10)

Did you catch that list?  Unbelieving is right there with murderers.  Immorality and liars are side by side with abominable.  Belief is trusting something can bear your weight, hold up a load. Saying that plane will get you across the Atlantic is quite different than stepping onto it and buckling a seat-belt for takeoff. Saying you believe in Jesus is quite different than actually letting Him take your load of sin and bear that awful weight.  Saying you believe in Jesus is much different than placing every ounce of energy into understanding Him and following His commands.  Saying Jesus is too narrow and you'll make it another way is looking God in the face and saying "you're a liar!"

So the question begs, the same question Jesus posed to His followers 2000 years ago.

"Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15)  

...and will you reply as Peter? "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)

Because the death rate is one out of every one.

He must increase ~

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