I am not a prophet and do not know the future for you nor for myself. But it is certain that many who receive this paper will not be alive on January 1, 2018. This past year I witnessed as three persons passed into eternity. I presided over six funerals, including my own dear mother, and attended two others. Eight funerals in one year! I do rejoice that almost all of them I knew and have great confidence as the Bible says, to be “absent from the body, and is to be present with the Lord.” What a great comfort to the family to KNOW that their loved ones went directly to be with God.
One month has already passed of this New Year. As we look into the future there is not one of us who can say with certainty, “I will not die in 2011.” We just do not know. We cannot know. I plead with you to please read the next few paragraphs if you cannot say, “I know without any doubt that whenever I might die, I will go immediately to be with God in Heaven.” On the following pages I want to encourage you to consider your own mortality and what God says about being prepared for death.
Life Is a Gift From God
Philosophers say that one of the great questions of life is, “Why am I here?” or “What is the purpose of Life?” Neither the secular-humanist nor the evolutionist can give a satisfactory answer to these questions. They must conclude that we are here only to fulfill our own passions or desires, or perhaps something more virtuous like, “We are here to improve society or the lives of others.”
The Word of God gives us a very clear and simple answer. We are here for the glory of God. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Man was created by God for His pleasure and glory. Another Scripture says, “… all things were created by him, and for him:” Not only was mankind created, but each of us owes to God our very life and breath. “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;” Acts 17:25 Without the good pleasure of God none of us could draw another breath. If God does not will it, our hearts will not continue to beat.
This is why our lives are so sinful in God’s sight. We are created to do His will, we owe to Him our “life and breath and all things,” yet we live to please ourselves. Every moment we live without considering whether or not what we are doing is pleasing to God is sin. Not to mention the things we do that are clearly contrary to God’s will such as drinking, gambling, swearing, lust, immorality, lying, dishonesty, etc… Just think of the ten commandments and how many you have broken.
Life Is Short
Not everyone who will die in 2011 will be old. Many young will also die. The Bible says, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14 Your life is like “a vapor”! Did you ever watch the steam out of the tea kettle? It vanishes. It disappears. It is gone. So is our life, it is here for a few years, and then it is gone. Life is uncertain for many reasons. Death is the certain end for every man, woman, and child on earth. Are you ready?
Our lives may be cut short by disease or sickness. Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes will “shorten” the lives of millions in 2011. Automobile accidents or other unexpected tragedies such as storms or terrorist acts will also claim many lives. What a sad day for any pastor who has to stand over the casket of a person whose life was lived for self or sinful pleasures, and whom he has little reason to believe was ready to meet God. Your funeral could be the next one you go to. Are you ready?
We Must Give Account to God
Because our life is a gift from God, we are accountable to Him. When death comes we must stand before God in judgment. The Holy Scriptures plainly say, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27 And also, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12 This is the very reason why the humanists who run our schools have been teaching the weak evolutionary theory as fact for decades to our children; because if we can do away with the Creator, we do away with our accountability to Him. And none of us wants to be accountable to God. We want to think that we are sovereign creatures, who can do as we please. In our humanistic pride, we think of ourselves as the highest in the chain of evolution. We are only an animal like a dog, cat, whale, or wombat. But this is not the truth. This is the lie of humanism. This is the lie of Hell and the Devil. It is a dangerous, soul-damning lie!
My Friend, as an ambassador of Jesus Christ, I am hoping to arrest your attention to this very important truth. Our lives are fragile and may end at any time. And when death comes we must stand before God, our Creator and Judge. The Lord God is a holy God. His judgment is a righteous judgment. No sin will go unpunished. No transgression will be passed over. Most people are deceived by comparing themselves to other creatures (people). But God will not ask you if you are better than your neighbor or your boss. He will not ask you if you tried to do your best. No, He will judge you and me according to His Own holy law and will. This is why the apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, said, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Rom. 3:19 God in His mercy has also warned and foretold us that this judgment will be of everything we have said, done, or thought. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Eccl. 12:14 What a frightening truth!
God’s standard is perfection. To enter Heaven’s gate and dwell in the presence of God and the holy angels we must be sinless. Yes, without sin. No one with even ONE SIN on his or her record will be acceptable before God. For, without holiness “no man shall see the Lord.” Heb. 12:14 And the Prophet Isaiah said, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, …” Is. 59:2 One of the great purposes of the Bible is God revealing Himself to us. If you want to know what God thinks about sin just think of a few Bible passages. What happened when Adam sinned in the Garden? The whole race was under the curse of death, and Adam was cast out of the Garden. What happened when God looked upon the sinfulness of Sodom and Gomorrah? He destroyed them with fire and brimstone. What about the world full of sin in the days of Noah? Did God just look over man’s sin saying, “They’re doing the best they can.”? NO. He sent a flood to destroy all life on the earth, except those saved by His grace. We could mention dozens more examples of God manifesting His holiness and His hatred for sin.
Accepted Only in Jesus Christ
Sadly many people have such a vague idea of their sin and God that they think that by doing some “good works” they can make themselves acceptable to God. But the prophet of God answered this question very clearly when he said, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;” Isa. 64:6 The apostle took away all hope of our saving ourselves by means of “good works” when he said by the Holy Spirit, we are saved “Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Eph. 2:9 and also, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5 It is “not of ourselves, … lest any man should boast.” Baptism will not take away our sins. Going to Church or saying prayers cannot make us right with God. Neither the priest nor the preacher can take away sins. There is only “One mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Only the Son of God can take away our sins and make us right with God. This is why He came into the world, “to save sinners.” If salvation could be earned by anything we do, then Jesus died in vain. Please read carefully a couple more verses of holy Scripture, for it does not matter what the Baptist Church or the Catholic Church says, only God’s Word. By this we will be judged. Please read carefully.
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, … To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, … For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor. 5:18-21
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,…” 1Pe 3:18
“And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:42-43
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11
God’s salvation is in His Son, Jesus Christ. Trust upon Him alone and be saved. Without His salvation we can have no hope of dwelling in God’s Heaven. But in Christ we are accepted. My Friend, please cast out all hope in the Church or religious works to save you, and cast yourself wholly on Jesus alone for the salvation of your soul. He said, “…him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Not one of us knows what this year will bring to us. Some of us may not see it’s end. It is my prayer and aim that by faith in Jesus Christ we might all be ready for death whenever it may come. Please contact us if you still are afraid to die or if you have any questions. We would love to come to your home and show you from the Bible what God says.