by Laura B.
Are you afraid to die?
If you are, you don't need to be.
We all know and understand that death is a fact of life. What many people choose not to believe is that judgment after death is as much an inescapable fact as death itself.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Are you afraid to die? If you're not, you should be. Hell is real, and it's not a party, even if all your friends are there.
Oh, the Devil would like you to believe that it is, but that's not what Jesus said. Jesus described it as a furnace of fire, outer darkness, and a place where there would be wailing and weeping and gnashing of teeth. Eternity is a long, l-o-n-g time. Are you sure that's the kind of environment in which you want to spend "forever?"
"But a loving God wouldn't send people to Hell," you say.
He doesn't. He leaves the decision as to where you'll spend eternity in your hands and He honours your decision. He wants you, and all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4).
2Pe 3:9 ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
If you choose to reject Him, that isn't His fault. He's made an escape from Hell; all you have to do is take it.
"I'm not going to Hell! I'm a good person!" you insist. "I take care of my family, I'm faithful to my spouse, I don't steal, I've never killed anything except the odd spider! Sometimes I even go to church!"
But are you perfect?
"I'm the closest thing to perfect you'll ever see," you reply.
I'm not the one you have to convince. Are you perfect in God's sight? You don't steal and you're not a murderer, but how do you measure up against the rest of the Ten Commandments, for example?
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
We're all sinners (Ro 3:10). Have you ever told a lie? One lie makes you a liar, and that's sin. (Tell me you've never lied and you've just told a lie!)
How are you with "keeping up with the Joneses?" Do you have to have the fancier car and the bigger house? You're being covetous, and that's sin.
Have you taken the Lord's name in vain? God says He "will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" (Ex 20:7). Because that's sin. You get the point....
The wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23) and if you're not absolutely, one-hundred percent perfect in every way - as perfect and holy as God Himself is - then you're not good enough to go to Heaven. [For the record: not one of us is (Ro 3:23).]
"But that's impossible!" you exclaim. "No one is good enough to go to Heaven? That's not what I was taught! I was afraid to die before and now I'm really scared! I don't want to go to Hell!"
Mt 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Mt 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Are you afraid to die? If you are, you don't need to be.
Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
While He was on this Earth, Jesus Christ was absolutely, one-hundred percent perfect in every way - as perfect and holy as God Himself is - and He is the only One Who was good enough to go to Heaven. After all, He came down from Heaven (Jn 3:13, 6:38).
He voluntarily died a cruel, tortuous death by crucifixion to pay the penalty for our sins, not His own (remember the wages of sin is death, Ro 6:23) because He didn't have any. When you understand and accept that He died in your place, then He gives you His righteousness and God accepts you as absolutely, one-hundred percent perfect in every way: you have been justified (made just as if you'd never sinned). God sees you as good enough to enter into His Heaven!
"But why would God do that?" you ask. "Why would He sacrifice His Son to save me, or any of us?"
That's a good question, and one that can only be answered by saying, "He did it because He wanted to." It's where John 3:16 comes into play: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, and the second half of Ro 6:23: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The most important part is that even though Jesus Christ died to pay for our sin, He didn't stay dead! The Son of man was delivered into the hands of sinful men and crucified, and on the third day He rose again! (Lk 24:7)
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? If the wages of sin is death and He died to pay for our sin, then in His resurrection, we have victory over sin and death through Him!
Ro 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Ro 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
I said earlier that if you choose to reject the Lord, that isn't His fault. He's made an escape from Hell; all you have to do is take it.
If you reject Him, then you've volunteered to pay the penalty for your own sin yourself. The wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23) - God cannot forgive unless blood is shed (Heb 9:22). (Why? Because those are God's rules and since mankind is His creation, we ultimately play by His rules.) So if you're not going to receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ, then you're going to pay for your sin with your own and receive the punishment of Hell - the punishment He took when He died.
The choice is yours.
See also: Christian, Are You Afraid to Die?