Before surrendering my life to Christ in 1970 I had heard of Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and Jeanne Dixon and even read some of their works. In the months prior to my commitment to Christ I had read a chief book of prophecy of the Holy Bible, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, four times. While being trained for the ministry I learned about the failed predictions by some cults of an assortment of end-time events. The Watchtower Society had anticipated Armageddon numerous times, and even had a place for Elijah to stay in the 1920s. Some apocalyptic musings in recent decades have included the aligning of some planets (1986, and you will hear it about in 2012), Y2K (2000), Harold Camping’s 2011 predictions, and “Oh my! The Mayan calendar predicts 2012.”
In the past, and I am afraid it will happen in the future as well, folks have sold their homes, quit their jobs, made a mockery of themselves (and of sadly of what some perceive as Christianity), and have killed loved-ones, friends and even themselves over such things. At the other end of the spectrum, some have made a lot of money over sales of books, video or outright donations.
In the midst of all this hype many forget one thing: they can die at any moment, then what?
As I write this, the Lord has blessed me to live to the age of fifty-nine. However, like the rest of us, I have seen those younger, including children and infants, die. Given my biological background, and considering that when I came to Christ I was saved from certain practices in my ethnic heritage that could shorten my life, I realize it is quite probable my body might expire. I also realize I have something many of my ancestors might not have had: a relationship with God through Christ where one can get direction and healing from God. I give God the full credit and glory that some recent medical tests I took showed that the areas tested were fine.
Nonetheless, I can die at any moment, and so can you. With that, we need to consider some Holy Scriptures:
Ecclesiastes 11:3, “…and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.”
Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
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The Ecclesiastes verse alludes to the fact that at physical death we loose all opportunity to do any more good or evil, as well as the chance to make right any wrongs we have made. No more asking forgiveness from God or man. No more a way to ease any bitterness we have created. People might remember us for what we have done and what we appeared to be, but God certainly has record of all, and it can no longer be changed after death.
With that in mind, we now consider the most sobering point of all as expressed in the epistle to the Hebrews: judgment. Most of society will believes that God will weigh all things in some type of scale, and if the good overpowers the bad, then heaven is ours. If not, hell awaits. Of course there are some that will state there is no hell, but Christ Himself stated there is such a place (Matthew 5:29-30).
Well, if you think God has a scale, He does not. So, what is the “grade” required to get to heaven (which, from this point, I will use the more predominate scriptural term: Eternal Life)? it is required that we be perfect (Matthew 5:48). Are you? I’m not!
Is there any way out this mess? Oh yes, there is the Way. Hebrews 9:28 states, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; …,” which records the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
By surrendering to Christ, one can have their sins forgiven and be given a new life, one that lasts forever, even after death. Being truly surrendered at all times to Christ will place one in the position that when they physically die they will be righteous in the eyes of God.
Nor will one have to be concerned about the return of Christ. The remainder of Hebrews 9:28 declares, “and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” We are to heed the exhortation in 2 Peter 3:11 (Webster), “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conduct and godliness…”
Such exhortations are to be followed, for we all need to ready whether it be a prophetic event or physical death which we meet. We are to be ready either way.
The first embedded link might not work after November 30 until the target is relocated. Relocation of the target will hopefully be accomplished by the end of spring 2012.
The Lord willing, This article will be part of my Bible GemLight Series as tourmaline004.