22 August 2008


Daniel 12:1(b)-2
But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued. Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.

I am embarrassed to admit it was only a short time ago that I figured out what the letters “R.I.P.” means. I’ve seen it hundreds of times, especially around Halloween, where there are cartoons and drawn pictures of cemetery markers bearing those letters. Rest in peace. A farewell wish, another way of saying bye for now, ‘till we meet again.

We all think about what will happen to us when we die. We know what happens to the body. The heart stops beating and that’s it. Some folks prepare ahead for this time and make their own final arrangements. For others, death comes unexpectedly and the survivors make the decisions about where and how to place the body. We have options: burial, entombment, cremation, and donating it to science are the ones that I can think of (the latter two would be my choice). A memorial service is common, offering mourners an opportunity to gather in fellowship and honor the deceased. I know families that prefer not to hold a memorial service when one passes. “He (she) is dead and gone, let’s just get on with our own lives.” They don’t feel the need for a wake, I guess.

Now, here’s the big question: what happens to our soul? Christians know that you have only two choices; either you believe in Jesus or you don’t. Those who do believe know where their final resting place can be. “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.” (John 3:16 KJV) The apostle Paul said, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

But here’s the thing, you have to do more than just believe in Jesus, you have to live your life like Jesus did. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’ And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as ‘foreigners in the land’.” (1 Peter 1:16-17 NLT).

Jesus set the example for us to follow. You must worship God and only God. You must love others as you love yourself. You must have a pure heart. You must be forgiven of your sins as well as have already forgiven those that have hurt you. “and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us” (Matthew 6:12 NLT). If we have evil in our hearts when it beats it’s last beat, we are not acceptable to God. “For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought.” (1 Chronicles 28:9 NLT)

Those who are terminally ill have a ‘curve’, if you will. They have the knowledge that death is coming sooner rather than later. They know their days are few and now’s the time to “get right with God”. “But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36 (Amplified Bible).
Just like an earthquake strikes with no warning, our last moment may arrive without warning.

Don’t go to bed angry. Let go of any grudges you may be holding against someone. Practice forgiveness 24/7. Confess all of your sins as they happen, no matter how small you think they are. Be prepared at all times to stand in front of your King on that judgment day.

Are you sure you are ready today? Are you sure you are acceptable today? Be able to answer yes.

Revelation 3:20-21 (New Century Version)
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me. Those who win the victory will sit with me on my throne in the same way that I won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT)
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

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