Some years ago Billy Graham exclaimed, “All mankind is sitting on Death Row. How we die or when is not the main issue, but where we go after death,” he concluded.
The Bible is our map, our guidebook for life, death, and eternity. Pastor John MacArthur, Grace Community Church, Southern California, asked: “How seriously do you take God’s word? That’s a question every ... [person] needs to perpetually keep in mind, because the answer finds its way into your behavior, your attitude, your words, your relationships, your family, and your work. Your reverence — or lack thereof — for God and His truth influences and informs every part of your life.”
Sometimes we may speak lightly of death, but it is still a macabre subject, and it is certain. Note this straight-forward statement from the Bible: “We will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again” (2 Samuel 14:14). Death is so sure and so very final.
When the English Patriot Sir William Russell went to the scaffold in 1683, he took his watch out of his pocket and handed it to the physician who attended him in his death. “Would you kindly take my timepiece?” he asked. “I will have no use for it. I am now dealing with eternity.”
What if you knew this was your last day? That today you would stand before a Holy God? Some day will be the last for all of us.
Our great God cannot and will not permit sin into His holy heaven. But “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
If we are not sure our name is registered in heaven, we can be sure. If we confess our sins, believe on Christ and receive Him into our hearts, and then live for Him, we are bound for heaven. The gates to Paradise will swing wide for us when life here ends.
D.L. Moody, the world-famous evangelist, who died in December 1899, said as he was dying: “If this is death, there is no valley. This is glorious! I have been within the gates, and I have seen the children! Earth is receding! Heaven is approaching; God is calling.”
What a fantastic way to make the crossing!