TIME IS RUNNING VERY FAST! If you are sixty years of age, you may have another fifteen years to live! If you are fifty, you may have another twenty-five years left!
If you are forty, you may have another thirty-five years to go! If you are twenty-five, you may have another fifty years to go! If you are fifteen, you may have another sixty years to go!
These figures presume that you may live until you are seventy-five. However, there are two things about this. First of all, there is no guarantee that you will live that long.
You could die earlier than that. If you have ever been to a graveyard, you will have noticed that there are graves there for people of varying ages: one month, one year, five years, fifteen years, twenty years, thirty years, fifty years, sixty years, and so on. If you had looked more carefully, you would have found out that there was a grave there of someone who had died at your present age. You are, therefore, not too young to die. Death could come suddenly. There need be no further warning. You have been warned. Even if you are in perfect health, there are many causes that could lead you to sudden death: a plane crash, a motor accident, poisoning, a fall, and so on. These could bring your life to an abrupt end. So it does not matter how young or how healthy you are. Sudden death could come to you, even though you are only fifteen. There is another aspect to it. Think for a moment. Is there any disease in your body? It may be a heart, liver, lung or kidney disease. You could actually have cancer or any other fatal disease, but the symptoms are not yet noticeable by you. Any of the diseases that you have and know about or that you have and do not know about could accelerate in their development and take your life in a few hours or days! You might soon be facing eternity. It may happen sooner than you think.
Secondly, even if you were guaranteed life until you were seventy-five, how many years do you still have to live? Time is going at great speed. Even if you think that you still have fifty years to go, those could vanish too soon. The years left for you are fewer today than they were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be fewer still. Every passing minute takes you nearer death. You are a dying person! You began to die on your first birthday!
The Bible says, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes”(James 4:14). You ought to pray with the Psalmist, saying, “Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is! Behold, thou hast made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in thy sight. Surely every man stands as a mere breath!”(Psalm 39:4-5).
DEATH WILL NOT BE THE END
If life was brief an uncertain and death the final end, there wouldn’t be much to worry about. The problem is that physical death is not the end. Death is only the beginning, the gateway into another life. The Bible says, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also, another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it. Death and hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done” (Revelation 20:12-13).
Death will be the beginning of eternity. You will continue to live for billions of billions of eternity years after you die. You may choose not to believe in life after death, but when you will be there, you will be an ardent believer in it, but it will be too late to do anything about it.
TWO DESTINIES AWAIT YOU AT DEATH
All human beings will spend eternity in one of two places. They will spend it either in the lake of fire (hell) or in heaven. About the lake of fire, the Bible says, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for the murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death”(Revelation 21:8).
Those who go to the lake of fire will stay there forever and ever. Satan will be the lord and king of hell. Those who serve him in any way now will be there with him forever. The Bible says, “…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever”(Revelation 20:10). The Bible adds, “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”(Revelation 20:14-15).
Not everyone will go to the lake of fire. Some people will go to heaven. The Bible says of heaven, “There shall no more be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him; they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads. And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign forever and ever”(Revelation 22:3-5).
“Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away”(Revelation 21:3-4). Those who go to heaven will stay there in the presence of God and Jesus forever. It will be wonderful!
YOU CAN BECOME ONE OF THOSE WHO WILL SURELY GO TO HEAVEN
Those who will be in the lake of fire will have one qualification: They sinned, but did not repent radically of their sin, forsake their sin in every way, turn totally to Jesus Christ who died on the cross to save them from hell, and follow Him all their lives on earth. They will be there because they rejected, either actively or passively, God’s offer to save them from hell through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. They will be there by negative choice.
Those who will be in heaven will have one qualification: They sinned, but repented radically of their sin, forsook all their sin and sinful ways, and turned totally to the Lord Jesus who died on the cross for them, and received Him into their hearts and lives as their Lord and Saviour, and walked in obedience to Him all the rest of their lives. You can become one of those who will surely go to heaven. You can become one right now by positive choice.
HOW TO RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST
Jesus wants to forgive you right now. He wants to write your name in the book of life now. He loves you and has demonstrated His love for you by dying on the cross in your place. There are four things to think about and act upon if you want to qualify to go to heaven. I will represent them by the first four letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, and D.
ADMIT that you are a sinner. Tell God that you have personally sinned in your thoughts, words and actions. Tell Him that you take the responsibility for all your sins. Confess to Him all the sins that you have committed and which you can remember. Confess them, naming them to Him one after the other. Turn your back to them, forsake all your sins and sinful ways. Decide that you are finished for ever with that type of life. God will not forgive you unless you are determined, with His help, to put an end to all your sins and sinful ways.
BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died on the cross in your place. By believing that, you are rejecting every system or philosophy that suggests that a man can be reconciled to God and go to heaven without passing through Jesus Christ. If you truly believe that Jesus is the only way that God has given for men to enter heaven, then you will want to receive Him personally into your heart and life. You will also want to do it at once before it becomes too late, but,
CONSIDER the cost of following Him. Jesus will want you to love and obey Him in everything and for all time. At any time that the demands of Jesus will contradict your own desires or the demands of any other person or persons, you will have to obey Jesus at any cost to yourself. Are you prepared to abandon your own interests daily for those of Jesus? Are you prepared to be led in new directions by Him? Are you prepared to suffer and, if need be, die for Him? If you are prepared to follow Him at any cost, then you should right now,
DO something about it. Invite Jesus to come into your life as your Lord and Saviour. You can receive Him by praying as follows: “Lord Jesus, I am a wretched sinner. I have confessed my sins to You and forsaken them completely. I believe with all my heart that You died on the cross for me. Come into my heart now and have total freedom to lead me in all Your ways. Write my name in the book of life so that I will never perish but instead come to be with You in heaven some day. Do it right now, Lord. Amen.”
If you have received the Lord Jesus by praying the above prayer sincerely, then He has come into your life and written your name in the book of life and you will never perish. Follow Him at any cost.
God bless you abundantly!