By: Gary L. Hutchens
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” (Heb. 9:27). This succinct verse of scripture states two realities. First, unless the Lord comes again first, everyone is going to die a physical death. Second, and far more consequential, after death everyone will stand before our Lord in judgment. Death is certain, and the day of judgment is already appointed by God (Acts 17:30-31).
Probably, most people fear death. Yet, the Apostle Paul noted, “…God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7). On the night before He would die on the cross Jesus encouraged the apostles, “Let not your heart be troubled;…” (Jn. 14:1). What can we tell a person as to how he/she can live this life with confidence, without fear of death or the judgment?
First, you need to become a Christian. You need to learn that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and your Lord and Savior. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Jn. 14:6). You need to study the four gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) detailing the life of Christ on this earth and his death on the cross as the Savior. As the Apostle John closed his account, he emphasized that he wrote what he wrote that we may believe that Jesus is our Savior (Jn. 20:30-31). It is crucial that you believe, for there is no salvation outside of Christ (Acts 4:12).
Believing in Jesus should move you to obey the gospel message of salvation He brought to this world. First, Jesus wants you to repent of your sins (Lk. 13:3). Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of life. It is an active determination to turn away from sinfulness. He also wants you to not just believe in Him, but to openly confess your faith in Him (Matt. 10:32-33). Paul wrote, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:10). Then, Jesus wants you to be baptized into Him (Gal. 3:27), at which point the blood He shed on the cross for you will cleanse you of the guilt of your sins (Acts 22:16). You will be born again (Jn. 3:3-5), made new (2 Cor. 5:17), saved (Mk. 16:15-16). The Lord will add you to His church (Acts 2:47).
Second, you need to faithfully live the Christian life. Jesus said, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10). Twice, while in His ministry here on this earth, He encouraged His followers, “…he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matt. 10:22; 24:13).
When you become a Christian you need to lay aside anything and everything that might hinder you in living a faithful life before your Lord (Heb. 12:1-2). You need to stay out of the devil’s playground of sin. You need to diligently focus on growing in your faith. A basic means of accomplishing that is by being a diligent student of God’s word (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17). You need to be active in your work and service to the Lord through the church (Jas. 2:17-18). People need to be able to see Christ in you (Matt. 5:14-16).
If you are ready to die that will be a day of great reward for you. You will be ushered through the gates of pearl into the city with golden streets and begin to experience the ultimate reality of eternal life with your Lord (2 Tim. 4:7-8). If you are not ready, the consequences are too terrible to contemplate (Jn. 8:24). Are You Ready To Die?…
Gary L. Hutchens