and the Hereafter
It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgement"……. Hebrews 9-27.
THE CERTAINTY OF DEATH:
"There are two things in life that no one can avoid--death and taxes'. 'Everybody's journey of life always ends up at the same place--death'. The first saying is a well known current saying, whilst the second is from a
Sunday Life article, 'What's the damage? Funerals', giving the cost of burial vis-à-vis cremation. Both speak an undeniable truth, that the end of our present life is death. We would rather not think about such a negative, morose subject, but rather get on with thinking about and living our lives as happily and successfully as we know how.
But we are wise if we take as much thought and preparation for the
end of our lives as we do now with its current course, and as our parents did with its beginning. Whether we like it not, whether we think and prepare for it or not, whether we know about the hereafter or not, our decease IS going to happen, and "there is no discharge from that war". Today people refer to us by our name---then it will be by our state--"the deceased". The Bible confirms the reality, the certainty and the finality of death. (see Psalm
89:48…Ecclesiastes 9:5….Romans 5:12-21, and 1 Corinthians 15:21).
WHAT DEATH IS:
We know what life is, but without divine revelation we don't really know what death is, except that it is the end of life---people who once breathed, walked, talked and felt, stop doing all these things. The personality that was once present is no longer there, only a deathly silence. You can call them, but they don't answer, speak to them, but they can't hear. Death is the cessation of life.
The 'religion' of the churches steps in and tries to comfort us with false, vain words, such as 'death is the beginning of life…..your immortal soul returns to God who gave it, to live with Him for ever'. The doctrine of the 'immortality of the soul' should have no place in our thinking for it has no place in the Bible, the Word of God. Many of the churches cannot be trusted. It was the Jewish Church that urged the Romans to crucify the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been the so called 'Christian Church' that spawned the 'dark ages', kept the Bible away from the people, persecuted and murdered truth-loving people whose only 'crime' was to dissent from 'The Church' and to teach the people the truths of the Bible. It incited, yes, and even blessed most of the terrible wars which have blighted the earth.
What does the Bible say about the death state? Read the following selection of Bible passages and you will be able to answer that question for yourself.! Genesis
3:19; 5:5,8,11,14,17,20,27,31; John 3:16; Romans 5:12-21; 6:23.
PREPARING FOR DEATH:
Death is certainly no friend and certainly not a 'beginning' in the normal sense.. It is an enemy to be prepared against, an end, but by our obedience to God, it CAN become a beginning. Only to the Father and to Jesus Christ, God's Son, belong the issues of life, death, and the hereafter! Jesus promised, "Verily, verily, I say unto you , He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself: so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the Son of man." (John
5:24-27).These words of Jesus clearly assure us that, even now, whilst we await our death (or the coming of the Lord Jesus), WE CAN CHANGE OUR DESTINY--FROM DEATH TO LIFE, IF WE SUPPLY THE CONDITIONS.
THE CONDITIONS OF ETERNAL LIFE:
We can change our destiny, from the inevitability of death, to the certainty of life, IF we supply Christ's conditions. What are they? He gives two. 1. "He that heareth my word"…..and….2. "and believeth on him that sent me". These two conditions seem simple enough--that all we have to do is READ OUR BIBLES AND BELIEVE. BUT, many religious people read their Bible and think they believe, when all they have done is make their Bibles support their particular Church's , or denomination's doctrines!
They continue wedded to un-Biblical doctrines
of immortal soulism, heaven or hell going, the Trinity, the supernatural Devil, etc. Their Bible reading and Church going has not brought them to 'hear' Christ's word in such a way as to truly believe on " the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent", (John
17:3)--- upon the One God, The Father, who sent His Son to be saviour of the world now ----and
in His and coming Kingdom on earth. (See Some Truths About God, and the
Truth About the Kingdom of God.).
To really 'hear' Christ's words, we must listen very carefully to them, and not to sermons. Most sermons are 'social sermons', or 'text sermons'. They nowhere come near to teaching and explaining the words of Christ, or to preaching "the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ". (Acts 8-12). The greatest ingredient in communication is the same as the greatest ingredient of faith…LISTENING, CAREFULLY AND INTENTLY. To 'hear' the words of God and of Christ, we must become good listeners, always searching the Scriptures to find the TRUTH, and then come to God in the appointed way (by believing the Gospel and being baptised into Jesus' all saving Name, (John 5-39/40----Mark 16-15/16), that we may be given eternal life at the resurrection and the judgement at Christ's coming.
"Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you….."
very real promises of the Lord Jesus in Matthew