Tuesday, November 11, 2014

what death forces us to do

We've had two deaths in our family very recently- my great uncle died last month, and my husband's grandfather died just last week. :( Both men were incredibly kind, loved their families, and they both were given many years of life- 80 or more. But of course, no matter how long they lived, they are greatly missed by the rest of us.

Honestly, I hate funerals. They are so hard. It's never easy to say goodbye to someone- and I can only imagine the pain their closest family feels. Sometimes you know they're in a better place- maybe they're no longer suffering, but the sting of their loss is always real.

Death is just never easy.

Death also forces you to stop- it forces you to realize that no one lives forever. Somehow we can go about life and think very little about death, and yet we know the truth: death is inevitable. And we understand it all anew when someone we love dies unexpectedly.

When we are faced with death, we are forced to do three things:

1. Death forces us to look inward.

As much as we don't want to face it- one day the funeral is going to be ours. We can't stop it, and chances are that it will come like a thief in the night. We don't know when our day is coming, but as sure as the sun rises, with the exception of Jesus' return, it will happen to us. There will be a day when you do not open your eyes again. It is coming.

Are you ready for that day? And am I ready for that day? There's no wishful thinking- there's only the truth. If you believe in Jesus, you can't deny Him before man and expect Him not to deny you before the Father. If you claim to be a Christian and do not walk with the Lord, you are in grave danger. Please, please hear me. Who will deliver you on the day of wrath? Is Jesus, Lord of All, the Lord of your life, or do you esteem Him lightly? Do you think God will be deceived by empty words you say with your mouth? Remember Galatians 6:

7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 
8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

What are you sowing in your life? Do you live to please yourself, or do you live to please the Lord?

If you claim to know Jesus, let me ask you this: does He know you? Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." 1 John 2:6 says, "Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." The tree is know by its fruit.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit." Matthew 12:33

As much as we don't want to believe it, there are such things as false teachers and false converts. How do we know? Titus 1:6 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work."

Do you profess to know God? Are you being made new in His image? Do you long for the things of the Lord? Do you see His Spirit bearing fruit in your life? Do you want to obey Him? Is He your God? Or does your heart reject His Word? Do you desire the things of the world, or the things of God?

You cannot fool God. 

Death forces us to look inward.

2. Death also forces us to look outward.

Not only are we going to die one day- everyone we know will die too. Our time on earth is short, and so is everyone else's. Isaiah 40:6 says "All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field." 

Grass only lives for a season before it's gone. The older we get, the more funerals we will attend. Do you see it?? The harvest field is white. Your mom, your dad, your uncles, your aunts, your cousins, your friends, your neighbors- they're all headed for death just like you.

Do they know the truth? Do you know if they will face eternal condemnation and separation from God? I never felt more convicted about sharing the truth than I did last week. Person after person lined up to visit the family, and several of them were not far from death themselves. Have they been told the truth? Do they know it? Who will try to stop them from heading straight to Hell? Has anyone? Will I? If I can be willing to share the Gospel with strangers, will I not be willing to tell my own family?

If I don't love these people enough to tell them the truth, will anyone? How will they hear without someone preaching the Gospel?

14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?c And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10

We can't assume anything. Please, for their sake, don't assume they know the truth. The road to life is narrow, and few find it. Tell them, please tell them about the only name under Heaven by which man must be saved.

Death requires us to look outward.

3. More than anything, death makes us look upward.

Without the Lord Jesus Christ, we have no hope. For ourselves- for our loved ones...without the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have no way to be saved.

Our best attempts at righteousness are like filthy rags before God Almighty. We desperately need a Savior to rescue us from this body of death.

Because of our sin, we have separated ourselves from God. We can't walk with Him, because He is light, and in Him is no darkness. Because of our selfish, sinful deeds, we have broken God's law, and death and eternal destruction is our payment for our crime. We cannot go to Heaven and dwell with God, worshipping Him for eternity when we've rebelled against His glory and might here on earth.

Death is inevitable. The payment of sin is death. And a death was the only payment that would satisfy the wrath of God. Only a perfect sacrifice needing no payment of its own would pay the debt for a flesh-sinner. 


For us- for everyone we know- to anyone who believes on His name!

What can we do if we want Him to pay our ransom? How can we be saved?

 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, 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. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10


Repent from your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! Nothing else is more important. 

Now is the time. You don't know how long you have, or I have, or how long anyone else has. But you can believe today. Now is the time of His favor toward you- He has given you the chance to know Him and love Him.

Today is the day of salvation. We have no guarantee of tomorrow, my friend.

This flesh will surely die.

But what Hope we have in the face of death when we believe. One day, death will lose its sting. On the day when the dead in Christ are raised,
 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
He defeated death for those who believe. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we die to our sinful fleshly selves so that we can be raised with Him in new life:

5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old selfa was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For one who has died has been set freeb from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Again- what hope we have in the face of death! He gives us new life with Him- both here and in eternity forever.


Death forces us to evaluate everything we know in this life. It's so, so hard, but what an incredible gift we've been given to have the chance to look inward, outward, and upward before it's our day to leave this earth.

Thanks be to the Lord God for His great mercy toward us. His love never fails. He is good.


Oh Father God, please hear our cries before you now. Our hearts know the truth, please show us the right way to walk in it. Please show us those who are perishing every single day. Let our eyes be opened before it's too late, Lord Jesus. Give us strength and boldness to share the truth without holding back. Holy Spirit, please help us as we long to please you. Please make it known to our hearts what we need to see, and what we need to do in our time on this earth. Lord God, may your glory be known to the nations through your people. Please let us do your will in our time here. I pray for eyes to be opened and ears that will hear your Word and receive it- that it would land on good soil. Please send laborers into the harvest for the many, many people who are condemned in their unbelief already. Jesus, we need you so desperately. Thank you for your sacrifice.




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