Do you have power over your death?

Yesterday I was preparing an open-air sermon that I was hoping to preach outside one of the cinemas in Pretoria today. However I’m faced with the news that one of my friends at work has died yesterday, and she was around 24 years old and had a great future ahead of her. I remember telling her a little bit about God, without going into detail, and I wish I could have gave her this message last week when I saw her:

100 people die every minute; two people die every second; 150 000 people die every day. 53% of people die in their sleep. They had no idea they were going to die, until death surprised them. One man once said people “are destroyed from morning to evening; they perish forever without any regarding it” (Job 4:20 KJV). The bible says “death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2), “no one has power over the day of his death” (Ecclesiastes 8:8). Reality is all of us are going to die. The question is “where are you going after you die”? Do you know what is going to happen to you after you die?

The bible says “a man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). After you die, you will face the judgment of God. We will give account to God, for everything we have ever done, said or thought about. If God judged you by the Ten Commandments, would you be innocent?

  • The 10th commandment says you shall not covet. Have you ever jealously wanted something that belongs to another person? If you have, then you have broken the 10th commandment.
  • The 9th commandment says you shall not lie. How many lies have you told in your life?
  • The 8th commandment says you shall not steal. Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its value?
  • Jesus said “anyone who looks at a woman with lust, has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Have you ever looked at a woman with lust, and undressed her with your eyes? Have you as a woman ever looked at a man with lust?
  • The bible says “anyone who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15). Have you ever hated anyone?

 

Are you innocent of breaking God’s Law? The bible says “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10). If you are a liar, then you have broken all of the Ten Commandments. The bible says “who can say ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’” (Proverbs 20:9). It also says “there is no one righteous, not even one;……there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12). When you break God’s Law then you are sinning (see 1 John 3:4), and there is punishment for sin. The bible says “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and “rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the LORD will perish” (Isaiah 1:28).

 

Just like we have jail for all those who break our country’s law, God also has a jail, for all those who break His Law (Ten Commandments). His jail is called hell, and everybody who breaks God’s Law will be sentenced to hell. For every commandment of God that you break, there is hell to pay. Revelation 20:15 says hell is a lake of fire. Psalm 11:6 says it’s a horrible tempest. Psalm 18:5 says it’s a place of sorrows. Matthew 13:42 says it’s a place of wailing, a furnace of fire. Luke 16:23 says it’s a place of torments. Matthew 8:12 says it’s a place of outer darkness. Revelation 14:11 says it’s a place of unrest. Luke 16:24 says it’s a place where people scream for mercy. Matthew 25:46 says it’s a place of everlasting punishment.

Are you concerned that you might go to hell after you die? If you are not concerned, then the bible says to you “there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourself and the truth is not in you (see 1 John 1:8). Your sins (lying, stealing, hate, jealousy, sexual immorality, etc) deserve punishment in hell for all eternity, because God’s justice demands it. Am I scaring you with hell? But the bible says “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27), “through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil” (Proverbs 16:6). There’s nothing wrong with coming to God through fear, because there is wrath to come that we need to run away from. The reality of hell should make us fear God, like we have never feared Him before, and we should tremble to His knees asking for forgiveness for all our sins. The bible says “fools laugh at making amends for sin” (see Proverbs 14:9), so don’t laugh but repent from your sins.

If you are concerned, then I have good news for you. The good news is that “While we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us” (see Romans 5:8). Through Jesus Christ, God provided a way, through which you can have your sins pardoned. The bible says Jesus “was pierced for our sins, he was crushed for our sins, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him…….and the Lord has laid on him the sins of us all” (see Isaiah 53:5-6). When Jesus died on the cross, God’s wrath was upon Him, because Jesus carried your sins upon Himself.

When Jesus died on the cross, He took the punishment that you deserved. Because you are a liar, you deserved punishment, but Jesus took that punishment on Himself, so you won’t have to suffer punishment. The bible says “let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon” (see Isaiah 55:7). You don’t have to die in your sins, because God has provided a way, for you to be pardoned from every sin you have ever committed. It doesn’t matter what sins you have committed, because God can forgive them all. The bible says “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). All you need to do is leave your sins (repent), and ask God for forgiveness, for all those sins you have committed. How about you repent from your sins now, the bible says “now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). You might not have tomorrow!

It doesn’t matter which church you go to, but unless you have repented from your sins, then the bible says you are condemned already (see John 3:18). Are you certain you’ll be in heaven after you die? You can make sure, by repenting from your sins, and trusting in Jesus Christ. Then read your bible, and follow it’s commandments.

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1 Comment »

  1. millyonair said

    You raised some more excellent points here, but, respectfully, I would suggest that hell isn’t an actual place or a punishment meted out by a vengeful God who is insulted or angry at our disbelief or failure to follow the rules. Instead, I think hell is a state of mind, that unfillable emptiness, the unquenchable longing inside of every man or woman that torments those who live disconnected from their Creator. It is this emptiness or longing that, in my opinion, fuels depression, causes us to grasp at money or power or sex or booze. It feels like drowning. At the same time, it is a desert of the heart.

    Jesus said two things were important: loving God, and loving people. All the other “rules” are just ways of doing this. But in my opinion, it’s better to focus on God’s love rather than to assume God is tallying up our mistakes for an Almighty Smiting. I don’t even believe its God that punishes us. We do it well enough to ourselves.

    Peace.

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