"These shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
Time flies by so quickly. The days, the weeks, the months and the years slip by with incredible speed, and are gone before we realize it. Everything in this world is fleeting and transitory--nothing is stable and lasting. "We spend our years as a tale that is told" (Psalm 90:9). Being busily engrossed with the occupations, labors and pursuits of life we are more or less insensible to the swiftness of passing time, the solemn fact that life itself is fast getting away from us, and that the end of our earthly journey is speedily and surely approaching.
How important it is that we keep in mind that our death is ever on the horizon, that we are but a heartbeat from it, and that when we die, we will be ushered into eternity from which there is no return or escape. Since death is so common we do not give this sufficient thought. We seem to have developed a sense of immunity to such an experience. Because death seems so vague, unreal and unlikely, we fail to take it into serious consideration. Instead, we live as though we were certain of many more years of life, whereas God's Word faithfully warns us: "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs 27:1).
Likely the thought of our death would take on a new and serious meaning if we knew that the moment we pass from this scene--and this could be, and may be, before this day is over--we would awake in Hell, in the "everlasting burnings" (Isaiah 33:14) forever past all hope. But this is just what God's Word makes known to every unsaved sinner. Scripture is clear and plain that "the wicked shall be turned into hell" (Psalm 9:17); "the rich man also died, and was buried, and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments" (Luke 16:22-23). Many take thought for their bodies, but totally neglect the interests of their immortal souls. But "what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37).
Most people drift aimlessly through life without any care or concern as to what is before them after this fleeting life is over, taking it for granted that somehow or other everything will turn out all right with them in the end. This is what they hope; and they give themselves the benefit of any doubt. Many have no consciousness of their lost condition. While they do not consider themselves perfect, yet they are not aware that there is anything seriously wrong with them. They may be respectable, law-abiding citizens, and consider themselves no worse than their neighbors; and though they scarcely ever read the Bible or enter a church, they fully expect to go to heaven when they die.
Some will admit that they are sinners, but imagine that they are basically good people, and that their good works will far outnumber their bad ones. However, God's Word informs us that it is "not by works of righteousness which we have done" that we are saved, but by His grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:7-10, Titus 3:5).
According to the Holy Scriptures, "there is NONE good but one, that is, God" (Matthew 19:17); "ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). If we will honestly evaluate and examine ourselves according to God's perfect standard, His holy Law, we will quickly discover our desperate need of a Saviour.
According to Romans 7:14, the Law of God is spiritual, which means that it reaches beyond our outward conduct, and penetrates to the very thoughts and intents of our hearts. Here are 2 examples of the spirituality of God's holy Law:
The Seventh Commandment forbids the act of adultery, but the Lord Jesus interprets this Law as follows:
The Sixth Commandment says, "Thou shalt not kill." Though you may not have committed the act of murder, this commandment condemns all undue anger, wrath, malice, hatred, and revenge, conceived in the heart or expressed in words (Matthew 5:21-22; 1 John 3:14-15).
According to the Bible, God views ALL of Adam's fallen race as guilty sinners under His holy Law:
and unrighteousness of men."
According to John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
These passages teach that the wrath of God continually rests upon every sinner who is not believing and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ--whether he is a king or a beggar, high or low, rich or poor, moral or immoral, kind or unkind, religious or irreligious.
How prone is human nature to neglect or slight God's solemn warnings and threats of coming judgment! We are told that "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). The reason is, that the apprehension of these things is disquieting and disturbing, hence men and women put such thoughts from them and go on their way. Few indeed are disturbed enough about their eternal future to cry out, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). O the folly of such indifference and procrastination when your eternal destiny is at stake!
Soon, very soon, taking the longest possible view, you will go down to the dust and your spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7). O my friend, do not lightly dismiss this matter from your thoughts, or your folly will only accentuate your misery in that Day. Far better to be made humble now for a time than that you should weep and gnash your teeth forever (Matthew 8:12). His gracious Word to you is that God hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he turn from his wicked way and live (Ezekiel 33:11); that you repent and turn from all your transgressions: so iniquity shall not be your ruin (Ezekiel 18:30). Unless you truly believe the Gospel, repenting of your sin (Mark 1:15), Christ Himself asks, "How can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:33).
YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY IS IN THE HANDS OF THE CRUCIFIED ONE
GOD'S GRACE AND MERCY IS FOUND ONLY IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
The apostle Paul wrote, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15). He wrote further in Romans 5:6-10:
Flee to Him now by faith while time and opportunity are yours. Cast yourself humbly and penitently at His pierced feet and cry unto Him for mercy, for "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).
Dear friend, the Lord Jesus Christ is now in Heaven, sitting upon a throne of grace and mercy (Hebrews 4:14-16), and graciously and willingly receives repenting sinners (1 Timothy 1:15, Hebrews 7:25). He has saved some of the very worst of sinners--thieves, drunkards, fornicators and sex perverts (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). He can and will save you, and cleanse you from all your sins (1 John 1:7-10), and transform you into a new person (John 3:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 5:24)--one who is loved of God, loves God and loves others (see 1 John 4:7-11)! Will you come now by faith to the Crucified One for grace and mercy? "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him" (Psalm 2:12).
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726