Two Ways to Die

Our options

So often in the Bible we see a stark contrast between two and only two mutually-exclusive alternatives: the wise and foolish builders, the broad and narrow ways, God’s wrath and God’s mercy, etc.

Note this contrast:

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

What a contrast!

What is the deciding factor that determines which way we die? Our relationship to Jesus. Without Him, we have no forgiveness and we will die in our sins.

But if we have put on Christ, then that’s how we’ll die: in Him. Those who live and die in Christ have had their sin problem effectively removed by His blood (Romans 5:9; 1 John 1:7). No sin stands as a barrier between them and their holy God.

Lessons for us today: 1) The only way to be ready for death is to be in Christ. 2) The only way to be in Christ is through faith in Him and obedience to Him (Mark 16:15-16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Hebrews 5:8-9). There is no other way.

If we have put on Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:27), then let’s give top priority to: 1) maintaining our connection with Christ, never losing our grip on Him, our only hope (John 15:6; 2 Peter 1:3-11; 2:20-22); and 2) helping others find their hope in Him (1 Corinthians 9:19-22).

Then both we and they can fall asleep in Jesus.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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How Important is the Body?

The body: present and future

In this life we who are Christians are “at home in the body” (2 Corinthians 5:6). At death our spirit is separated from our body (James 2:26). After death we are “absent from the body” and are “present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

When Christ returns He “will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory . . .” (Philippians 3:21; see 1 Corinthians 15:42-58).

In this life we dwell in a body that is mortal (capable of dying). After the resurrection we will be given an immortal body (untouchable by death). Amazing!

The proper use and abuse of the body

“Or do you not know,” Paul writes, “that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit . . . and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Paul urges believers “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).

How then could we let sin reign in our bodies or use our eyes/ears/hands/feet/tongue/etc. as “instruments of unrighteousness” (Romans 6:12-13)?

“. . . the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13).

The body in view of eternity

Someday each of us will be “recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

So what we do in and by means of our bodies is of eternal consequence!

“. . . may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Last Sunrise Over Sodom

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Sunrises come so routinely, so . . . daily.

Would we take a sunrise lightly if we knew it was our last?

The sun had risen over the earth . . . . Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven . . .” (Genesis 19:23-24, emphasis added).

Did they suspect it was their last sunrise?

“. . . they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling . . . it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30).

Some sunrise will be our last—either the day Jesus comes or the day we die.

So shouldn’t we live this day as if it were our last?

It could well be.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Deadline Living

How long?

Sometimes patients hear, “I’m sorry, but you have only a few months to live, at most. I suggest you get your affairs in order.”

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One day Isaiah brought King Hezekiah this message: “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live’” (2 Kings 20:1).

Hezekiah was only about 39.

He prayed. He wept.

God granted him 15 more years.

How well?

Ironically,  most of the good we know about Hezekiah belonged to his first 39 years, while all the bad we know about him occurred in those final 15! (2 Kings 20:12-19; 2 Chronicles 32:24-33).

As someone said, “It’s not how long we live that matters, but how well.”

If you knew your time was running out, what changes would you make?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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