Vol. 7, No. 3
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Our nation paid tribute recently to a very popular former President of the United States of America who had passed from this life into eternity. There was much pomp and ceremony surrounding the various funeral services from our nation's capital to the state of California. Several years ago, a well known singer and performer died suddenly and unexpectantly at the age of 42. Many responded with a "I can't believe that he is dead." He was in the prime of his life and it seemed that he had many years ahead of him to continue in his profession. Here were two well known individuals known to the world, yet separated by age and influence due to their varied relationships to mankind. But both experienced that which is common to all--death
In this life, men are often separated from each other due to such factors as race, economics, social and educational status, but there is a common denominator that unites all men, and that is the grim reaper called death. The Holy Spirit reveals in Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (NKJV). Death is no respecter of persons. It matters not whether one is young or old, rich or poor, a king or a peasant, popular or unpopular; death eventually comes to every man and woman. Moses, in referring to the rebellious Israelites, stated, "if these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all, then the Lord has not sent me." In this verse Moses alluded to that which is common to all men--death. Even men who lived in the infancy of the human race and who lived long upon the earth had one thing in common, they died. It is said of Methuselah, "So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died" (Genesis 5:27). The Psalmist asked, "What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?" (Psalm 89:48). It was David who said to his dear friend Jonathan, "...But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death" (1 Samuel 20:3). In Ecclesiastes 9:5 we read these words, "For the living know that they shall die..." Life is so precious, frail and uncertain. Death on the other hand is ever present.
In death it is immaterial whether one is buried in a coffin of gold or wood, whether there is much pomp and ceremony or just a few words uttered by a friend. The most important thing to be considered is whether or not the deceased person was a child of God. In fact, that is all that really matters--for eternity!
Therefore, neither knowing the day nor the hour when Christ shall come again nor when death shall come, it behooves each one of us to set his house in order, that is, to give our lives completely to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in Christ Jesus that we have salvation and eternal life (2 Timothy 2:10; 1 John 5:11-12). As a penitent believer one should be immersed into Christ for remission of sins (Acts 2:36-38; Galatians 3:26-27). As a disciple of the Lord we must live faithfully the Christian life and heaven will be our eternal home (Revelation 2:10). By God's grace, the sting of death will be removed, and victory over the grave will be experienced by the children of God (1 Corinthians 15:54-58).