Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 23 Number 10 October 2021
Page 9

Are You Afraid to Die?

Ernest S. Underwood

Ernest S. UnderwoodThe evolutionist boldly proclaims, “There is no God.” By this claim, he egotistically claims absolute knowledge of everything. If he does not so claim, how does he know that the very thing he admits to not knowing is or could be the Almighty God of the Bible? So, the two statements exhaust the entirety of the subject (i.e., “There is no God” and “The fool has said in his heart there is no God”). With this in mind, and with the fact that the evolutionist has exactly zero (0) proof for his position, let us consider the fact that all humanity – male and female – who has ever lived on this earth, which was created by Him, will one day meet God to be judged by Him. In the Book of Revelation, the apostle John wrote:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (20:11-15 NKJV)

Now, let’s look at that question asked above: “Are you afraid to die?” The question is neither “I don’t want to die,” nor is it “I don’t want to die anytime.” The Bible plainly tells all, whether one knows it or not, that death is a certainty to all; death awaits everyone [unless the Lord Jesus returns first ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]. The old, the young and the infant die. The Christian and the non-Christian, including the hater of God, die. The writer of the Book of Hebrews stated this fact in a rather blunt way. He wrote, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). He did not say that before one dies there will be several warnings; nor did he say that when one dies, if he has not been obedient of God, He will just let that one become non-existent. Neither did the writer of Hebrews say that God would give anyone a second chance after death – as do some denominational churches teach today. It’s death followed by the Judgment. Period! Friend, get up right now, go to your bathroom mirror, look yourself squarely in the face, and then say with a calm voice, “You, there in the mirror, are going to die one day, just as surely as you are looking at your own image.” Let that sink in. Now, ask yourself, “Am I in a right relationship with the God Who created me in His image, or am I at this point in life one who has not been obedient to the Creator?”

The Judgment will be according to one’s works, whether or not he or she was in this life obedient from the heart to God’s commands. Each of us will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21) or “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Don’t have the attitude that was displayed by a young female on a placard in a protest march. It read in bold words, “BOUND FOR HELL, AND PROUD OF IT.” Take a wild guess to what God will say to her if she doesn’t repent of this ungodly attitude, according to what He has said that He will say on that great and terrible day!

Not saved, but want to be, then study the following outline of a sermon that has in one way or another been preached thousands of times by faithful preachers of God’s Word. Then, obey what it teaches. This sermon never has been preached by a preacher of any denominational church.

What Must I Do to Be Saved?

Introduction:

  1. This question was asked essentially four times in the New Testament.
  2. In this lesson we shall read each occurrence within the context where it is found, and then, examine the context and the answer given in each account.
  3. It is our sincere hope that each one will listen with a view to eternity, and that each member of the congregation will learn this lesson so well that he or she can teach it to a friend.

Scriptures:

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. (Acts 2:36-41)

As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6)

And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ (Acts 22:11-16)

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. (Acts 16:31-34)

Discussion:

  1. Remission of sins follows repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).
  2. About 3,000 souls received the Word and were baptized on the birthday of the church (Acts 2:41).
  3. Saul of Tarsus (Paul) was told to go into Damascus to await being told what he “must do” (Acts 9:6).
  4. He was told to be baptized to wash away his sins (Acts 22:16).
  5. The belief or faith that saves involves being baptized (Acts 16:31-34).
  6. Rejoicing comes after baptism (Acts 16:31-34).

Invitation:

  1. The question that each person must ask himself or herself is, “Have I applied these passages about salvation or redemption to myself?”
  2. Further, ask yourself, “Am I ready to convey the good news of the saving Gospel to others (e.g., family, friends, classmates, coworkers, etc.)?
  3. Remember the eternal disposition of your soul depends on the choices made in this life – and there are no second chances.


The Prophet Who Endured

Mark T. Tonkery

Mark T. TonkeryWhen we think of endurance, we do not usually think of the prophets of the Bible. Many times, we just read about them in short moments of their lives, such as Jonah, Obadiah, Nathan or even Elijah. We know really very little about them and sometimes do not know if they ministered their whole lives or just for a short time. Yet, there is one prophet that the Bible talks about who ministered during the reign of five kings of Judah. God called him while he was still in his mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). He was a prophet for more than forty years to kings, princes, false prophets, priests and people of all social classes. He preached and prophesied with many tears and was also known as the “Weeping Prophet.” He loved people and wanted the lost to return to God. Most of the people he loved mocked him, were hostile and apathetic toward his message. Often, the people ignored his messages and threatened his life. He even saw fellow prophets being murdered. He himself was beaten and put in prison many times (Jeremiah 37:15).

One highlight in this prophet’s life was that he saw the revival in the nation of Judah under the reign of Josiah, only to be grieved again when he saw the Jews returning to idolatry. He warned and warned the nation of Judah about the coming of the Babylonians, and then he witnessed his prophecies come true, as the Babylonians came and destroyed Judah and the Temple.

He was from a family of Levite priests and was a very honest person, who had a very deep relationship with God. He did not want the people of Judah to receive the judgment of God, and he was hoping that the people of Judah would repent. With the coming judgment upon Judah, God forbid him to marry (Jeremiah 16:2). Throughout the book with his name on it, it shows his grief, sorrow and at times his loneliness. Yet, he was dedicated to serving God.

If you have not guessed by now, this prophet was none other than Jeremiah. He was a prophet who endured, even though at times he wept and wanted to give up (Jeremiah 9:2; 20:1-18). He, however, never did give up. Although we do not have a record of his death, everything we know about Jeremiah points us to believe that he died as a faithful follower of Almighty God.

What an example of endurance and faithfulness! He never gave up. He never surrendered and turned his back on God like the rest of the crowd. He endured. He was faithful. He was righteous.

What an example for us, as we run the Christian race and face many temptations, trials and discouragements. May we have the faith and the endurance Jeremiah exhibited. Like Jeremiah, we are never promised that life will be free of trouble or struggles. Hebrews 12:1 even encourages us by saying, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (NKJV). May we stay faithful to God, keep running the race and keep abiding in God’s Word, just like Jeremiah the prophet who endured.


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