Anticipating something is and can be awkward and at times a very unnerving event. There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “Anticipation of death is worse than death itself.” How true is this statement? Nobody wants to die who is relatively healthy and stable of mind. And for a lot of us there is times when we come face to face with our own mortality. This could come from a family member or close friend’s funeral. Some bad news from the doctor or maybe a close call with death itself. Recently I have had to officiate two young adult’s funeral and one mature adult who was in their nineties. To the oldest of the three who lived a long life I am sure at the end he thought life had gone by way too quick when all of a sudden his wait for death was over. To the younger adults, I am sure they had thought death was a long way off; living making plans for tomorrow. Then all of a sudden they found themselves at the front of the line face to face with death. Ecclesiastes 7:2 “Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart” (NKJV). The Bible teaches man to think on his own end, knowing it is coming. Let me ask a silly question, silly because no one really wants to answer it. Are ready for that ride, for death? Looking back on that day I do not remember the conversation or every little detail about my wait in line to ride. The thing I do remember is I was in line to ride, and eventually that day I was going to ride. We need to understand this about our own death we are in line to die. We do not know when we will be ahead of the line, but we do know we are going to ride, (die).
To the Christian this is a wondrous exciting reality to come. Now hear me, I am not saying we go around longing to die. No, we know we are just in line to ride, and on the other side of that ride is eternity with the one who created us and loves us with a perfect love. To the Christian, death is friend who, when God says it is time to die, will brings us home where everlasting joy, peace, love, and Jesus is. Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (NKJV). Be honest do you think of that day, the day when you come face to face with God our Father? That day we actually get to be completely free from all sin, death, pain, hurt, and begin our eternal life with our Lord Jesus face to face. Now that is a ride worth riding, and knowing the end of the ride makes even the scary parts of the ride worth every uncertainty, twist, and turn. The truth be told this life we are living now is not life at all, but judgement. Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sin.” This world is full sickness, death, hate, disease, and all things evil, because of sin and God’s judgement against that sin this world will pass away. The sad thing is there are those living in this life of sin believing this is all there is and worse yet their even expecting this life to bring them lasting joy and happiness. In a broken world that is impossible, and in reality this life is just a door way into eternity. Sad to think there are those who will travail this plain in all its brokenness only to take that ride into judgement where they will be separated for eternity from God and all that is good. The good news is it does not have to be that way. Instead they can cry out to Jesus and know Him as both Lord and Savior. We were created for God, and He is the only one who can truly give us fulfillment, joy, perfect love, and acceptance. John 6:35 “And Jesus said to them, I AM the bread of life, he who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst” (NKJV). Jesus is life and once we understand this we will no longer live for this life of brokenness we have now. Instead we be given a new life in Christ with a desire for Him looking towards the reuniting with our heavenly Father. So are you ready for the ride, (Death)?
Here is how you answer the question, “Are you ready for the ride?” Will you enter into the joy of the Lord on your day when you die, or will you be cast out into outer darkness? God has given us a guide line to show if we are righteous, (good). To truly understand why we need a savior we need to understand who we are in relation to God. The guide line God has given us are His ten commandments. Ask your self have you broken them? Let’s go over a few and see. Have you ever lied, stolen, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman in lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." If you've done these things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart, and the Bible warns that He will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But God is not willing that any should perish. Sinners broke God's Law and Jesus paid their fine by suffering and dying on the cross. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, repent and trust Jesus, and God will give you eternal life as a free gift. Then show your gratitude by obeying His command to be baptized. Make sure to also join a church, and read the Bible daily.
I pray you are ready to come face to face with Jesus and every now and then looking forward to our turn to enjoy the greatest thrill ride that leads us right into His arms.