Monday, March 3
Eternity, death, hell and the grave....
My husband is teaching through the book of John in Sunday School and he came across a verse that got me to thinking. People have all sorts of ideas and thoughts about eternity, death, hell, and the grave. I told somebody not too long ago, that they can't afford to be wrong about these things. I have 18 replies that I have heard the lost give when they are asked about their eternity. Many of these very things have been said to me at one time or another. I didn't make them up.
If you are not saved, born again, and on your way to heaven and know it for sure, and you read this, maybe it will clear some things up for you.
If you are a Christian, maybe it will help you have some ready answers when you deal with those that don't know the Lord.
I am not pretending that this is exhaustive, I am sure there are many more verses to support what I have written, but I don't want to write a book here!
I will number them so it's easy to keep track of where you are, I will give the lost person reply, then I will answer it.
***1. I don't want to think on this at all. I'm young. I'm not going to die soon.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:You will die, you do not know when, there will be a judgment, you better be ready.
***2. I'm better than I am bad, so I will go to heaven. I've never killed anybody and I pay my bills.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.It is Christ alone that saves us. Not our works. How would we ever know if we had done enough? Works do not justify.
***3. I don't believe there is a heaven or hell. We just die and that is it.
Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Psalms 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.If one doesn't believe a warning of thin ice, does that make the ice thick? The ice is still thin no matter what they believe about it. God knew there would be fools that would not believe in Him.
***4. Hell couldn't be any worse than living here.......
Matthew 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.You think hell couldn't be any worse because you do not understand what an eternity in hell will really mean.
***5. Be sincere in what you believe. Everyone seeks God in their own way. Just be faithful. There are many ways to heaven, just like there are many ways to Kansas City.
Romans 10:1 ¶ Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
John 17:17 ¶ Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So, somebody is excited about what they believe. They may even write a book. They tell others what they think. They might even be a member of a mainline denomination that is accepted as 'church' in the good old USA. Zeal does not mean truth. We can be very excited about all the wrong things. Do not let zeal and excitement get mixed up with what God's Word says. Sometimes it is two totally different things. There is one way to the Father, and that is through Jesus. Not sincerity in a false doctrine. (of which there are many)
***6. I've kept the 10 Commnandments.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
And we WOULD boast. Would we ever. Look at what I did. God knew our wicked hearts would take credit for 'making' it to heaven. It is all of Him, and none of me. Nobody has kept the 10 Commandments. Few people even know them, little lone keep them. If you have ever taken one small thing that did not belong to you, you have broken a commandment. The Bible says if we offend in one point, we are guilty of all. So you say it was a small thing, just how large of a thing do you have to steal before you are guilty?
***7. I'll get things right on my death bed.
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish
Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
You do not have a promise of tomorrow. Repent now when you have the chance. Even 10 minutes from now may be too late. Turn while you can. It has been said that those that have a death bed repentance, and get better, tend to forget God. Just how sincere will you be on your deathbed, if you care not now about your soul?
***8. I was baptized when I was a baby.
1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
There are verses throughout the whole New Testament that explain what true baptism is. In doing so, it also explains what it is not. Baptism does not put away the filth of the flesh, it comes after salvation, it does not bring salvation. Getting an unknowing baby wet with any kind of water in a religious service does not count for any saving grace.
***9. I go to church……….
11Corin. 13: 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Since when did going to church, make one a Christian? Shall I attend a rodeo and become a bull? Or a symphony and become a violinist? Going somewhere does not make you anything.
***10. I’ve turned over a new leaf.
Matthew 7: 21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Changing things on the outside does not change the inside. We can say Lord, Lord and our heart be far from Him. We can do good things, attend religious services, quit drinking, smoking and cussing, but that will not change our heart.
11 Corin. 5: 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
You ever notice how a leaf will turn over at the slightest bit of wind? If your change did not come about because you accepted Christ as your Savior, your leaf will blow away.
***11. When I die, I will reason with God. He will listen to all I have to say.
John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
You have to live to believe. When you are dead it is too late. There is no place in the Bible that tells us of anyone that got their heart right after death.
Romans 10: 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Any verse speaking of salvation in the Bible speaks of the person being alive. There will be no reasoning after death.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Reason NOW. Do not wait.
***12. Salvation is a journey. I’m just not there yet.
John 3: 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The spiritual birth is likened to the physical birth. The Lord used many things in the Word to help us understand a great truth. (Bread of Life) Either you are physically born, or you are not. Being spiritually born is not a journey, it doesn’t happen over a period of time, it is not a process.
Believing, repenting, turning, confessing only takes a moment. Maybe lots of thought goes before, but the actual salvation experience is not a long process.
***13. I’m too bad. God doesn’t want me. I’m too rotten to go to heaven.
Romans 5: 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Romans 6: 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Hebrews 7: 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
A sinner, at the uttermost, saved from wrath which we deserve, enemies, yet reconciled. We can be justified and saved……….and God Be Thanked! Nobody deserves it, it is a gift.
***14. The churches are full of hypocrites.
Romans 14: 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
11 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Job 8:13 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite‘s hope shall perish:
Do not let hypocrites keep you from hearing the Word……..besides that, you don’t have to GO to church to be saved……….it is a place to learn and grow after you are saved. After you are saved, you will learn that you don’t need to worry about hypocrites. They will have to answer for their wrongs, just as you will. We don’t let hypocrites keep us from going other places……….the world is FULL of them.
***15. I AM a Christian.
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
11Corin. 5: 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Romans 12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Colossians 3: 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Maybe, just maybe, these things are not apparent OR true in your life. If you are a Christian, why don’t others know it? You should be different, not conformed to the world, acceptable, no more anger, wrath and malice, if you have put off the old man, why can’t others see it in you? If you have been saved, these things will be real in your life.
***16. I don’t know what to believe…..there are so many religions!
John 5: 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
John 8: 12 ¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 8: 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
11Timothy 3: 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
You CAN know truth, you can find it, you can be sure, you can be wise unto salvation, you can be thoroughly furnished, you don’t have to walk in darkness, you can have light.
***17. I don’t want to be a Christian, they don’t have any fun.
John 10: 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
1 Peter 1: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
11 Corin. 10: 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
John 12: 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Who gets to define fun anyway? The world thinks they are having fun, but their blinded eyes cannot see. God’s ways are not our ways, but God’s ways are best. I did not become a Christian until I was around 20……..I have experienced the world’s fun, and there is no comparison to the true joy a Christian can experience.
***18. A loving God would not send people to hell.
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Isaiah 59: 1 ¶ Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
Romans 5:19 For as by one man‘s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Do not blame it on the Lord. There is a way to escape.
***18. It is a personal thing between God and I.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
If you are a Christian, surely you have been taught to share the gospel, if it is hidden, it is hidden from the lost. Hide it no more. If you are not saved, you will consider my feet beautiful!