Death is the common denominator which cuts across race, religion, social status, ethnicity, education, age, gender, birth origin, or even morality; everybody dies. It is that one appointment none of us will be late for or delay the death angel's arrival. There is no bribe that can be offered or impassioned plea to prolong the inevitable for more time when the last grain in the hourglass of our life has emptied. Indeed, it would seem to be appropriate to seriously consider what kind of record we are writing in the book of our LIFE. Every newspaper across America and doubtless in other countries around the globe contains a personal section called Obituaries, which are brief overviews [biographies], maybe a couple of sentences or a large section, sometimes including a photo, about peoples lives and the impact their untimely passing [in many cases] has upon the survivors and loved ones they left behind. The endearing and emotional sentiments would make one think that all, or almost all of these departed souls will fly away to be with the LORD in Heaven; but is this the case?
John 5: 28-29
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the grave will hear His [MY] voice and come forth-those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation [damnation].
John 8: 21a, 24
Then Jesus [Yeshua] said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come. Therefore I say to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He [Moshiach/Savior], you will die in your sins.
2 Corinthians 5: 10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ [Moshiach], that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Revelation 22: 10
And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give every one according to his work (Cp. Matthew 16: 27).
Revelation 20: 11-12, 15
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and 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 [their] books. And anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
NOTE: There are people who believe in an eleventh hour, last minute death-bed confession after spurning or ignoring the invitation of divine grace, it is because they procrastinate and put off the day of salvation, but a principle to consider is found in the following:
Hebrews 3: 7-9a
Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me (Cp. verse 15; 4: 7b).
NOTE: Ok, but some will contend that all you have to do is just call upon the LORD to save you but here is what rightly dividing the word of God says in the matter, as in the following:
Romans 10: 13-15a, 8-9
How 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 [learn] without a preacher [or the Bible]? And how shall they preach unless they are sent [or called for]? But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus [Yeshua] and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Believe-1 a: to have a firm religious faith [or the basis for one]; 2: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something [or in someone, such as God] 1 b: to accept the word or evidence.
Question: Could someone in their final hour of life on this earth and taking their last breath of air suddenly acquire or manifest the requisite mental elements of a rational mind and a purposeful decision to be saved out of a deep and profound sense of being a sinner who repents or is it instead, a desperate and spurious last minute attempt borne out of 'unbelief' and hardness of heart or shame, perhaps even regret, as a guilt-trip to masquerade a lifetime given to sin, rebellion and rejection of God's love and mercy; knowing that tomorrow for them will never arrive and there are no more chances left?
NOTE: To produce unequivocal evidence on this very point regarding whether a person wants to change inwardly, let's take a look at the Pharaoh of Egypt's encounter with Moses. Pharaoh's heart grew hard (Cp. Exodus 8: 19b); Pharaoh told Moses to intercede to God on his behalf but he didn't change (Cp. Exodus 8: 28b, 32); Pharaoh confessed that he had sinned and was wicked, but he still resisted God (Cp. Exodus 9: 34b-35); Again Pharaoh said that he had sinned against the LORD God and Moses and wanted Moses to entreat God on his behalf to forgive his sin, but he remained obstinate (Cp. Exodus 10: 16-17, 20); Pharaoh let the children of Israel depart Egypt and asked Moses to bless him, but his heart was hardened yet again to the end. (Cp. Exodus 12: 30-32; 14: 5).
2 Corinthians 7: 10
For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow [regret/remorse] of the world works death.
Hebrews 12: 17
For you know that afterward, when he [Esau] wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
2 Corinthians 6: 2
For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
NOTE: There is a window of opportunity that God allows for every person to choose His offer of grace and salvation but it is a finite one and sooner or later, God's justice and wrath will take center stage and mercy is no longer available.
Galatians 6: 7
Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Proverbs 14: 1a
Fools mock at sin.
Proverbs 1: 26
I will also laugh at your calamity. I will mock when your terror comes. When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you (Cp. verses 28-31).
Hosea 8: 7a
They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind [tornado].
NOTE: to those who have been told to pray "THE SINNER'S PRAYER" should read below:
John 9: 31
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him.
Isaiah 59: 1-2
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor is His ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
Job 27: 8-9
For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life? Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him?
2 Kings 20: 1-5
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said, "Thus says the LORD: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live,' " Then he [Hezekiah] turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I walked before you in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle of the court, that the word of the LORD came to him [again], saying, "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you will go up to the house [Temple] of the LORD.
CONCLUSION: This above passage encapsulates the main point of the study as it pertains to believers, namely, when King Hezekiah was told of his impending death, he had a record to fall back on of good works [fruit] that could be reviewed by God which was so impressive as to reverse the prior divine edict; and God added an additional 15 years to his life (verse 6a). How many of us could tell the LORD to remember our walk of faith before Him in truth, with a loyal heart, and that we accomplished the right things according to His will? The prophet didn't even make it halfway to the town gate before he had to turn around and go back to give King Hezekiah the latest divine newsflash. What he [King Hezekiah] didn't do is remind God about was how religious he was, or how much he prayed using eloquent and lofty platitudes, or how devoutly he worshipped the LORD in the Temple.
Revelation 14: 12-13b
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus [Yeshua]. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, "Write, "Blessed are the dead that die in the LORD from henceforth: Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them."
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July 11, 2011
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