For the Christian, faith and hope disappears in the presence of God. And, only love remains. For the unsaved, death and the hope of salvation based on personal merit will join with the agnostic belief that death is the end of existence. Both convictions will be self-convicting in the presence of Christ Jesus. The future time when only an endless waiting will remain not salvation or extinction.
Time is a construction and creation of God. Death as a curse encompasses the triple aspects of the physical, the spiritual, and the eternal. In the light of the revealed truth of God's Word, death and the word wait become synonyms: "n (plural waits) time spent waiting: a period of time spent while expecting something to happen. The wait seemed to go on forever" (Microsoft Encarta Dictionary, 2003).
Death, as ordained by God, when fully comprehended, may only be seen as an ad interim instrument of God. Death comes full circle from the Fall of Adam in Genesis to the abolishment of death in Revelation. Understood as such, death as experienced by the soul of man is a divinely decreed state of waiting.
In this age of grace, God, who himself is not bound by time, permissively "waits" upon the living to "obey the gospel of the saving grace of God." The redeemed wait until they are released from the flesh of Adam and the sin nature and, the time of completion when they are clothed in the same glorified body as Christ their Savior. As a result of Adam's sin, those who die without accepting the gift of forgiveness, eternal life, and the imputed righteousness of Christ must await sentencing when their full measure of torment in the eternal damnation of the second death [wait] is determined by Christ:
In dying [waiting] thou shalt die [wait] (Gen 2:17, literal Hebrew translation).
That which follows is a dramatized account of a most real future Judgment of the lost.
I will see you sooner or later, either nearby among the crowds of the blessed elect or at a distance. If at a distance - when a cold chill runs down my back - as my eyes find you naked in your evil and stripped of all borrowed goodness. Standing alone and clothed in a resurrected body fit for a criminal. Alone and small in front of a high, gleaming, glistening Great White Throne that shines with the glory of Christ Jesus seated in Judgment. Jesus the King of kings and the Lord of lords with an Iron Rod in His fist.
I watch as you bend your knee and confess that Jesus is Lord. He then cries out loudly, to the ends of Heaven, "I never knew you! Be gone from Me, you lawbreaker!" Thus, openly confirming the record your self-excluding sin of rejecting Him as the all sufficient Substitute for your rebellion and the Master of your destiny.
The attending angel blots out your name from the Book of Life. Another angel then reads off your unforgiven acts in unbelief and calls out each of the light filled occasions in your darkened life when the Holy Spirit witnessed through Saints the truth of the Gospel of the Grace of God that saves eternally.
Then, at the Throne, Heaven shrinks - and the degree of eternal anguish assigned to your fate, when announced by the King, becomes like a terrible judgment in a small room. On one side of the Throne the redeemed Saints of Heaven in unison, in multitudes, sing His praises in the minor chords of sorrow, the never to be told agonies only the glorified God-Man knows full well. Chords of sound from the natural world that He created. Chords the Saints learned in earthly sorrow. On the opposite side of the Throne, the Angels recite His praises in a host after host of ten thousand. Now, in a sustained thunderclap of accord, the singing Saints and the reciting Angels repeat the three line phrase, "Holy! Holy! Holy! - Holy! Holy! Holy! - Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!"
You stand erect, not bowed, your shoulders braced against your heaving sobs. During the thousand years or more that you spent with the condemned followers of religion, open rebels, and the lost from previous ages who were waiting on this day, you gained perfect recall and know your greatest sin was to spread the gospel of death, "for what seems right to a man but the end thereof is death." Truth has pierced through to your very soul. You know there is no higher Judge, there is no redemption for those who did not trust the One who was the Death of death for a forfeit life that now is yours to bear for all eternity. As you hear your own Requiem of Damnation, a river of regret, that Mercy can never answer, streams from your eyes and flows down the curves and hollows of your naked body of shame - then disappears into the dry stones you stand on. These, your last tears for all eternity.
Silently, in great reluctance, I see Christ pour your unclaimed eternal life in the Church, His Body, slowly into the bowl of the unredeemed, back into the sea of the lost. The life He exchanged for His Blood at the Cross, the exchange of His infinite capacity to suffer separation from His Father for your limited capacity to suffer separation from Him - for all eternity. The portion made out to His glory. It was never your portion. It was His gift with your name on it, a gift waiting for you to claim with your trust.
The twenty-four elders enter and surround you, each in turn says, "So be it." The last Amen over your soul. An Angel reads, "Close the Book, put out the Candle, ring the Bell." Another Angel closes the Book, the Light leaves the Throne, and a double note Bell tolls three times. Six notes for the mark of a man with no Christ for a Savior.
A Saint and an Angel from your life step out from the witnessing Host of Heaven. A loved one who prayed for your salvation, and a familiar face sent by Jesus to warn you. They lift you, first your weight, then themselves and carry you from the darkened Throne and then across the Gulf of Perdition to your final destination of endless, fruitless repentance. Where unrelieved torment, not torture, has been gaged to your degree of rebellion and this the worm that never dies - your eternal memory of the unforgiven sin that separates you from the Love that is life in Jesus Christ.
There in Ghenna, the final destination of the Darkness of Judgment, the Everlasting Lake of Fire, in solitude your soul will live a Second Death for all eternity, in waiting you will wait, in separation you will be separated, until the everlasting ages of the ages. In your willing self-confident religion of rejection you chose the fate of Satan. Satan, that ancient Serpent who strove in countless ways to deceive as many as would refuse an eternal salvation in the Light of the imputed Righteousness of Christ Jesus. His deception, your rejection, has led you into the final reality and personal responsibility of the truth of the just curse of the Fall.
"The soul that sins shall surely die [wait in separation from the love of Christ for all eternity]."
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Copyright 2007-2008 by David Coulon. Registered and released under CC license 3.0 2007-2008.
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