TO DIE IS GAIN

Let us look at a few Scriptures relating to life on God’s earth. This first Scripture makes it clear that God knows each one of us before we were born and He knows how we will live out our days.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.Psalms 139:16

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalms 90:12

David asked God to teach Him. We need to have prayer filled lives and teachable hearts. Note: David wanted a heart of wisdom.

For if, because of one man’s (Adam) trespass, death reigned through that one man , much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17

There is only one way we can reign in this life. It is when we receive through Jesus Christ the abundance of grace (Holy Spirit) and the free gift of righteousness.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.Philippians 1:21-23

It really does come down to how much do we treasure our Lord Jesus Christ. Do we treasure Him above all life’s earthly pleasures? Note the two life options for Christians: fruitful labour for Jesus on this earth which Paul obviously enjoyed or to depart and be with Jesus Christ which he acknowledged was the better option.

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.Hebrews 9:27

We all face death but how different is the fate of those that reject God’s offer of eternal life through His Son. Judgement, the Lake of Fire, punishment and eternal death. Unbelievers should be fearful of the fate that awaits them after death. If they knew perhaps some would repent. Let us do our best to reach as many as God brings across our path with the Gospel of Christ.

DEATH IS NOT THE END: WE WILL DANCE AGAIN

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.2 Corinthians 5:1-5

Social media was saturated with a beautiful video featuring a former prima ballerina in a wheelchair. In this viral clip Marta C. González Saldaña, who has Alzheimer’s, was filmed listening to music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Remarkably, when Saldaña hears the music she is able to remember and relive the choreography of the ballet she once performed. Seated in her wheelchair at a senior residential facility in Spain, she moves her arms to the music with a look of pure joy on her face.

The video, which was shared by numerous celebrities, intersperses footage of Saldaña with a young ballerina dancing on a stage. Although their ease of movement is somewhat juxtaposed, both women display the same passion for dancing. When Dan Walker, a British TV presenter shared the story, he said: “It shows the power of music and is a beautiful reminder that there is a person behind the disease.

We seem to inherently know there is more to a person than the surface-level brokenness we initially see at the beginning of this video. And I think this deep truth finds a home within the biblical world view expressed in the verse from 2 Corinthians 5:1-5.

FEW FIND THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).

Sadly, many churches are turning away from the true gospel of repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Saviour, They have compromised with the world’s values – gay marriage, even acceptance of transgender leaders. There are many who deny Jesus is the only way to inherit eternal life.

The following Scriptures describe their fate.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Peter 2:1-2).

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:13-15).

“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (2 Peter 3:7)

The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O LORD, are on high forever. For behold, your enemies, O LORD, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. (Psalms 92:6-9)

“The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked He will destroy.” (Psalms 145:20)

“But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.” (Psalms 37:20)

Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace. but transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.” (Psalms 37:37-38)

“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:7-9)

WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT

God’s Word is truth: we will all stand before Jesus Christ and be judged for what we have done with our lives on earth. Even the saved, who are raised in the first resurrection, rewards will be given to those who have served faithfully. The unsaved will be raised at the second resurrection and face Jesus Christ at the White Throne Judgement. Their fate is in the Lake of Fire where punishment and eventual destruction, as the above Scriptures describe, is their end.