Life's Most Critical Preparation
"It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."1
In speaking about his "Twilight Years" actor Clint Eastwood said, "As I enjoy my twilight years, I am often struck by the inevitability that the party must end. There will be a clear, cold morning when there isn't any 'more.' No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat. It seems to me that one of the important things to do before that morning comes, is to let every one of your family and friends know that you care for them by finding simple ways to let them know your heartfelt beliefs and the guiding principles of your life so they can always say, 'He was my friend, and I know where he stood.'"2
I was born a few years after Mr. Eastwood, but I, too, am realizing more and more just how short life is. The critical issue for me is not only that my family and friends know that I love and care for them, but most of all that when my life on earth is ended and I stand before God to give an account of my life, I want to live now so that I will be sure to hear God say to me: "Well done, good and faithful servant…. Enter into the joy of the Lord."3
For those who have never made their life right with God and have asked for and received His forgiveness for all their sins, I can’t even begin to image the horror of what it is going to be like when they stand before God at the end of their days on earth and hear Him say to them: "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels...."4 Even some church members who haven't asked for and received God's forgiveness will say to God in a vain attempt to defend themselves, "'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!'"5
God has made it very clear in His Word, the Holy Bible, saying: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."6 To underscore the importance of this warning, God's Word also says, "As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."7
If you have never confessed your sinfulness to God, asked Him for His forgiveness, and accepted His Son, Jesus Christ—the One who died on the cruel Roman Cross in your place and mine to pay the just penalty for all our sins so we can be freely and justly forgiven for all our sins, be sure to do that TODAY! As God's Word also says, "Behold NOW is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation."8 For further help to do this, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" online at: www.actsweb.org/christian. Don't delay. Be sure and do this now--today!
Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You enough for loving me enough to give Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place to pay the penalty for all my sins so that I could be freely forgiven, and receive Your gift of eternal life to spend eternity in Heaven with You forever. Please help me to be absolutely certain that I am fully prepared for life after death, and so live today that when I stand before You to give an account of my life, I will hear Your welcome words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.' Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV). 2. Clint Eastwood. 3. Matthew 25:21 (NKJV). 4. Matthew 25:41 (NKJV). 5. Matthew 7:22-23 (NKJV). 6. 2 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NKJV). 7. Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV). 8. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NKJV).