Monday, July 5, 2010

Time Is Running Out!

According to the United Nations Population Institute, over 155,000 people die every day around the world! This means that by the time you finish reading this tract, over five hundred people will have ceased to exist! Gone! Finished! No More! What if you happen to be one of them?

For the next five minutes, I want you to imagine what it would be like if these were your last moments alive! It’s a shocking thought, but more than thirty people in South Australia will step out from time into eternity today... then what?

Well, when you die, someone will place a sheet or a blanket over your head. An ambulance may take you to the hospital for an autopsy. The undertaker will be called, and arrangements will be made to place you in a grave. People will come to the funeral and shed tears over your lifeless body. They will look at your cold, blank face and mourn, but you will be gone. They will slowly drive to a cemetery with their headlights on and your body in a casket. At the cemetery, they will carry your coffin to a hole in the ground and lower it down. People will cry. The men will cover you with dirt and set a tombstone in place. Your name, the date of your birth, and the date your heart stopped beating will be on the stone. The people will leave, recover from their grief, and perhaps someday, forget that your body is even there. Not a pleasant thought, but true nonetheless!

Question is – if your heart were to give way right now - would you be ready? When your time is up, do you know where you are going? We know where your body is going, but what about your eternal soul? Have you thought about that? Do you think you will go to heaven? More importantly, do you know that you will? Take a moment to think about it...

The bible is very clear about what awaits a man when he dies... the judgement of a just and holy God! "It is appointed unto to men once to die, and after this the judgement" It is on this day that the Lord will "execute judgement on all and convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness they have done, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him". He "will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness, and will disclose the purpose of the heart". What will God expose in your heart on that day?

If you are like the majority of people, who see "all their ways as pure in their own eyes" you will no doubt be thinking to yourself "I should be alright, I’m a pretty good person". But God doesn’t just settle for pretty good, he demands sinless perfection! Trouble is all you’ve ever done is sin! It’s like the bible says: "there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who seeks God, all have turned away; there is no one who does good, no not one!"

To prove the point, let’s examine ourselves against God’s perfect standard - the Ten Commandments - but before we do, please be honest with yourself and listen to you conscience! The 9th commandment says, "You shall not lie", yet how many countless lies have you told in your life? The 8th commandment says, "You shall not steal", yet if you think hard enough you’ll begin to remember the things you have stolen! The 7th commandment says, "You shall not commit adultery", Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whoever looks at someone lustfully has committed adultery with them already in their heart". Have you ever looked at someone with that desire; someone in the street, a neighbour or co-worker, or an actor or actress steaming up the screen?

The verdict: like the rest of us, you are a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart in the eyes of God and deserving of hell!

Think about it: your soul, in hell, for eternity! Does that concern you? It should terrify you! But there is hope!

Even though God knows what you have done (and what you have become) he is not willing that you should perish - so he made a way by which you can be saved from his judgement!

Two thousand years ago, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins and the punishment we deserve! It was God’s plan that Christ would live a perfectly sinless life (something you and I have not done) and then lay down his life for those who would come to him to be saved. And that’s exactly what happened! Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life before God and man and then was condemned to die by crucifixion on a cross. Three days later he arose from the dead, defeating death, showing that he has the power to give life to all who would come to him! But how does He save us? Well, you could say it like this… we broke God’s law and Jesus has paid our fine! He bore our sins in His body on that cross! He suffered and died in our place! God punished Him for our sins so that we could be pardoned. Make no mistake friends, God will punish every single sinner who has ever been, now is, or will yet be! He is a holy and righteous God and will see to it that Justice is done! But he is also loving and merciful! For those of us who repent (turn from our sin, our rebellion, our unbelief) and believe (call on, trust in) Christ to save them - Christ will be punished in their place as their substitute. For those who refuse to humble themselves and repent - there will be no substitute. They will be punished for their unbelief and rebellion! What will it be?

Look to him for salvation or die in your sins and spend eternity in hell. The choice is yours.