Toward the end of life, Daniel Webster related how once he attended a church service in a quiet country village. The clergyman, a simple-hearted, pious old man, stood and pronounced his text with the utmost simplicity and earnestness, “My friends, we can die but once.”
Daniel Webster commenting on his sermon, later said “Frigid and weak as these words might seem, at once they were to me among the most impressive and awakening I ever heard.” It is easy to think of others having to keep this appointment with death, but difficult to remember that we, too must keep this same appointment. When we visit a dying friend, we are conscious of a certain solemnity that gathers about such persons. Death is appointed for all, and the questions of its occurrence is merely a matter of time. Other appointments in life we can neglect or break, but here is an appointment that no man can ignore, no man can break.
If physical death were the only consequence of a life lived apart from God, we would not have so much to fear, but the Bible warns that there is the second death, which is the eternal separation from God.
However, there is a bright side. As the Bible pronounces hell for the sinner, it also promises heaven for the saint. A saint has been described as a sinner who has been forgiven. The subject of heaven is much easier to accept than the subject of hell. And yet the bible teaches both.
RELATED Bible text
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13,14 NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life… Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son… Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. (John 3:16,18,36 NIV)
Man compared to Withering Grass
All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field, the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever. (1Pe 1:24 KJ21, [refers back to Isaiah 40:6-8])
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it. For in the day that thou eatest thereof, Thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17 KJ21)
Out of man’s control
There is no man who hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit, neither hath he power in the day of death. And there is no discharge in that war, neither shall wickedness deliver those who are given to it. (Ecclesiastes 8:8 KJ21)
LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am. (Psalms 39:4 KJ21)
Christ conquered death at the cross
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJ21)
For to this end Christ both died, and arose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. (Romans 14:9 KJ21)
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9 KJ21)
Do you look forward to dying?
For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain… For I am in a strait between the two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better; (Philippians 1:21,23 KJ21)
If you were to die tonight and stand before God and He were to ask you why should I let you into my heaven? What would you say?
Many will say to Me in that Day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works?' And then will I profess unto them, `I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.' (Mt 7:22-23)
Man’s righteousness can not save him
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)
then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7 KJ21)
We must become immortal
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1Co 15:53)
We MUST BELIEVE IN THE SON
For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
We MUST accept the gift
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23 KJ21)
For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
WE MUST CONFESS OUR SINS
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
WE MUST REPENT (AGREE WITH GODS REPULSION) OF OUR SINS
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone must come to repentance. (2Pe 3:9 NIV)
WE DON’T ACCEPT HIM, HE ACCEPTS US ON HIS TERMS NOT OURS AND HE SAYS NOW IS HIS ACCEPTED TIME
(For He saith, "I have heard thee at an accepted time, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee." Behold, now is the accepted time! Behold, now is the day of salvation!) (2Co 6:2)
YOU MUST HEAR CHRIST KNOCKING AT THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART AND THEN YOU MUST OPEN THE DOOR AND INVITE HIM IN.
Behold I stand at the door and knock, If anyone hears my voice and invites me in, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me. (Rev 3:20 KJV)
OH GOD AND HEAVENLY FATHER, I KNOW THAT I AM A SINNER. I KNOW THAT YOU SENT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO THIS WORLD TO LIVE WITHOUT SIN AND TO DIE ON A CROSS TO PAY THE PENALY FOR MY SINS. I KNOW THAT MY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS IS AS FILTHY RAGS AND THAT I AM POWERLESS TO AVOID THE SECOND DEATH. AND THAT I NEED CHRISTS FORGIVENESS. LORD JESUS MY SINS NAILED YOU TO THE CROSS. PLEASE FORGIVE ME AND COME INTO MY LIFE AND FELLOWSHIP WITH ME AS YOUR WORD PROMISES. AND DIRECT MY PATHS FROM NOW ON. YOU MAY TAKE MY LIFE AND DO WITH IT AS YOU WILL. AMEN.
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This tracts author is Ray Luff of Bible Door Tracts. The opinions contained in this tract do not necessarily represent the opinions of Riverdrive Park Bible Chapel where Ray is in fellowship. All Bible references are from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson unless otherwise noted.