We all have an appointment that we will have to keep someday, an appointment not one of us will be able to get out of. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to escape our date with "Death". Most of the time we picture "death" with a dark hooded cape...no eyes...bony fingers beckoning to us from beyond. I personally would like to picture him like Andrew on Touched By an Angel....a blond, hunk with a boyish grin that takes me by the hand and leads me through the light.
As we age...that date begans to dog at our heals. Our bodies begin to slow down and we can feel death's hot breath on the back of our neck. We start seeing signs that he's beginning to get interested in us. He leaves little notes all over the place. Now if you're in your twenties, you probably can't relate...but if you're my age (more than halfway through life) you can. :0)
I've been thinking about this subject quite a bit lately. Life happens and you lose some people you love. It often causes you to stop and ponder the things in life that you haven't dealt with before. So I have come up with a few questions that I think we need to stop and ask ourselves long before we have to go on this "date".
1. How can I get out of this appointment or '"date"? (Sorry...it ain't gonna happen!)
2. Where does he take me on this "date"?
3. Who's paying for this "date"?
4. Who's stupid idea was this any way?
Well, I think I'll start with the last question first. Would you believe me if I told you that the stupid idea began with you? We were meant to live forever in a perfect setting, in a perfect world. But man wanted to do things his own way...thus, disobedience in the Garden. Ecclesiastes 7:2 states, "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart."
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
Which brings me to question number 3. Who's paying for this "date"?
Well, guess what? God paid for this "date" himself. "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." Romans 4:28 Christ Jesus...who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." 2 Timothy 1:10.
In other words, though we still have to make our appointment with death...we never have to die!!! Do you get this? "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death.." Death has become a shadow....not a reality for us anymore. Shadows are not real. They have no substance. Likewise...death has no substance. It is like passing through a door. Christ has conquered our fear of death. Death will have been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:54-55.
Now for the question, "Where does he take me on this "date"?
Okay, this is where I have to tell you what God himself says...."What I think....or what I believe do not count when we are talking about eternity and where you will spend it. Everyone has a lot of beliefs on the subject of heaven...but I guess the only one that matters is what is the truth. All we have to understand what this truth is, is the Word of God, Jesus Christ. And Jesus states this in John 14:6 "I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through me." Over and over in Matthew, Jesus starts His sentences with the phrase "I tell you the truth..."
God offers us a gift...eternal life. But that gift comes with a very steep price...the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone. It's a gift that has been completed for everyone (though many choose not to accept it)....but to receive the benefits...you HAVE to accept it. You can't leave it on the table unopened and expect to get to use it the day of your appointed "date" with death like a get out of jail free card.
There is a heaven waiting after death. And it is more real than this life you walk around in right now. But there is a hell, also. And it's more real than you ever care to think about, either.
Revelation 20: 15 sadly states, "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
For some....the Date with Death will come when you are not expecting it. But...it will come. But for those who have accepted the one who paid for our "date" there is no longer any thing to fear. It will be a "date" that we look forward to.
1 Corinthians 15:26 says, The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Are you ready for your date?