Scriptural Thoughts for Practical Living
"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,"
ARE YOU READY?
Thank God for life today! As I reflect back on this year, I can't help but think of all the "celebrities" that have passed away in 2016 alone! One Hollywood star passed away two weeks ago while playing sports with his son. On Christmas Day, a world renowned musician died, at only fifty-three years old. And the latest, a well-known star from a one of the biggest movie franchises of all time, died at the age of sixty years old. All of these people had one thing in common: they all had made their "mark" in the world and received their "reward" of fame and fortune on this earth. But it was not enough to stop the sting of death! Their name, fortune and fame could not alter their appointment with death! The great question for them is this: "were they ready?" Yes, were they ready - not for death - but for the coming judgment! What a sobering thought!
The Bible makes it very clear that there is an appointed time for men to die "once" and then the judgment! The physical death of these celebrities or of anyone is not the end, nor does it pay the necessary price for the coming judgment that can result in "eternal death." Why? Because the only payment thoroughly sufficient enough for mankind's sin, is the Blood of the Sinless Sin Bearer – Jesus Christ! His blood is the only propitiation that can keep one from eternal death and damnation! And, it is only by the acceptance of His shed blood and death at Calvary's cross for our sins, believing in His resurrection for our lives, and then living the life of belief and obedience to God's will, can one truly be ready for their appointment with physical death. You see, physical death stops all of our physical abilities and efforts to accept Christ while on earth. However it is not the final stop; there is an eternal judgment to face and it is the results of that judgment that determines the final outcome! (Read 1 Peter 4:1-8;
Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8).
So today, as you read and meditate on these sited scripture verses, ask yourself the question: "am I ready" for my appointed time. There is no "expiration date" stamped on our bodies that lets us know the exact date, so preparation is vital! If you are certain of your salvation and have made your election sure, then to God be the glory! Thank Him for His grace, love and mercy over your life. Worship Him and give Him praise for all He has done for you and commit to remaining faithful in serving and honoring Him with your life. Or if the Lord has placed someone on your heart or in your path that may not be saved, who may not have the assurance of salvation, then ask the Lord to give you the wisdom and the burden to be the salt and light to them so they too can be ready for their appointed time. However, if after reading this challenge, you realize that you are not ready, then right now ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and to save you and make you new in Him; to fill you with His Spirit and Love so that you can live for Him! "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2).
One popular song said it this way:
"I pray we all be ready for His return!"
Spend time meditating on God's word today.
Rev. John Sherrod