pc45 Christian Facing Eternity is a presentation for those who are about to die, looking at what happens for a Christian, his hope.
The Christian Facing Eternity
By Pastor David Cox
[pc45] v1.1 ©2014 www.coxtracts.com
You may photocopy, print, and reproduce this tract for non-profit purposes.
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
For those facing death, many have with fear and confusion, but for the Christian, death is simply the door through which one enters their eternal rewards with Jesus and the saints in heaven. There is no reason to be sad or be fearful. The Lord promises to save us, and he will be the one who protects and takes care of us eternally. So, the Christian sees death as a blessing, not some horrible experience. Death for the Christian is when all the good come upon him.
Why does Death Exist?
Genesis 3:19… till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Death is a reality for every human being. We will all die one day because we have all sinned, and every sinner must expect that death will reach them because they are rebellious against God.
Psalms 89:48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.
What happens after Death?
Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
According to Ecclesiastes 12:7 “the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” and Genesis 3:19 (cited above), the physical of our body returns to being “dust” as it was before we came into existence. Psalms 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
“Death” is from God, who gives us our spirit (animating life-force), just takes that physical life from us.
The Bible presents it very clearly, that after the physical death of a person, there is a life and conscience that continues living outside of the body (until our resurrection, reuniting of body and spirit/soul). In Luke 16:20-31, it is very clear that both Lazarus and the rich man continuing with life after death.
The Scripture offers only two options, heaven, or hell: a place of pleasure with God or a place of utterly horrible suffering for those who refuse God’s salvation. There are no other options. We should understand that the Bible teaches this continued existence, life after physical death. Heaven is a continuation of “the life”. But those who are not saved, their continued existence is a different kind of “death”, a second death. This means there is no such thing as annihilation, or a ceasing of existing without our feeling and thinking. For as much as no longer feeling or thinking anything would be, what the Bible presents is much worse. Hell will be a physical and mental torture under a moral regret (conscience). Obviously, the rich man continued his existence in hell, living a terrible actual torment, which is eternal suffering with all the senses of his body. Death is a door “to the eternity”, (in other words, your life afterward your walk in this present world).
For the unsaved, it will be a horrible existence. For the believer in Jesus Christ as his Savior, it will be a point of extreme joy for all eternity. But as Christians, how should we prepare for eternity?
A State of Being after Death
Luke 16:20-31 and other Bible passages speak of a fellowship of the saints with other saints. It is very clear that we have activity and interaction in the world, but after death, we enter in a state like “a sleep”. In other words, we no longer interact with the things in this present world. In 1 Corinthians 15:20. 51, Paul describes death as “a sleep.” In John 11:11-14, Lazarus “slept” … In Acts 7:60 Steven “fell asleep”. Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. The dead know nothing of the events of this world any more after their death, nor do they participate in the things of this world.
Job 14:21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.
The rich man talked to others, but only from other dead people. But the dead no longer “know” what is going on with the living in the world.
Your Salvation and Your Relationship with God
1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. The Bible presents things in opposites, heaven against hell. Life against death. If we are saved by Jesus Christ, we “have life,” but if we do not, we will experience the “second death.” This is summarized into a capsule. If you “have the Son” you have life (salvation or eternal life), and if not, you will one day die, and then you will “experience the second death”, hell. Your relationship with God is what qualifies you as “saved” or the other alternative, you are “lost”. Many saved people have doubts and other ideas when facing death. According to 1 John 1:8-9 we all sin. This means even Christians still sin after their salvation. But John wrote about the Christian’s great joy (1John 1:4) resulting from a correct (saving) relationship with God. Nobody is saved by any other thing except by having faith in the work of Jesus on the cross for you particularly. This saving faith is real if there is real sincerity in your heart when you accepted Jesus as your Savior. It should show up in a positive and different kind of life after you are saved.
Repentance, dedication, and a commitment to Christ should also be part of your relationship with Christ if you are sincere with God. People who think they are saved, but live as unsaved people do should worry a lot about approaching death. Their sincerity with Christ is exactly what they should be thinking about.
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Nothing in the happenings on earth should move your commitment to Jesus Christ as your Savior. Even when humans try to torture you until you die, sickness, accidents, etc., you have a promise of life, and believing that promise (having faith in it) is the definition of salvation. Every true Christian will live their life in an intense relationship with Jesus. If you have confided in Him all your life since you have received Jesus into your heart (John 1:12), then the spiritual fruit of your life will give you confidence in your last days. But even if you haven’t been faithful to Christ, you can make things right before you die.
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What have you done with your life?
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
When a person faces eternity, they begin to think on their past as well as their future. So, it is very important to live the present life with a vision of your future in eternity.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews sets out the requirements of pleasing God and living eternity with Him. You must truly believe God exists, and that he is judge over you. God will both punish evil doers, and God will reward you and restore all that you unjustly have lost or the unjust deeds of people against you. God is the ultimate “Rectifier” of wrong, and Restorer of what is right. This will happen after you die. The Christian is marked by this firm belief that God will “fix” everything in eternity. The believer’s reward after death should be his joy and goal. His faith in Jesus as his Savior is what makes him saved, or a son or daughter of God. This relationship with Jesus is what makes him “born again” (John 3), and he is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The most important preparation for death is repentance.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them…that they should repent and turn to God and do works meet for repentance.
If this repentance has not been when you first accepted Jesus as Savior, nor during your subsequent life, don’t think a miracle is in order on your death bed. Salvation is all about a relationship with Jesus and about your sins. That is why you seek this relationship with Jesus in the first place. We are not saved by works, but saving faith in Jesus must always produce a life of abundant evidence (this is your part but produced by the Holy Spirit) because you love Jesus. Hell awaits those who do not come to Jesus.
John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. Your faith in
Jesus is one side of the “coin of salvation”, but the other side of the coin comes only by your repentance of your sins. God will create this in you by the Holy Spirit, but you must not fight this but make it a part of you.
2 Peter 3:14… be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Psalms 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed and be still. Selah.
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
True Christians have confessed and repented of their sins. They have found peace with their Lord. This is how they live daily, not just how they die. Mat 6:20.
How we leave this life
1 Kings 2:2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;
For many people, their last days will be full of pain and sadness. But to face death is the very substance of your salvation. Job 23:14 reminds us that none of the promises of God have failed come to pass. Christians rest in the firmness and faithfulness of God. In 2 Kings 20:1, God advised Hezekiah that he was about to die. For those who are on their death bed, they too should respond to the grace of God in showing them that they will shortly die so that they put in order their house. A faithful Christian will face death with confidence and without fear, because God is faithful. Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Death is only the door through which you go to live with Jesus forever. He loves you and he calls for you.
Preparing for Death
- Seek Heaven. Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness… This is good advice during all of our lives.
- 2. Hope in the Resurrection. John 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 makes our resurrection the entire point of our salvation, Jesus was resurrected, and we will be also. The twin high points of the Christian’s future are being forever with Jesus, his Savior, (4:17) and also having this reunion of his soul, spirit, and body again.
2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
To be alive in this life is to serve Christ, but to die is to go be with our blessed Savior, and forever be with Him and receive our rewards for what we did in our lives on earth.
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