What Is Ahead for Us?
You are looking at the heading of this meditation and thinking, “He is probably going to talk about Jubilee — the church.” Actually, you would be wrong. The focus of this meditation is, “What is ahead for each of us as individuals.”
First of all, regardless of whether we are a Christian or non-Christian, we are going to die. In Hebrews 9:27, we read, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”
Secondly, every person will stand before God and face judgment. Non-Christians will come before God at the Great White Throne Judgment. In Revelation 20:11-12a, we read, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was no place found for them. And, I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” 13-15
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 was written to Christians and we read, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
When we die the spirit leaves our body. In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul wrote “We are confident, yes well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the LORD.” When Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was stoned to death, he prayed, “LORD JESUS receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59) In Ecclesiastes 12:7, Solomon wrote, “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”
I gather from these verses that when a believer dies, his/her spirit leaves the physical body and goes immediately to be with the LORD. The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Death for the unbeliever will be anything but pleasant. In Luke 16:19-31, we see that such a person goes to a place of great suffering and there is no relief.
How often over the years I have had people say to me, “How could a God of love send someone to hell?” God doesn’t send anyone to hell. He doesn’t want anyone to go there. But if we refuse the free gift of eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ, then we take ourselves there.
“Therefore, I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways,” says the LORD God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die o House of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the LORD. “Therefore, turn and live!”
Listen to what Jesus said in John 5:24-30,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own but the will of the Father who sent me.”
· All who are in the graves will hear His voice.
· All who are in the graves will be resurrected.
· Believers will be given bodies that are specially suited to dwell in heaven in the direct presence of God.
In 1 Corinthians 15:53, we read, “For this mortal must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.”
· Unbelievers will also be resurrected, but they will forever spend eternity apart from the God who loves them. Again, I refer you to John 5:28-29 where Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”
It is your choice dear friend. You can receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord and be resurrected to life.
Or, you can reject Jesus Christ and you will experience the resurrection of condemnation and separation.
Here is the reason one is condemned — “He who believes in Him (Christ) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Your choice: Heaven or Hell.
Both are forever.
Please choose Jesus!
Pastor Leonard — our Lord’s Messenger