Jerry C. Brewer
Every one of you reading this right now is going to die someday. So will I. It might be in 30 years, it might be in 10 years, or it might be today. We don’t know exactly when it will be, but we know it’s going to happen. It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when?”
The question is, are you prepared to die? The moment you take your last breath, what will happen to your soul? Talking about death isn’t the most pleasant thing to do, which is probably why so few of us give it much thought. But ignoring death and failing to prepare for eternity is the biggest mistake that anybody can make.
The first 13 verses of Matthew 25 tell us about 10 women going to a wedding feast. Five of them were wise and made preparations, but the other five were foolish and failed to get ready for the party. The five foolish women were turned away from the feast when they knocked on the door. The point of this illustration is given in verse 13—“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Jesus teaches us in that passage that we don’t know when Judgment Day is going to be, so we have to be prepared at all times. Those five foolish women knew that the feast was coming. They expected to go to the party. But they didn’t prepare for the party and were refused entrance. If Judgment comes and we’re not ready, we won’t be allowed into heaven. So what does this have to do with dying? Simple: Once we die, it will be too late to prepare for Judgment Day. It’s in this life, while we’re still alive, that we’ve got to prepare for eternity. And that means preparing to die.
Those of you reading this, who don’t want to think about death and don’t want to prepare for eternity need to learn from the account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. Lazarus was a poor beggar whose body was full of sores. The rich man lived in luxury. Both of them died. The angels carried Lazarus to a place called Abraham’s bosom. It was a place of rest, peace and joy. The rich man was taken to a place of torment. After death, it was the rich man who begged—for mercy. He begged for Lazarus to bring him just a drop of water. But it was too late for the rich man to do anything about his condition. He spent his earthly life gratifying his own desires and ignoring God’s will. He died unprepared. And he was consigned to spend eternity in anguish.
Eternity in anguish! Imagine the worst pain you’ve ever suffered physically, then add to that the worst you’ve ever felt emotionally, and you start to get a tiny inkling of an iota of what eternity will be like if you’re unprepared. So how do you prepare for death? First, you become a follower of Christ by obeying His will for salvation. You repent of your sins. You confess your faith in Jesus as God’s Son and the resurrected Savior. Then you’re baptized in water for the remission of sins, just like Peter instructed those believing Jews in Acts 2:38. Then you live right for the rest of your life. You remain morally pure. You meet with other saints in Christ’s church to study God’s word and to worship Him the way He wants to be worshiped, and study your Bible at home to become more like Jesus every day. Jesus summed it all up in Matthew 6:33 when He told his audience to seek first the kingdom of God. That means to make Christ and His church the most important thing in your life.
You can continue to ignore death, but ignoring it won’t make it go away. It might be years from now or it might be tomorrow, but you will die. Are you ready? If we sound serious, that’s because this is serious business. Jesus wants you to be with Him in eternity, but if you don’t prepare now you’ll be with the rich man in eternal torment.
The choice is yours. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Do something about it now. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Eternal death (separation from God and all good) awaits those who die in sin, and the only remedy for sin is the blood of Christ. But to be cleansed by His blood, you must be in Him (Eph. 1:7). Believe the gospel (Mark 16:16), repent of your sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), confess faith in Christ as the Son of God (Matt. 10:32; Acts 8:37), and be baptized into Him for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Gal. 3:26-27). Baptism puts one into Christ and in Him is where His blood cleanses from sin (Eph. 1:7).