The death door

There is a door of death that awaits us all. When this door opens, it does so very quickly and often without warning. It ushers us into eternity, then closes securely behind us, never allowing us re-entry into this world again.

We are not alarmed when old people die. But, when others leave this world early, it causes us to think about things we may not want to face. We fear death because we do not know what awaits us on the other side, knowing we must face our Creator and Judge.

I knew a young man who died walking on a road after running out of gas. He was killed instantly when a drunk driver hit him from behind. He never saw the death door until he was on the other side as it closed behind him. When the door opens for you, it will be at it’s appointed time. No one can shut it and you will be forced to go through it by those more powerful than you.

If someone could come back through the door of death to speak what would he say? Jesus told of a man who sat in hell. He pleaded that someone be sent to warn his family of the place he was in. “They have the law and the prophets, let them hear that.” No, the man replied, but if someone came back from the dead, my family would listen to them. “If your family will not hear the word of God, they will not believe even if someone came back from the dead.”

Let us go to the word of God first, that we may see our sinfulness. Now look closely at the instrument of death that ushered in Jesus through the door, even the cross He was crucified on. This is where the judgement took place for sins, ours, not His.

And remember…that He was the only one who came back alive, through the door, to prove that He was God Himself, and that all He said was true.

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“That is the end of all men and the living will take it to heart.”
“It is appointed for men once to die and then comes the judgment.”

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“Remember, it is not your hold on Christ that saves you – it is Christ. It is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument – it is Christ’s blood and merits. Therefore, look not so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ, as to look at Christ Himself. Look to Jesus, the source of your hope, the author and finisher of your faith.

We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings. It is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul”

Charles Spurgeon

REMEMBER THE COST

There’s always a cost in being set free. Those forgetting this soon fail to appreciate what they have been given. A slave released from years of bondage wouldn’t need to be informed that it was for his freedom that he’d been freed. He’d never go back to that bondage.

When God left His throne, He came to set you free. Seeing you in prison, powerless and in bondage to your sins, He left heaven to purchase your release with His own blood. Amazingly, God must remind us that we have been set free to be free, and warns that if we go back, Christ will be of no value to us at all.

Be very careful to remember the cost of your freedom. You may drift back into slavery by subtly seeking approval from God for your good works, forgetting that it is His work alone on the cross that justifies you. Or slip into longing for the old world and it’s lusts, forgetting the yoke of bondage you were in.

Remember when you first believed and how precious He was to you at the beginning. Never forget it was for freedom that He set you free.

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It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

The Mirror

There is a path that leads a man to eternal life, yet few men ever find it. God alone must show him the entrance, yet knowing man’s heart is evil, He can’t allow him access. So, He gave him a conscience to know right from wrong. He also provided a special Mirror to shine more light, that if a man looks into it, he will see what his conscience tells him every day. This Mirror would guide him to the entrance of the path.

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What is this special Mirror you may ask? It is the Ten Commandments. When a man looks into the Mirror, it shows him that he has broken God’s laws. He now sees himself just as God sees him. Sadly, he doesn’t want the Mirror anymore. It frightens him and makes him very uncomfortable. He wants to do what he wants. After a while, his conscience becomes quieter. He walks away from the Mirror, losing all hope of finding the path that leads to life.

There are others that gaze into the Mirror, but mistakenly try to clean their sin reflected in it. They attempt to justify themselves by trying their best to do good. The problem is they have been breaking God’s laws their whole life. It is written, “There is none righteous, no not one. There is none who does good, no not one.” Thus, these men use the Mirror unwisely and ultimately to their own destruction.

Finally, there are some who want to know the truth, so they come back to the Mirror. Being very much afraid and dreading what they may see in its depths, they grasp the mirror one more time. Suddenly, great terror fills their hearts as they now understand how God sees them. This is what the Mirror was designed to do, convicting him as a wrongdoer. When he sees the law “Thou shall not lie”, he sees in the Mirror that he is a liar. When he sees the commandment “Thou shall not steal”, he sees that he is a thief. Sorrowfully, he realizes that he has no right to find the path to life. With tears in his eyes, he drops the mirror, and slowly begins to walk away…

At this very moment, just a few steps away, God reveals the hidden path to him. He hears One crying out as He dies bleeding on a cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me”. As he cautiously approaches the horrific scene, he passes by, realizing it was his sins that put Jesus to death, his memory forever etched with the bloody nails left at the bottom of the cross.

As his heart overflows with sorrow, he remembers the words of the thief who was crucified next to Jesus. ”For we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this Man has done nothing wrong. Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to the thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.”

He now understands that the Mirror allowed him to see his miserable, hopeless condition before God. But, now he also sees, just like the thief on the cross saw all those years ago, the One who gave up His life to pay for his sins.

He humbly approaches the entrance to the path that leads to life, knowing he did not deserve to find it. He feels great sorrow, yet thankful he will enjoy eternal life forever. For it was the Great King Himself who endured the shame on that cross and died on his behalf…all those years ago.

You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forever more. Psalm 16: 11

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18

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I always thought I had so much time
And that you would always be mine.
To take care of, to talk with,
To laugh together, and sometimes cry.
But I know He only gave you to us…
For just a little while.
And it seems like just yesterday
I saw my little girl running and playing.

But I looked up and noticed
That you’re a young woman now, it’s true.
And I know it won’t be long…
Before I give you away,
To another man who will take care of you.
And there will be great joy, yet sometimes worry,
And uncertainties for sure.
Because I love you so much.

But I know He will be there,
Just as He’s always been
To watch over my little girl
With a big smile that brightens up a room,
Always Daddy’s little girl.

And I will trust Him for your soul, forever.
And thank Him that He gave you to us…
For just a little while.
If only I had known
That it would be…for just a little while.

My crimes against the Most High God

I know that my crimes are against the Most High God,
And my offenses are well known to Him.
“And there is no creature hidden from His sight,
But all things are naked and open,
To the eyes of Him
To whom we must give account.”

And should I die tonight,
I know that His justice should surely await me.
The axe is laid at the tree,
And I shall not escape.

But if by chance He should take pity on me,
And dismiss my sentence…
I will not understand,
But that it would be for His own sake
And by his own mercy and grace.

I will then look for Him…
Who gave me pardon for all my sins.
And when I see His eyes of compassion,
I will cry because He loved me.

And then I remembered His words…
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
And I recalled how He died when He was crucified,
And then I cried.
Because I knew that He had paid for the crimes,
That I had committed against the Most High God.

WORDS OF TRUTH TO A SLEEPING CONSCIENCE

– All people are really pretty good at heart. God will definitely let all people into heaven when they die since He loves everyone.

– I am a pretty good person compared to many people and God knows that. When I die God will let me into heaven since I try my best to do right and I know that He really loves me.

– Jesus was a very good man showing us how to live. It’s sad that bad people killed such a good person. Besides, no one really knows if he rose from the dead or not.

– There is no hell. It’s an imaginary place made up by religious people to scare us. God loves us all no matter what we do because we’re human and have flaws. He would never send us to a place like that.

The truth:
“…There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts… And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

“…I am the good Shepherd and I lay down My life for the sheep. Therefore My Father loves Me because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it again.”

“…He who believes in God’s Son is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already…
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…If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

1Corinthians 13:2-8

Unanswered questions

What would happen if the world did end?
Would everyone’s troubles and heartache mend?
Is there a god and what does he think?
Will he make this world of ours sink?
Why can’t everyone’s head just stay level?
Do you think it has to do with the devil?
Will there really be a paradise on earth?
Or will we be born in someone’s new birth?
Is there a heaven or is there a hell?
Which god is real, how do you tell?
How does one pray?
And will god know what we say?
With so many religions how do you pick?
Couldn’t all these decisions make one sick?
Why are there so many unanswered questions?
Is all we have is just another’s suggestions?

The answer is death, and sin is the clue…
And it’s not the devil’s fault it’s you.
You see we all die because we sin,
And fear is there, you can’t deny it’s true.

Look to the law of God and find what’s within,
It’s there you’ll see your desire for sin.
There is a God who sees every thought and deed,
He sees your heart, it’s selfishness and greed.

And yes there’s a hell and darkness that awaits…
Just as sure as heaven’s an eternal place.
And God does hear when we pray,
Though only what the brokenhearted say.

And so if it’s knowledge and truth that you seek,
To the law of God for you…
That you may become humble and meek.
No one ever found God deep in their pride,
He finds us as we break inside.

Alas, you brokenhearted, lift up your eyes and gaze…
See the cross where He bled.
He died there because you sinned, stand amazed…
And God’s requirement was death, His in your place.

It is well with my soul…

History of the song:
Horatio Spafford planned a European trip for his family in 1873. Due to last-minute business developments, he had to remain, but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre. He planned to follow in a few days.

On November 22 the ship was struck by another vessel, and sank in 12 minutes. Several days later the survivors landed at Cardiff, Wales, and his wife cabled her husband, ‘Saved alone.’

Horatio left immediately to join his wife. This hymn was written as he approached the area thought to be where the ship carrying his daughters had sunk.