John 5:28-29, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation”
The couple was driving through the country roads in rural upstate New York. Haze filled the air and the rain was very imminent. While driving they came upon a miniature metropolitan area of granite gravestones. It was a typical old country cemetery. However, this particular cemetery had one striking feature. Bordering on one side was a gravel road, and on the corner a sign which read, “Dead End”. What a graphic reminder of how some people view life! Their existence in this life is a brief drive through time that leads to a dead end. To them, death ends all. Yet, if that is true, then Jesus was either ignorant or deceitful. He said that “all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth.” But He made an important distinction. He said that some will come forth from their graves to the resurrection of life and some to the resurrection of condemnation. Those who have accepted Jesus’ forgiveness in this life will enter heaven, but those who reject it will be separated from Christ forever. My friend, He suffered on the cross to take upon Himself the judgment we all deserved, but only those who receive Him will escape that condemnation. So, is death a dead end? Well, not according to Jesus. He lived and died to provide eternal life for all who trust Him as their Savior.
Death comes eventually to everyone. Yet, for those who have put their trust and faith in Christ as Savior, the dark door of death is to be viewed only as a shadow. As frightening as death may appear, on the other side is the bright and shining gate that leads to eternal life with Jesus! The apostle Paul understood this because he looked at life and death from Christ’s perspective. Since he knew where death would take him, he could boldly declare, “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). Every believer in the Lord should show that same courage. Because of Jesus Christ’s death and bodily resurrection, we who have placed our faith in Him can look at death not as a period but a comma that precedes a glorious eternity with our Lord. I’m mindful of the words to a familiar hymn by Edward Mote:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand … All other ground is sinking sand.
If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ you need not fear the chilling shadow of death, for the Lord is with you, and you have a heavenly home with Him waiting for you (2 Corinthians 5:1-8). Thus, everyone’s response to Christ’s invitation will decide if death is the doorway to gloom (hell) or to glory (heaven). The question then remains:
(1) What doorway will yours be?