Amos 4:12, “Prepare to meet your God”
Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain”
Travel back in time with me to AD 125, when a man named Aristides wrote a letter to an acquaintance to give this explanation for the rapid spread of Christianity, “If any righteous man among the Christians passes from this world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God, and they escort his body with songs and thanksgiving as if he were setting out from one place to another nearby.”
Only those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life can death be different, from those who don’t know Him, because they have an assurance of hope beyond the grave, which begins at death when the soul leaves the body and enters into the presence of the Lord. That’s why they can face death with such confidence and joy. Their attitudes toward the grave can even be detected in their obituaries. Instead of the usual wording that a loved one has “died” or “passed away,” the death notices of believers in Christ often express the comforting assurance that they were:
(1) “Called home to be with Jesus,” or
(2) “Went to be with the Lord.”
The Scriptures tell us that death is not the end of our existence. Instead, we are assured that everyone will stand before Christ, believers for their works and nonbelievers for their rejection of Him (John 5:25-29; Revelation 20:11-15) All of us are sinners and in need of forgiveness. And my beloved only Jesus Christ’s death on the cross has provided forgiveness for all who believe (Romans 3:23; 6:23). The Bible says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Our appointed face-to-face encounter with God puts everything in perspective. So, whether we live 20 years or 100 years, the issue of eternity is the same, “Prepare to meet your God”.
While writing this devotional I was reminded of the parable found in Luke 12:16-21, where Jesus told about a man who thought riches could satisfy his soul (v. 19). But God called him a fool, and said, “This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have proved?” (v. 20).my beloved, if we cherish this world’s goods so much that the prospect of heaven loses its attraction, we can be sure that the earthly has become more valuable to us than the heavenly.
The “treasure” we possess is misplaced. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). May the enjoyment of our temporal possessions never diminish the appeal of the eternal? The riches of earth is poverty when compared to the grandeur of eternal life in heaven with God. After the pain of death, God promises a glorious resurrection for those who believe in His Son. So the questions to be answered would be:
(1) Are you prepared for that event called eternity?
(2) Do you view that possibility with confident assurance, knowing that the end here will mean a new and glorious beginning there?
(3) It will, only if your faith and trust is in Jesus Christ, the death-conquering Savior.
Only those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ are prepared to meet their Maker.