Once to Die

Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

Death. 

There is often a pall over everything concerning death. We hear of those who peacefully pass from this world to the next. Others, accidentally. Some choose to take their own life because they see this world as unbearable and are unable to see their way clear through their problems.

Most choose not to look too far down the road at what lies ahead. But, there is an ending for us all. It is inevitable. If that be true, (and it is) why wouldn’t we prepare in such a way as to make it’s arrival something to be celebrated?

How does one go about preparing for such a time?

This verse that I read today points to the finality of death, but also what is to follow.

Judgment. 

God gives quite a picture of this judgment in the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

It is sobering to think of such a time and place when we will give account for the things done in our life. Our lives will be judged by the items contained in the Word of God. Which makes it imperative that we do a checkup to make sure we line up with what it says.

It begs the question: “How does one get their name written in the Book of Life?”

Moses knew about this book.

Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”

David sang about it.

Psalm 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

Jesus spoke to John in Revelation about this very book.

Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

Every mention of the writing of names in the Book of Life is past tense. The only action taken with names in the Book of Life is they are blotted out.

To blot is to remove all traces that they ever existed. 

So, how did every man’s name come to be in the Book of Life? For that, we must look at the character of God.

God’s Love.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus came to do that which we could not do for ourselves. He came to pay the penalty for our sins. He gave the commandment that any who would believe in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection shall be saved.

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

God’s provision of His Son and the sacrifice to pay for the sins of the world, allows us to accept what God now offers as a gift.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Knowing that Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice, our Heavenly Father’s heart believes that we would never refuse so great a gift. Thus, He placed all our names in the Book of Life. 

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

But, sin can cloud our judgment, hinder excellent and right thinking. It will even blind someone from seeing the truth. So, when death comes, and we have not received the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, we will incur the penalty and suffer the punishment of sin. 

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

It is said:

Born twice, die once.

Born once, die twice.

God never intended for us to go to Hell. It was His heart that seeing that He paid the price for our sin, we would readily accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. 

John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Jesus completed all the work that needed to be done for salvation. To think we could ever add to His perfect work is incredulous. To be so arrogant to think we need to add to His perfect sacrifice incurs a curse. To take away from what has been provided will do the same.

Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Don’t mess with God’s Word. 

Don’t add to it. 

Do not take from it. 

Many have tried to rewrite the words God gave us to fit our lifestyle instead of allowing the Word of God to change and transform us.

If you have yet to make your decision to trust Jesus as your Savior, know that there is coming a day when we are called to answer for that very decision.

Put it off, and it will be just like saying “No” to the most precious gift you and I have ever been offered. 

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

Do not put it off any longer. 

If you need more convincing, click here.

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