DEATH: THE DOORWAY TO ETERNITY

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

June 2,  2021

TOPIC: DEATH: THE DOORWAY TO ETERNITY

BY T. O. BANSO 

“It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time” (Ecclesiastes 7:2 New Living Translation).

Human beings don’t like death. To some, it is taboo to talk about it. They see death as an enemy. They see it as a spoiler! Even when a loved one is aged, people, in most cases, don’t want him or her to die.  However, death is real.

Some people live to such an old age that they wake up every day expecting death. They are through with life! No more aspiration, desire, or goals. They’re fortunate to really prepare for death and sort out things with their Maker and with fellow human beings. To such people, death is not a surprise whenever it comes. Their loved ones are not surprised either.

However, it is not so for the majority of people. They know that death is real but live in denial of it. They live failing to acknowledge the fact that death is inevitable. They live their daily lives not being guided by the truth that they’ll die one day and that after death, eternity begins ­– eternity with God or eternity in hellfire.

One’s destination after death is determined by the decision one makes about Jesus. Hebrews 9:27 says it is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment.  “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:12 New King James Version). Verse 15 says anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

The wise man says, “It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time” (Ecclesiastes 7:2 New Living Translation). The New King James Version puts it this way: “Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.” This doesn’t mean that you should seek to die now! You shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 118:17).  The Lord will satisfy you with long life and show you His salvation (Psalm 91:16). He will give you long, full lives (Exodus 23:26b). You shall still bear fruit in old age and you shall be fresh and flourishing (Psalm 92:14).

Desire long life, pray for it, and confess it every day. Nevertheless, you’ll still die one day if the rapture has not come i.e. if you don’t die before Jesus appears in the clouds to take those who believe in Him to heaven. This is the departure of the church from the earth.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 talks about the rapture thus: “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (New King James Version).

The attitude of a child of God to death should be different from that of a non-believer. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15 New King James Version). Paul said, for him, to live was Christ, and to die was gain (Philippians 1:21). Death is not the end of everything. Death is the doorway to eternity.

Therefore, Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (New King James Version).

In view of all this, live with the mentality that you are a pilgrim or sojourner (1 Peter 2:11). Hebrews 11:13 says that the patriarchs all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. You also must live in faith and confess that you are a stranger and pilgrim on earth. The earth you live in now is not your permanent abode.

Unfortunately, many people live as if they’re going to live there forever. They don’t live in the consciousness that they will die one day and an end will come to all their struggles, greedy accumulation of wealth, wickedness to fellow human beings, and rebellion against God. Hebrews 9:27 says it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment. There is no repentance after death. But there will be plenty of regrets.

Hear this from the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus: “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,  for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’  Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’  But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead’” (Luke 16:27-31 New King James Version). 

Live with the understanding that your time on earth is brief and temporary. Your days on earth are minus one day today. Your life is passing away. One day, you will be no more.  You will go like a shadow (Psalm 109:23). It could be sudden. That is why you should live for eternity. Live prepared. “LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?  Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow” (Psalm 144:3-4 New King James Version).  This psalm is ascribed to David.

 Hear his thoughts again on death: “My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend” (Psalm 39:5-6 New Living Translation).

Death is the doorway to eternity. Even to receive eternal life here on earth, one must die to sin. “Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was. Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life. We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:5-11 New Living Translation).

Also,  1 Peter 2:24 talks about death to sin in relation to Jesus death’s on the cross: “He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds!” (New Living Translation). Eternal life comes through Jesus’ death on the cross and man’s old life that was crucified with Him, so that man could be dead to sin. Whoever believes in Jesus, the Son of God, shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:15).  One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys or disbelieves the Son won’t see life, but the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:36).

Are you preparing for eternity after this earth?  You are a stranger on earth (Psalm 119:19).  Your days on earth are a shadow (Job 8:9). Live your life preparing for eternity. Set your sight on the realities of heaven; let heaven fill your thoughts (Colossians 3:1-2).  Don’t hold tightly to the things of this world because the world is passing away, and the lust of it  (1 John 2:17). 

If you’re born again, hold tightly to eternal life. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12 New King James Version). Psalm 90 is ascribed to Moses and it says in verse 12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (New King James Version). May you make the most of your time, so that you may grow in wisdom. May you in the end spend your eternity with God.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS:  Father, teach me to make the most of my time, so that I may grow in wisdom. My life and death shall be like that of the righteous in Jesus’ name. I shall die in Christ, not in sin. I shall spend my eternity with God, not with Satan.

(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
Email: cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
cedarministryng@gmail.com
Website: www.cedarministry.org