WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 08, 2023
TOPIC: NOBODY KNOWS THE DAY OF HIS DEATH
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then he said, ‘Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death’” (Genesis 27:2 New King James Version).
To some people, talking about death is taboo. They don’t like to hear the mention of it. But that is like living in denial of what will be the end of everyone on this earth except the rapture takes place and those who are the followers of Christ will be caught up with Him in the sky. Thus, they will not taste death.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 says, “But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies” (New Living Translation).
Note the phrase: We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! This is said in light of the rapture, which the saints alive at the time of Christ’s return will experience after those who had died will be raised first to live forever.
Also, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, “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” (New King James Version).
The Bible records two Bible characters who were born but left this earth without dying. The Prophet Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire; he went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Also, Enoch did not taste death. Genesis 5:24 says Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Referring to this, Hebrews 11:5 says by faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him. It adds that before he was taken he had the testimony, that he pleased God.
Except for the rapture that believers are expecting to take place, nobody will leave this earth without tasting death. Everybody will die one day. It doesn’t matter whether one likes to hear the mention of death or not. We live in a broken and fallen world. Old people die just as young people do. Death can come at any time. Isaac said to Esau, his older son, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death” (Genesis 27:2 New King James Version). You don’t know either.
Some die peacefully while some die after a brief or prolonged illness. Other people die through natural disasters. People die every day. The mortuary and graveyard receive visitors every day! The Rich fool didn’t know that he would die the same day he was making his selfish plan. He said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry’” (Luke 12:18-19 New King James Version). But God said to him, “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” (Verse 20 New King James Version). Jesus remarked: “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (verse 21 King James Version)
Everybody prays for a long life but we shall all die one day if the rapture has not come. As Hebrews 9:27 says, it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. Everyone should live ready for death and life after death without necessarily thinking of ending his life. Death will come one day, whether you like it or not. You can bind death! But it can only be bound until it is time for it to come for you! Death cannot be destroyed now. 1 Corinthians 15:26 says the last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Given the foregoing, we should live our lives in the reality that we shall die one day and an end will come to all our activities on earth. When death comes, everything that appears important to many people now will become unimportant. Many things that people value now will become useless. Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:7 that we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. Job puts it this way: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21 New King James Version).
Ecclesiastes 5:15 says a similar thing: “As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor Which he may carry away in his hand” (New King James Version). Unfortunately, it is because of riches that some people have no time to prepare for life after death. It is the reason they have not bothered to give their lives to Jesus. They feel that living for Jesus will deny them riches, which they may not get through leading a righteous life. Worldly things have seduced many people from preparing for eternity; they do not live with the understanding that their stay on earth is temporary.
They seem not to be bothered now about the questions that Jesus asked in Matthew 16:26: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (New King James Version. Mark 8:36-37 also records this. Luke 9:25 puts it this way: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (New King James Version).
Unless anyone alive is caught up during the rapture, nobody will escape death – the rich and the poor. Death is a leveler. It is inevitable. In Luke 16, both the beggar (Lazarus) and the rich man died. “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried” (verse 22 New King James Version). No one has power over the day of his death (Ecclesiastes 8:8). Riches do not exempt anyone from death and nobody takes with him any possession. “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 11:4 New King James Version).
The rich and the poor will leave behind whatever they have. The rich will painfully regret that they must leave behind all they have lived for. The writer of Psalm 49 says, “Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him” (verses 16-17 New King James Version). In this regard, Jesus says not to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Where our treasures are, there our hearts will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
The best use of life is not in the pursuit of worldly possessions, which you will leave behind on the day of death. It is to live for God, your Maker, by seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. If you do, He will add to you all the things you need (Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31). The New Living Translation renders Matthew 6:33 thus: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Laying up for yourself treasures in heaven also means giving generously to God’s work and to the poor and needy. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). But you can serve Him with your money (Proverbs 3:9).
Nobody knows the day of His death. You do not know what will happen tomorrow. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14b New King James Version). Make sure you have a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Live your life in obedience to the Word of God. Without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). You are a temporary resident and foreigner on earth (1 Peter 2:11). Christians are citizens of heaven where the Lord Jesus Christ lives (Philippians 3:20). Therefore, prepare for eternity.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that 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 God raised Him on 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 a palm tree and grow like a 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: Holy Spirit, help me to live for God and not for things. I shall seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Holy Spirit, lead me to live my life as a temporary resident and foreigner here on earth and a citizen of heaven. I shall not live on earth in a way that I will miss spending eternity with God in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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