Each of us will be somewhere in one hundred years, one thousand years, and even one million years from today.
In our age, many people are living as if they have just this life with nothing beyond. Their philosophy is to “live in the moment”. To sample all that life has to offer. To grab it and wring out all the pleasure it can bring.
The Greatest Gamble of Your Life
But there is a problem with this thinking. Because a dramatic, profound assumption has been made in order to live that way. They have accepted the idea that this earthly life is all that there is. Nothing wonderful that might be lost by neglect in this life. And nothing to fear.
Many try to hedge their bets. By delaying until a day when they will finally trust Christ — postponing their decision for the last moment. When they will have a more convenient or comfortable time to decide. When the cost to believe is not so great.
They think that this fence-sitting position is wise. Some say they are considering all things. Considering all beliefs. Weighing and balancing all philosophies. Experiencing all that life has to offer before making a “commitment” to God.
“Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.” (Psalm 55:19)
Many live today with an abundance far greater than the generations that lived before them. But rather than having hearts of humility and gratitude, they are prone towards pride. Many live in a state of expectancy and entitlement enabled by parents, relatives or the government.
Most are polite and civil, at least outwardly; but inwardly they have a growing hatred for the things of God. They reject the Bible. They reject doctrinal and moral absolutes. At the same time, they pride themselves in a tolerance for all ideas and cultures — regardless how hedonistic and vile those cultures may be.
But this illusion of life does not continue forever.
In 100 years, virtually every human being, now living, will have died. When a man dies, he will have one of two certain destinations. This is decreed by God Himself in His Word.
Before the Perfect Holiness of God
Each of us will stand before Christ. And He will judge us according to His Word.
The believer will find that he is accepted based on the righteousness of Jesus Christ applied to his account. He will find the joys of heaven and fellowship with Christ for all eternity. This is based on faith in the finished work of Christ, not on any works a man has done. He does not deserve heaven; it is a gift God has given him based on trusting in the grace of Christ.
For the unbeliever, he will be judged by the perfect Law of Righteousness. Whether he has accepted the law or denied it, he will still face the Holy One of Israel and His righteousness that demands absolute perfection. There is no grading on a curve here.
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)
Many believe they can live by their own code. Being faithful to their own chosen beliefs. By this, they think they are not as hypocritical as the Christian who espouses a belief that he does not keep. The sad fact is, all men are hypocritical to some extent. All fall short of any code they follow. Even if a man claims to have no code, he knows intuitively what is right and what is wrong. All men have had this law revealed to them in their deepest being from the beginning of Creation.
At Your Last Breath
When the unbeliever dies, he will immediately find himself in Hell. This is a place of unimaginable horror and pain. A place devoid of love or mercy or rest. There is no escape from this. There is no end to this. This is a place of darkness, of loneliness, of fear and regret. There is no fellowship of friends here to share the pain.
If a lost man were to die today, he would be in hell for at least a thousand years before God’s Final Judgment. His senses will not be dulled. There will be no distractions from all the suffering that is there. He will be fully aware of every terrible second of time.
It is important to state here, God does not take pleasure in this. The destination of one who does not trust Christ is a clear decision on the part of each man and woman. God will not force Himself upon anyone.
After the one thousand year reign of Christ upon this earth, there will be a final battle led by Satan, his angels and all who follow him. Christ will finally destroy all these rebels and remake the heavens and earth by fire. All the unbelieving dead, from the beginning of Creation, will be drawn from Hell to stand before God one final time.
Every unbeliever will then face God’s Great White Throne Judgment. At this point, their bodies will be gathered together from the dust to join their lost souls.
God will then cast Death, Hell and all that are in them into the Lake of Fire. This place of darkness, possibly out in the farthest reaches of the universe, will be the final and eternal dwelling place of all who have rejected Christ. All who have mocked the Gospel directly or have simply failed to trust Christ while they had opportunity. Both will discover the equally horrible consequences.
False Hopes in a Second Chance
Some religions and philosophies believe that men will not face this terrible existence forever, but will have some hope of paying for their sins through a purging or “Purgatory” over some indefinite time period. Some hope in “annihilation” where the soul is destroyed and there is no more pain or existence. Some believe God will never send men to Hell or the Lake of Fire.
But the Bible does not support these false hopes. Hell is real. And it is eternal.
So, whatever your state of life. If you are experiencing all the good things of life. If you believe that your own will determines your fate. If you have become convinced of your own self-righteousness, of your own skillfulness or of your own wisdom in navigating through this world. Or, if you believe you are your own god, take warning.
Life is fleeting.
You May Only Have This Moment to Choose
Your life hangs by a thread. So does mine. We are each merely a heart beat from eternity. There is no guarantee that you will live out this day. You have been given today to choose and believe Christ. He does not promise tomorrow. He will not allow you to live as you choose and believe when it is convenient. And He knows every thought of your heart if you think you can fool Him.
And there comes a time, when He gives no more opportunity. His Spirit will have been grieved for the last time. You may continue to live and prosper and enjoy all that this life can give, but the door to Christ will have been shut forever. All your tears, all your religious rituals and all your good works will be of no value.
As the scriptures warn, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2)
Trust Christ today. He will not cast you out. And He will never leave you nor forsake you.