By Edwin Christiaan
It seems so tragic that one fate comes to all. That is why people are not more careful to be good. Instead, they choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway. There is hope only for the living. Ecclesiastes 9:3-4 NLT
The other day I was talking to Sophia about the meaning of life and death. These thoughts, I believe, were fueled by the fact that we are going through the process of my mother being in her last days on her deathbed, sick with cancer. We were discussing how people can achieve so much in life, and yet have nothing to show for when they come before God, because they have not lived for Him. All their lives’ achievements, no matter how gifted they were, ended up being in vain. Then, I had a dream that multiple well known people would die. And indeed, the day after, the talented actress Farrah Fawcett died after a long battle with cancer, and on the same day the very gifted world wide musical icon Michael Jackson suddenly passed away.
It is, as the scripture above indicate, tragic when people choose to live for themselves instead of dedicating their lives to God. No matter how fantastic a life we might have in this world, no matter how much we have given to charity to help others, if God was not the source of our actions during our lifetime, it doesn’t mean anything in the end.
In the book of Hebrews chapter 9, verse 27-28 it says: “And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.” Ultimately we all have to stand before God who will judge us, whether we belong to Him or not. To those who belong to Him, the Master will say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:23 NLT
Even though the others would say things like this to God, the Master: “Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name,” God in return will respond to them: “I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.” See Matthew 7:21-23. In other words, it’s not our own wonderful achievements and giving that will bring us into Heaven, but our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior and our obedience to Him.
As the scripture above also indicates, there is hope only for the living, and that is why we should feel inclined as believers to tell everybody of the hope of everlasting life in Jesus Christ only. As He told His disciples:
Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16 NLT
Those who choose to believe will have the promise that even if they should die, they will live forever:
The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the godly who die will rest in peace. Isaiah 57:1-2 NLT
When this happens — when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die — then at last the Scriptures will come true: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.1. Corinthians 15:54-58 NLT
Copyright©2009 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan