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January 7, 2007

Leaving and Entering

For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness. Isaiah 38:13, NIV

Early this morning I received an email link from a family member that was about the dash in our lives, describing the year a person was born and when they died, as in 1965 - 2007. So the question was asked at the end of the presentation, would you be proud of the things people would say about you, about the dash in your life?

You know, I like to view things like this from a biblical perspective. Aside from what will be spoken about the dash in our lives, will be how we have lived to represent Christ for the glory of God, or so I would hope and I realize that it won't be like that for many people.

There is only one message that I would ever want to convey at a funeral, especially if it were the funeral of someone in my family. I would hope to be able to say, that I knew that they knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and how they lived for Him. I am deeply passionate, as you have read in my previous blog messages, to tell others about Christ. As I have talked to people at various times, sharing my faith, I would refer to
Luke 16:19-31 regarding the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. One was in hell the other in heaven and the partition which separated them both. I have written about this in a previous message regarding my hygienist and the DaVinci Code movie that was released last summer. You can find that message in the month of June in the Archive drop-down on the right side of this page.

There will even be a surprise to those who think they will go to heaven, but won't and I refer them to
Matthew 7:22-23 where Jesus Himself rebukes those who thought their good words about Him or their moral living would be good enough to allow them in to heaven. No. Nothing compares to Christ's crucifixion, His death for the punishment of sin to allow anyone to see or enter heaven, but it must be received individually by each person. Heaven is not automatic for anyone. If it were, then Jesus' death was pointless. The Bible informs us that we are saved by grace, through faith, and not by anything else. (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV). The promise of heaven is not found in good deeds or moral living, it is found only in God's deed to crucify His one and only Son in love, for you and I, so that we may live with Him forever in eternity.

Psalm 26:2-3 should make anyone think deeply with regard to their life and how it was lived to honor God. God will test and examine our hearts and minds when our day of judgment comes and each person stands before Him to given an account for his or her live. Knowing that His love is ever before us, the hard question we should ask ourselves then follows in the last part of verse 3, am I walking continually in God's truth? If not, something needs to be done. Wouldn't you agree?

There is a phrase I learned from one of my bible studies a few years ago about entering and leaving the different phases of our lives. The way we leave determines how we will enter. So, how we leave this world determines how we will enter the next and if we have left Christ out of our lives here on earth, we certainly won't enter heaven with Him.


So, a person can either be lauded with praise for all the good things they have committed to in their lifetime while giving no praise in return to God, or people will talk about the wonderful things that were done, in thanksgiving and the name of God, because of a commitment to do things in honor and love for what Christ has done for them. One will have a short-term effect, even it only lasts for 50 years. But the other, will go on for eternity because the life of Christ within that person has possibly led others to knowing Him too.

At any given moment, we could die. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. If you were to meet God tonight, or even tomorrow and He asked you, "Have you been walking in My Truth?" Remember, Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one would come to the Father, except through Him (John 14:6, NKJV). Knowing that God knows your heart and your mind, even what you will say before you speak a word to Him, would you be able to get away with a lie? Not a chance.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. Psalm 32:1-2, NKJV.

On the right hand side of this page, under Knowing God, is a link to Steps to Peace with God from Billy Graham's website. Please take a moment to read through those four steps and make a commitment to Jesus Christ.

Have a blessed week. Comments are welcomed and can be submitted by clicking the COMMENTS link next to the time stamp below.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.