Tag: Judgment

Death does not take a vacation!

George Whittenby George Whitten

James 4:13-14 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Two Fridays ago, my family was tragically stunned when my younger brother, Gary, was found dead at his condominium in Baltimore County. He apparently died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 46. Last Thursday was his funeral at which I gave the eulogy. In my own state of shock I was struck by the reality which I shared with those present, “Death, especially when sudden and unexpected, forces disruption upon us, rudely interrupts our carefully laid out plans, and faces us with its irrevocable power.

Our family’s lives have been turned upside down and inside out. Our scheduled return to Israel last Wednesday has been indefinitely postponed (probably for months) as my parents who are deaf and approaching their 80s require my help as the sole surviving son to close out my brother’s affairs, and help them to rearrange their own lives. The necessity of recognizing and responding to the massive responsibility which inevitably lands on the survivors now dawns upon us day after day, the aftermath of a death in the family. And all this as the grief and shock settle upon our souls.

Yet apart from the shock, sorrow, and disruption I cannot help but be reminded of another aspect of death, one which the Lord Yeshua emphasized to us His disciples, i.e that death may also bring forth life. The Gospel of John quotes Yeshua, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.” This amazing truth applies to me, and to all who belong to the Savior, and while I may be perplexed and even baffled by His ways, I remain confident that “All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.” My brother’s sudden, unexpected death powerfully calls me to the acute awareness of my own life, and its constant opportunities for the Lord which I need to seize…. every moment!

The death of my younger brother has provoked a powerful awareness of how precious is the short time we’ve been given. Why or how it seems so natural to feel that we have all the time in the world, God only knows… yet it is a foolish and possibly dangerous presumption! The truth is, our judgment before the Lord is imminent, and as James says above, may not be more than a day away. Reckoning carefully the important issues of our lives; reconciliation, forgiveness, holiness, loving care, service, hospitality, worship, prayer etc. will keep us from wasting the astoundingly precious moments we’ve been given…given to prepare for an eternal reward as the Scripture says over and over again that God will reward every man according to his deeds.

by George Whitten

The devil’s old, favorite doctrine!

J.C. Ryleby J.C. Ryle

There is such a place as Hell. Let no one deceive you with vain words. What people do not like–they try hard not to believe. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to judge the world, He will punish all who are not His disciples with a fearful punishment!

All who are found unrepentant and unbelieving; all who have clung to sin;
all who have set their affections on worldly things; all who are without a saving relationship to Christ–all such shall come to a dreadful end! “Anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life, was thrown into the Lake of Fire!Revelation 20:15

1) I know that some people do not believe that there is any Hell at all. They think it impossible that there can be such a place. They call it inconsistent with the mercy of God. They say that it is too awful an idea to be really true. The devil of course, rejoices in the views of such people. They help his kingdom mightily. They are preaching up the devil’s old, favorite doctrine, “You shall not surely die!Genesis 3:4

2) I know furthermore, that some do not believe that Hell is eternal! They tell us that it is incredible that a compassionate God will punish people forever. They imagine that He will surely open the prison doors of Hell at last. This also is a mighty help to the devil’s cause.

3) I know also that some believe that there is a Hell, but never allow that anybody is going there! They imagine that . . .all people are good, all are sincere, all mean well, and all, they hope, will go to Heaven when they die!
Alas! what a common delusion is this!

If I never spoke of Hell–I would think I had kept back something that was profitable, and would look on myself as an accomplice of the devil.

Reader, I beseech you, in all tender affection–beware of false views of the subject on which I have been dwelling. Beware of new and strange doctrines about Hell and the eternity of punishment. Beware of manufacturing a god of your own: a god who is all mercy–but not just; a god who is all love–but not holy; a god who has a Heaven for everyone–but a Hell for none; a god who will make no distinction between the godly and the ungodly in eternity.

Such a god is an idol of your own imagination! It is as truly an idol, as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple! The hands of your own imagination and sentimentality have made it!

It is not the God of the Bible–and beside the God of the Bible, there is no God at all.

by J.C. Ryle