Open your bibles with me to James, Chapter 4 verse 14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and the vanisheth away. – KJV
This verse has been on my heart and mind the last couple of weeks, but more so the last couple of days. We are preparing for week 3 of a bible study on Thursday evenings entitled “Where are the Dead?”. We’ve studied where the dead went before Christ died on the cross, and what that looks like now that he’s died for our sins and gives us hope of eternity if we choose to follow him. Simply put, our bodies are just a vessel that houses our spirit and our soul. A vessel that will one day die and return to the earth. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return into the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust thou shall return.” – Genesis 3:19 KJV. But our soul – it will live on. It will live on in either heaven with Jesus who sits on the right hand of God, or hell prepared for the devil and his angels and those who choose not to know God. I know we like to think everyone goes to heaven, but every soul does not go to heaven. Every soul living and breathing has the same opportunity to go to heaven, but not every soul takes that path. God gives us a choice. As parents on this earth we raise our children and teach them right from wrong. We tell them not to lie, cheat, steal, murder not because we don’t want them to “Just be who they are and however they want to be because we love them unconditionally.” No, we teach them right from wrong because we know their choices, have consequences. We know if they lie, steal, cheat or murder they will most likely end up in trouble, torment or a physical prison here on this earth, as well as a mental one. The thing that makes a person is their soul and when their body dies if that soul is in torment, unreconciled with Jesus, it will stay in torment. They aren’t “In a better place now.” We read in Matthew 25:41 (and it’s in red letters because it’s Jesus speaking) “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” and then in verse 46 we read, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” When you accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life that’s the day you start living – and will live life eternal.
The last 2 weeks we have been taken deep into the scriptures all throughout the bible on what happens to us when our earthen vessels stop functioning. Obviously, what I wrote above is merely a drop in the bucket of the knowledge we have gained, but the main point I intended to make as I type is that our souls live on forever and while they are housed here in this earthen vessel, it’s a short time, a vapor as the bible calls it, compared to eternity. And that was drove home this week ….
In the past few months, I have attended the funerals of, or read about people I know who had lost their fight with an illness. They had fought the good fight and as their earthen vessels gave out, their soul went on to be with Jesus. The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:8 “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Those who have accepted Jesus go immediately to be with Him when their soul leaves their bodies. The angels come get them and escort them to be with Jesus. Being in the ministry with my husband, and also watching family members go from this life to the next, I’ve seen so many in those last moments raise their hands in the air as if taking the hands of an angel who has come to take them home. This week however, has been a stark reminder that sometimes it’s not an illness that provides the family and friends time to prepare. I was shocked as I saw her picture come across my newsfeed on Monday morning and her dear friend saying “You will be missed.” What?!? I had to read it again. This sweet lady who loved Jesus had been excited just the day before about the great day she had with family, had just had new furniture delivered, was looking forward to church the next morning … little did she know that on her drive to church that next morning she would be taken home to be with Jesus. We just never know when our last day in this earthen vessel will be. By contrast another life was lost this week suddenly and on her social media page she posted “just a lost soul wandering through this world.” My heart is breaking for lost souls. My Spirit is saying “Remind them Kris! Remind them that I died to give life eternal, in peace, to all who will accept me as their Lord and Savior.”
We went to Marietta yesterday to see an old friend of my husbands who recently suffered a stroke. We stood in that hospital room with his family and formed a circle around the bed and as we prayed the spirit of the Lord was tangible in that room. I truly believe we saw improvement in his body before we left. But as we left the hospital my husband shared this story with me about one of the last times he was in that hospital over 40 years ago. He was a young preacher at that time at Pinehurst, just outside the city limits of Marietta. There was a man he visited almost every morning and he talked to him about giving his heart and life to Jesus and being baptized into Christ for the remission of his sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The man kept telling him he was thinking about it, and he wanted to, but not today. Maybe later. (Many think THEY have to get it together first, and then come to Jesus. But Jesus says “Come as you are.” Come broken, busted, disgusted and I will give you life and make all things new as you follow me. All your sins will be forgiven by what I did – not by what you can do.) One day Tom knocked on the door and the lady that answered said he had been taken to the hospital. Tom ran to the hospital to see him and as he arrived in the hallway the nurse asked him who he was looking for. As he told her the man’s name the nurse said, “I’m sorry, he expired at 10:30 this morning.” So many people have 11th hour plans, but they don’t make it past 10:30. What about you? Is God nudging you to seek Him? Do it now! Don’t put it off!
Today’s word was not meant to discourage you, but rather to remind you of the truth of the gospel and the fact that WE ALL HAVE HOPE in life eternal.
May God bless you and keep you –