My dad was a bit older than my mother, and thus I have a few half-brothers. My sister called me a few days ago to let me know that Richard had died. They said that he was up in the middle of the night and someone went to check on him, and that he looked more scared than they'd ever seen him. Now, my half-brothers are tough guys from Montana, they don't scare easily. They called an ambulance, but he died of a heart attack on the way to the hospital.
This gives us time to consider the fact that every one of us will face death one day. We will face it alone, no matter who may be physically around us at the time. We will all kneel before the Lord one day and give an account for our life. How will you do when that time comes for you? Keep in mind that 150,000 people die every single day. We never know if we will have another day or not. What will you say to the Lord on the day that you face Him?
I'm not certain of Richard’s fate, but he has passed over to the other side where the judgment is final. The all-powerful God of the universe will judge every single person by His Holy standard which was given to us in the Ten Commandments. How will you hold up to His standard when your time comes?
If you've ever told a lie (9th Commandment), stolen anything, regardless of value (8th Commandment), or used the Lord's name in vain (3rd Commandment), you've broken His Law (Ex 20:1-17). If you've ever hated someone without just cause, He sees it as murder in your heart (Matt 5:21-22), because the heart is where the sinful action begins. If you've looked at someone with lust, Jesus says that you've committed adultery with that person in your heart (Matt 5:28). You don't have to break all of God's Laws, just one will condemn you. And the simple fact of it is, we have all broken God's Law, and in doing so, every one of us actually deserves to go to hell. If we stand before Him on our own merit, that is exactly where we will go, and rightfully so.
However, in addition to being a holy and just God, He is also a loving God and has provided us one way to keep us from the eternal punishment that we all deserve. He came down Himself as a Man in Jesus Christ, as a hand fits into a glove, fully man and yet fully God at the same time. And He lived a perfect life, keeping all of those laws that we couldn't keep. Then He suffered and died, crucified on a cross, taking on the punishment that you and I deserve. But death couldn't hold Him, and on the third day, He rose again, defeating death forever, as a sacrifice for all our sins. We committed the crimes, with no hope of ever being able to atone for them, but He paid the fine in full for us. Now, all we must do is repent of our sins, turning away from them, and trust in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation.
If we do that, we will not be judged for what we have done in this life, but will be forgiven through Jesus Christ. Our lives will be different as evidence of this change in us (2 Cor 5:17). If your life is not changed, then you must consider that maybe you've never truly received salvation (Heb 10:26-27). And if that is true, then you will face the wrath of God as He judges you against His Moral Law (Rom 2:5), which we've already shown that none of us have kept.
I do not know if my half-brother was saved or not. But I do know that people had spoken to him about eternal things, and if he called upon the name of the Lord, even at the last minute like the thief on the cross, then he was saved.
But you never know when your time will come, two people die every second, many without the opportunity to consider such things. Don't put it off until tomorrow, TODAY is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). You're not guaranteed another day, repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ today.
And if you are a born-again Christian, fully assured of your salvation, then go forth in obedience to the Great Commission to proclaim the Word to every creature. There are those who are sure within themselves that they are saved, but will one day stand before the Lord, only to be told, "Away from Me, I never knew you." Check it out in Matthew 7:21-23. Look at the context of this verse, read before and after it for a full understanding. Jesus says that many will profess His name but not enter heaven. Only those who do the will of the Father will actually get into heaven. He's given us His will in the Bible, and has given the mandate to all Christians, commonly known as the Great Commission. It is not God's will that any perish (Eze 18:32), shouldn't we have the same mindset? He's told us what to do, and told us we'll be held accountable (Eze 33:8-9, Acts 20:26-27).
Are you doing that?
Or will you be one of those who hears those fearful words at the end of time, "Away from Me, you worker of iniquity, I never knew you!"