Death Is Only The Beginning


The other day I wrote about living like Christ. You can read it here!

Today we will be looking at the last half of Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. To die is gain? How can that be? Well, as we discovered earlier, living Christ is not easy nor is it always fun. It involves sacrifice and work. But at the end, when life is over, we will understand “gain”-

“I have fought a good fight. I have finished the work I was to do. I have kept the faith. There is a crown which comes from being right with God. The Lord, the One Who will judge, will give it to me on that great day when He comes again. I will not be the only one to receive a crown. All those who love to think of His coming and are looking for Him will receive one also.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (New Life Version)

The gain comes when we enter heaven. You know, streets of gold, crystal seas, your own mansion etc… But to me what makes heaven, well, heaven, is that there will be know more tears. That means my children won’t wake in the middle of the night after a nightmare, crying and scared out of their minds. That means, I won’t stand up into anymore corners of cabinets and gash my head open. It also means my wife won’t need to go to the doctors anymore and let them poke and prod her searching for the reason she is sick all the time.

Heaven is gain, all the bad stuff in life will be gone. You see, this is our hope, the hope of salvation, that we are no longer on a train bound for destruction, we are now first class passengers on a train bound for life eternal in heaven.

Do you want to know what the #1 best reason death is gain for a Christ-follower? Death means we will be face to face with God. Some people might be a little intimidated by that. The first thought that crossed your mind was, I am not good enough to stand before God. Well, that is true, but if you are a Christ-follower you have no reason to be apprehensive. You are clean before God. All your sins have been washed away. God will not be judging you, He will be welcoming you, with open arms and open heart. If you are still thinking, “Shawn, I still am not excited about standing before God with all that I have done. What do I do? How do I have the peace that you talk about?”

The Bible says that “all have messed up or sinned and fallen short of God’s standard of perfection.” Romans 3:23. The Bible goes on to say that “the wages or what we deserve, for sin is death.” Romans 6:23a. In other words, we deserve punishment for our sins. The problem was that God never intended any of this and He found a loop hole in His own rules. “BUT, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b But just like any gift, you have to take it before it becomes yours. The Bible goes on to explain how to be saved, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10. Thats it, confess or say it out load that Jesus is your Lord, that means you are putting Him in charge of your life and you are agreeing to let Him tell you what to do from now on, and believe in your heart that He was raised from the dead and you will be saved. Here is a little prayer that somes it up best. No worries, praying is just like talking to a friend.

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Now what! If you just prayed that prayer please let me know. You can email me shawn@jointheplace.com or you can reply on this or any blog thread. I would love to know, and I would love to help you figure out what to do next.

Remember- God puts it very plainly- “Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19. Choose LIFE!

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