1/29/2020 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
The headlines this past Monday read “The World Mourns for Kobe Bryant.” As a Celtic fan since the “60’s” that loathes everything “Lakers,” my heart breaks for the Bryant family as well as the other families that were affected in that deadly helicopter crash this past weekend.
I can’t even begin to imagine what these families are experiencing as they walk this painful path. As I was thinking about this horrific accident, my mind went to Scripture that reminded me that death is a reality for all of us. There is a time coming when our heart will stop beating, our lungs will no longer take in air, and our eyes will close for the last time.
Barring the return of Christ, I, along with everyone else will die, because we all have that God given appointment… And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27
Moses understood the reality of death when he wrote… “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19
The Psalmist also understood the truth of death when he penned… What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave? Psalm 89:48
The accumulation of all of Kobe’s personal accomplishments, his worldwide fan base, his tremendous wealth, even being friends with presidents… none of this could keep him from dying. That should be a reminder to all of us, that this God-given appointment is made for everyone. It affects the rich & well known such as Kobe Bryant & David Koch, as well as the homeless and middle class. It affects the powerful such as Rep. Elijah Cummings & Qasem Soleimani, the talented such as Doris Day & Luke Perry, the religious such as Billy Graham & Mother Theresa, as well as the faithful, such as our service members that return home in a casket. None of us will escape death, because it is an appointment made for us by God.
You can be in the finest hospitals in the world, you can be in the best physical shape possible, you can be faithful taking your meds, you can quit smoking and drinking, you can do everything right, and it will not help when your appointment to die arrives.
Now if death was the end of our life story, how disconcerting would that be! Yet our story does not end with death, because God created us to live forever. But when Adam rebelled against God, that eternal life was interrupted by sin… For the wages of sin is death… then that sin was followed by the most important “But” in all of human history… but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Death was like going on a dead-end one-way street until “the gift,” Jesus showed up… So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. Hebrews 9:28
Kobe Bryant, you, me… ALL of mankind was created to have fellowship with God forever. Yet because of our sin, the “forever” hasn’t changed, but the location of forever has. The Bible speaks of only two places to spend eternity after we die, with God in heaven or separated from God in hell.
If we accept God’s gift (Jesus’ payment for sin), God promises us eternal life… “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Paul describes heaven or eternal life like this… However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
But if we reject God’s gift, we face eternal condemnation separated from God… Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:18
Jesus said that the consequences of this condemnation is separation from God in hell, prepared not for us, but for the devil and his angels… “Then he (God) will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41
So the question we must ask ourselves is not if we will live eternally, but WHERE will we live for all eternity. Although Christians face death, we face it triumphantly because Jesus Christ removed the penalty of our sins. We have the hope of life eternal through a personal relationship with Him.
If you don’t know Christ personally, accept Him today! If you do you know Christ, next time that unsaved friend, coworker, neighbor or family member comes into your life, ask God how you can speak truth into their life before it’s too late. Remember everyone has an appointment with God, yet none of us control when that appointment will be.
Solomon wrote… No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death. Ecclesiastes 8:8 No one but God…