When Death Speaks (GLMX #VA6) | Gospel Light Minute X
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When Death Speaks (GLMX #VA6)

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Allow me to share with you a brief story told by W. Somerset Maugham. The speaker is Death.

There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd, and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.” The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?” “That was not a threatening gesture,” I said, “it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

This little story brilliantly illustrates the inevitability of death. No matter how we try to run from it, delay it, and avoid it, we will eventually be faced with it. In fact, the day of your death is already set. God knows it, but you do not. When that day comes, you will die whether you like it or not. The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die…” Ecclesiastes 3:2 says there is “a time to be born, and a time to die.” Second Samuel 14:14 says, “For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again…”

Look all around you. People are dying: some from natural causes, some as casualties of war, and some from the effects of sickness and disease. Look at the history of your family and you will see that a long line of people related to you have passed beyond death’s door.

If death is inevitable, the only thing one can do is prepare for it.

What happens after death? Will there be consequences for our actions in this life? Does what we do now matter for eternity? Are Heaven and Hell real destinations?

The answer to the last three questions is “yes.”

The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment.” Jesus Christ said in Matthew 25:46 that some people will “go away into everlasting punishment” and others will go “into life eternal.” When Jesus was hanging on the cross, He told the thief who was condemned to die alongside Him, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Being in paradise with Jesus Christ is the best thing that can happen to you after you die. The alternative is to spend eternity separated from God in a place called Hell. Whether or not you will spend eternity there is a result of a choice you make in this life. If you place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you will spend eternity with Him. If you depend on your good deeds, your high moral character, or some other religious system, you will spend eternity in Hell.

Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal peace and happiness in Heaven with God after you die. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Allow me to share with you what it means to place your faith and trust in Him:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God