I bring you the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ who died so that we who believe in Him will have eternal life in heaven. Let us go straight to the word of God. The book of Proverbs, chapter 14 verse 32: “The wicked is banished in his wickedness. But the righteous has hope in his death”. The New King James version of the Bible says “the righteous has a refuge in His death.” When the Bible talks about “the righteous”, it means a person that is in right standing with God. How is it possible to have hope in death? Many people erroneously think that once you die, that is the end. Life, real life, actually begins at death. Death is the sureth thing to come. What should matter to us therefore is not the fear death, but where we will be after death. There are two places, two options, two choices to make while you are still living. They are: heaven or hell.
The righteous (one in right standing with God) we are told has hope in His death – hope to live again after life in the physical world. The reason I will be writing this column is for you to understand that through Jesus Christ you can have hope in death. He died so that there will be hope in death. For the righteous, death is just the gateway into eternity.
Some people teach that when you die you lose consciousness or you go somewhere and people will atone for you. This school of thought is not in the Bible. The Bible says that the body without the spirit is dead. When you die, what determines where you go is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It does not matter whether you are a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Muslim or a Catholic; Baptist, Anglican or Pentecostal. What matters is written is St. John’s gospel that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus came to die for the whole world. But then there are conditions for you to meet to live eternal life. The first one is that you must believe in Him. “…whosoever believes in Him…” – John 3:16. The other condition is paraphrased for the scripture quoted in Proverbs 14:32: You have to be in right standing with God.
Friends, let this sink in you that when you die, you are either going to heaven or hell. You are not going to be suspended in one place waiting for your atonement or something to happen. No. The death of the righteous is the beginning of a new and everlasting life. If you know Jesus and you die today, you are just beginning a better life. That is the real life, not the mess on this earth. Know this: It is great to come into this world crying when everybody else is rejoicing at your birth; but it is greater to die and everybody is crying while you are rejoicing because you know that as you are leaving this world, you are going to a better place. This is the meaning of having hope in death – when everybody is crying, you are dancing and rejoicing and praising God that you are out of this bad world and you are in heaven. The opposite of righteousness is unrighteousness. To be unrighteous therefore means not to be in right standing with God. Simply put, you are a sinner. God hates sin. Sin, disobedience, not doing the will of God, are the things that follow you when you reject Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Light…” When you receive Christ, you live by the Way, the Truth and the Light. By this you become a new man in Him; you will not stumble.
“The righteous has hope in his death.” You have to have hope here so that when you die you go to heaven. This is important. Do not say tomorrow I will mend my ways. Somebody once said tomorrow I will consider what you are saying. He did not know that, that night his soul would be required of him. God can call for your soul at any time. Nobody knows when it is going to be. I have talked to somebody on the phone and called him a little while later and they said he just dropped dead. Death can come knocking at any time; nobody knows when it will happen. The important thing is for you to be ready for death when it comes. Are you ready to make heaven? The only way to be ready for it is by knowing Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Accept Him as your Lord and Saviour, living a life that is pleasing before God, being the righteousness of God in Christ. I thank God that life does not end here. I thank God that there is eternity. There is a better life after this life; there is life after death. I thank God that Jesus came, and He has given us hope in death. My greatest concern is that you accept this truth.
Any time a Christian dies, do not cry too much. It is normal to miss the person. But the person in right standing with God has hope in death. He is in a much better place – a city where the streets are paved with gold. There is worship going on continuously with angels singing and thousands upon thousands of departed saints worshipping the Lamb of God, the one who is able to open the scroll, the one who has power to break the seal.
Friends, what then are you waiting for? Today is your day of salvation. You can begin a new life and have hope. “If any man be in Christ,” the Bible says, “old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.” There is a newness that God is going to send into your home today. Salvation is personal. It does not have to do with husband and wife. Your husband or your wife may not want Jesus, but you want Jesus. Accept Him first. It is personal. This is between you and God. Salvation is not what you should lose because of anybody. Do not ask for anybody’s permission first. Just take a step of faith that you be saved and preach to your spouse later.
If you want to give your life to Christ, this is your opportunity. This was a prayer that changed my life. It can change your life now. It is time to make peace with God. You, too, can meditate on it and prayerfully say it. Father, I come in the name of Jesus. I believe that Jesus died for me. I believe that You raised Him from the dead all for me. I also believe that He is coming back. Have mercy on me and accept me as Your child as I accept Jesus into my life today to be my Lord and Saviour. Amen. If you prayed that prayer, you have become a Christian. There are three things I always say to people:
- Get yourself a Bible and begin to study it – starting with the gospel according to St. John.
- Pray in the of Jesus Christ.
- Look for a good Bible-believing church where Jesus is preached in spirit and in truth as Lord and Saviour, go there and you will be blessed
E-mail Apostle Anselm Madubuko: [email protected] or call 01-7749951, 08037143729
Visit our website: www.revivalassemblyintl.org
NB: First published February 2014