Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Last Enemy
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12 NKJV)
Death is Inevitable 
Apart from the return of the Lord to catch away the believers so that they won’t have to be present when this world reels under the wrath of God, all of us are going to die.  Some lived for nearly a 1000 years before the flood.  But with the exception of Enoch, they all died.  I suppose we all wonder how we are going to die, when we are going to die and what happens after we die.
How and When are We Going to Die?
We don’t know!  Some die unexpectedly.  Some die peacefully and after having had a chance to say goodbye.  Some die in war.  All we know is that there is a day when we are going to die.  The Lord knows how and when but we don’t.  But death is the great enemy of all of us.  No one wants to die (unless they are suicidal) and yet die we must!  It is the last great enemy that all of us face.  
Adam and Eve brought death into this world (or this society), but Satan had sinned before they did.  He was already a fallen angel when he deceived them into believing they could only be happy if they tried fruit that would give them the knowledge of good and evil.  Because Satan is at enmity with God and because he is going to end up in the Lake of Fire forever and ever and because he knows this, he is trying to deceive as many people as possible before he is bound and powerless.  Because of Him, there is sorrow in this world.  Biblically, sorrow is associated with birth and sorrow is associated with death.  Satan tries to get us to party in between those two points so that we won’t dwell on our ultimate demise.  If we dwelt on it, we just might be wise enough to prepare for it.  
How do we Prepare?
There is only one way to prepare!  God says that He has provided a sinless substitute who has borne the punishment our sins deserved.  That sinless substitute is Christ.  God gives us His Word (and I believe He keeps His promises) that if we believe on or in (or trust) the Lord and His sacrificial death, we can go to heaven.  If we don’t or won’t, we will go to a place of eternal torment forever and forever.  That torment will be because we rejected God’s offer of love through His Son.  If a person rejects God’s Son, God will reject that person.  He says, “He who believes in Him (the Lord Jesus) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  (John 3:18 NKJV)
What Happens When we die?
In Luke 16 a rich man died having lived for self and having rejected the Jewish teachings about Jehovah.  The Bible says that after he died he was buried (that was his body) but he lifted up his eyes in hell being in torments.  Read the passage because he could think, talk and feel.  He became an evangelist who wanted to make sure his living brothers did not make the same mistake he made.  But for him, there is and was no way to go back and have a “do over.”  He was condemned eternally.  We read about the unsaved dead in Revelation 20:12-15.  They are judged according to their works (not according to the work of Christ for them) and their works don’t save them.  They are cast into a lake of fire.
When believers die, they are described as sleeping.  We know that it is the body that is sleeping until the resurrection.  The real person (the spirit and soul) is alive and well.  Moses died before entering the promised land in the Old Testament but he was alive and well talking to the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration many years later.  When a believer in the Lord dies, the apostle Paul says that now (after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ) they depart to be with the Lord.  
Sin causes us to die.  None of us can claim that we are sinless.  Death is something most of us try to avoid as long as we can.  However, when death occurs we usually have great sorrow.  The only glimmer of hope for the believer who wants to avoid the last great enemy is the rapture of the church.  The apostle Paul says, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” (1Corinthians 15:51 NKJV)  We can only be ready for it, we have no promise as to when it will occur.  
The mystery of death is solved by the Bible.  Those of us who believe the Bible believe that trusting Christ prepares us for an undeserved eternity of bliss.  Those who reject the Bible and its promise of salvation to the believer, are headed for an eternity of unspeakable horror.  But of course one must believe the Bible.  
I do!
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of July 31 and August 7, 2022

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