Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Why do we like Birthdays?

Meditation for the week of August 15, 2010

Hebrews 9:27-28
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Recently we were celebrating a birthday in our family when our eight year old grandson asked, “Why do people like birthdays?  They only bring them closer to dying!”  I was surprised that he would think that deeply about death, but since he had recently trusted in the Lord for salvation, maybe I should have recognized that the idea of dying had bothered him. 

The above verse says that we are all appointed to die once.  The verse must mean that we are all appointed to die a physical death at least once since there were people in the Bible who died twice.  Lazarus in John 11, for example,  was raised from the dead to die again.  And yet even this principle has one major exception because we are told that when the Lord returns those who are alive will be caught up or raptured to meet the Lord in the air.  These like Enoch and Elijah of old will not die.  But in the normal course of events, we all die, one-hundred percent of the time.

Just as some will not die at all even though the general principle is that everyone dies, many others, in addition to those raised from the dead in the Bible, are going to die twice.  We know that death is not the cessation of existence or being, but it is separation from God.  Those who want to be judged by their works instead of by the work of Christ will miss out on this great salvation, and after they die physically they will be brought before the Lord, the great judge of all the earth.  They will find out that their good works did not out-weigh their bad deeds or sins.  They will see a record of their sins that were never forgiven or blotted out of the records that the Lord is keeping.  They will not be found in the lamb’s book of life and will be cast into the lake of fire which is the second death.  This is eternal separation from God, the source of light and life and love (See Revelation 20:11-15).

Death is the result of sin.  Thus, every time we go to a funeral we are reminded that sin is real and death is real. Hopefully, whoever preaches the funeral will remind the audience that salvation is real as well.  Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.  Some argue about how many the word many takes in, but I can assure you that the word was large enough to take in me, and it is large enough to take in you.

Most of us have a zest for living and we are not looking forward to dying.  We are told that death is the last enemy that shall be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26).  Even if we are saved and looking forward to an eternity with the Lord, most of us would rather not die.  It isn’t the destination that concerns us as much as the process of dying.  In addition, we don’t like to leave our loved ones behind.  But every birthday brings us closer to the day when we will take our last breath. 

I am personally glad that I have confidence in the fact that when I die I will be with the Lord which is far better (Philippians 1:23).  I don’t want to die but I am ready to die because I know that Christ died for my sins (Romans 5:6-8, 1 Corinthian 15:3).  I know that because the Lord says it!

Why do people like birthdays?  That really is a good question, isn’t it?

Bruce Collins

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