Last year in December we lost my father. This year in October we lost his father. In less than one year two great men have gone and we are left to cope. God gives new life to remind us that life is precious and that we are to appreciate and value it. I write this as we await the birth of our 3rd child. God also allows death as a reminder to us of how we are living day by day knowing that one day we will all pass away (unless Christ returns during our lifetime) and have to stand before Him to give an account for how we appreciated this precious gift of life that He has given us. God reminds us of this in His Word over and over and then gives us specific times in life when we are to reflect on “how we are living”.
A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. (Ecclesiastes 7:1)
All of us were born and we have no control over to whom or where we are born. We have to accept our nation and family as a gift from the Lord. All of us will also die and for the most part, we do not choose when and how. The only choice(s) that we have is what happens in between the birth-date and death-date. Depending on how we live in between those two dates we can either leave a “good name” which is far better that good ointment (to the souls of those left behind us, they do not have to grieve us so bad when we leave a good name) or we can leave a negative legacy which usually implies many regrets and much grief on behalf of the mourners. When someone close to us dies, we have to evaluate ourselves once again and see if we are making a good name for ourselves which will leave a good legacy or if we are not leaving a good legacy behind. We do mourn the dead but the focus is on the living who still have time to get right with God before they take their place in the grave.
I want to begin this message by making an interesting statement. Some men are born twice while others die twice. This may not make a lot of sense to some people but it is true. It is reality. The second birth and the second death are directly connected. The 2nd birth rescues a person from the 2nd death.
These two realities are found in the Bible. Jesus Christ spoke of the 2nd birth and it is explained in the Gospel of John 3. It is a spiritual birth. All of us experience a physical birth but not all experience the spiritual one. Without the spiritual, 2nd birth, a person will not enter the kingdom of heaven and instead he will experience the 2nd death. The 2nd death is described in the book of Revelation (the Revelation of Jesus Christ).
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
A person who has experienced the 2nd birth will leave a good name and a positive legacy behind while the person who experiences the 2nd death because he did not experience the 2nd birth will not leave behind a good legacy. Revelation 21 describes why the person will not leave behind a good legacy. It is because of the things that he/she practiced as a lifestyle.
- Cowardly (dread, of the future, of the present, result of not trusting in God)
- Unbelieving – (faithless, unfaithful, lack of trust in God, I do it my way because my way is better)
- Abominable – (literally means to stink, foul smelling) O.T. practices that were abominable to God (Lev. 18)
- Incest (brothers and sisters, aunts/uncles and nieces/nephews, fathers and children or mothers and children, etc. )
- Child sacrifice (abortion)
- Murderer (hating a person in your heart and calling them a fool is the same as murder in the eyes of God)
- Immoral person (any form of sex outside of marriage, including physical, visual, and mental)
- Sorcerer (witchcraft, pharmakos – one who cooks up illegal drugs)
- Idolater (being controlled by anything other than God)
If you have experienced the 2nd birth then you will not fear death because death for you does not bring about judgment, it brings about reward. The person who has not experienced the 2nd birth fears death because for him death brings about judgment. Which category are you in my friend? Have you experienced the 2nd birth and been rescued from the second death? Are any of the above sins a way of life for you?
So, as a person who has been born again, what happens to you when you die? The answer is explained in this article “What happens to a Christian once he dies“.
I would like to explain what happens to those who die without being born again. They go to the place of the dead to await the Great White throne judgment that will take place in the future. Then, after being judged, they will be cast in to the lake of fire where they will be tormented for eternity. Both the place of the dead and the lake of fire are places of torment, one being temporal while the other is eternal. Neither is a place where you want to go. We learn about the place of the dead, Hades, or what we call Hell today, in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 16.
I have been born again and I desire that all men come to the knowledge of Christ so that they can be born again and avoid Hades and the 2nd death. I want to leave behind a positive legacy as did my grandfather so that upon my death, people will not mourn but rejoice because I lived for the Lord and stepped into His presence upon death. God bless you and I pray that this is an encouragement for you.