Physical Death

Job 14: 1-5

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson gives exposition on the Scripture's references to the afterlife. In this first message, Dr. Johnson explains the Bible's concept of physical death.

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The Sermons of S. Lewis Johnson

Job 14:1-5

“Physical Death” TRANSCRIPT

[Message] Today is the first in a series of messages on the subject “Death and Afterwards.” Job 14, let’s begin with the 1st verse.

“Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.”

May God bless this portion from his word. Let’s bow together in prayer.

[Prayer] Father, we are so grateful to Thee that we are able to meet and open the holy Scriptures and listen to the council of eternity. “If a man die, shall he live again?” We know that there is no hope apart from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but we rejoice in the fact that he spoke and said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And he that live and believeth in me shall never die.” And we thank Thee, O God, for the assurance of life beyond the grave. We thank Thee that it comes to us from divine revelation, and O Father, may we be subject to it.

We thank Thee for this day, for all that it represents. And we pray O God that through the ministry of the word we may be blessed and strengthened and encouraged and enlightened to serve Thee effectively.

May Thy blessing rest upon our meeting, upon those who are unable to be here, upon all who are preaching the word, upon our country and its leaders, to the end that the purposes of God may be accomplished in this earth. For this we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

[Message] Today is the first in a series of messages on the subject “Death and Afterwards.” And our topic for today is “Physical Death.” All religions have an eschatology that is a teaching about last things. Buddhists teach of nirvana. The ancient Greeks spoke of Hades. The Bible itself speaks too of Hades. The ultimate goal of existence concerns us all, and it concerns even the secular religionists. For example, in communism there is a very well defined eschatology, the international, calls its workers to sing of the last battle and to suggest in its theory that the wave of the future belongs to them. The Nazis’ also had an eschatology in the notorious Horst-Wessel-Liedt. You’ll remember that in that song, the work the Nazis’ were called to the last battle, and that ultimately the victor would be their fuhrer. And so it is not surprising that in Christianity we should find also an eschatology. It is an eschatology of national entities, Israel and the nations and the church, but it is also an eschatology of individuals. And this of course is the eschatology that we want to stress in this series of messages.

Now it is unfortunate that we have neglected eschatology. I have sometime wondered why this is so. Undoubtedly some of the reason for it is to be traced to the fact that men like William Miller, the Massachusetts prophet said that the world would come to an end in 1843, and when it didn’t come to an end, then of course, any thought about the future was somewhat discounted. The millennial donists suggested that Jesus was going to come in 1914 and when the Lord Jesus did not come in 1914, this too tended to discount the whole study of prophesy. It can also be traced back to the reformers themselves because in the days of the reformers men were going about and saying as they bought their masses that if money was put into the treasury of the church then certain things could be accomplished for them in the future. I guess this is really summarized and epitomized in the words of Tetzel who said that “When money clinks in his box, then a soul is released from purgatory.” And the reformers in an attempt to get away from that which was false in such teaching tended to neglect the subject of eschatology or prophesy entirely, and the result has been, since that time, a great neglect of teaching with regard to the future.

My theology professor used to say when he began the section on theology, he said, “Now, we’re going to study a subject which is very much neglected.” He said, “Now Charles Hodge says when he begins his section on eschatology that he doesn’t know much about it.” And then Dr. Chafer used to say, “He spends forty pages in proofing it.” [Laughter] I think a lot of the things that we read in our systematic theologies are like that, especially when we have to do with the eschatology of the nation Israel, but I am not going to stress the eschatology of the nation Israel in this series, rather are eschatology of us individually will be the primary stress. And so the subject of physical death and then next Sunday, the subject of the “Intermediate State,” and the following Sunday, “The Bodily Resurrection,” and the “Resurrection of the Body” will be things that concern us as believing Christians. And of course, we’re going to say something about the eschatology of the unbelievers too.

There are things that we wish we knew about the future, and there are things that we can know. For example, I think we all would like to know what it’s going to be like to be in heaven. Will we remember the things that we know now down here on the earth? Will we have love and compassion and memory? And will other things be true of us as individuals? Will we have knowledge that surpasses the knowledge that we have now, and if so, I hope so, and if so, how much shall we surpass what we know now? Shall we really know the Lord in the fullest sense? Shall we know God the Father? Things like this.

Now we can know a great deal about these things. The Bible has given us some very, very clear and direct teaching on many of these points. But there is another thing that we would like to know. We would like to know under what circumstances we shall live. We would like to know what heaven is like. In what ways is it different from Texas or Oklahoma? Will we each have a mansion of our own? And so many other things we want to know about the place.

Now the Bible tells us a lot about what we shall be like when we are in heaven. It does not tell us a great deal about what heaven is like. And so that is one of the things that we wish we knew that we cannot know very much in the present state. The reason is obvious. We do not have the faculties to understand what heaven is like. If you’ve been living in Texas all of your life, it makes it even more difficult to understand what heaven is like, I’m sure. [Laughter] Now I said that, but I’m a Texan now you know, and so, really I was pulling my own leg when I said that.

The fact is, of course, that we cannot understand and appreciate things of which we have had no real experience, and so it is impossible for us to understand exactly what heaven is like. The Bible sets forth our history in three stages. There is our earthly life, and all of us in this room are engaged in living our earthly life. Then the Bible in the second stage sets forth our life from the time that we die to the time that we obtain our resurrection bodies. And the Bible has a good deal to say about that. And finally, the Bible has something to say about our resurrection life. That life that we have when we obtain our resurrection bodies that stretches into the limitless future.

There are many things that you and I can do by way of proxy. We can get someone to vote for us our shares of stock in a corporation. We can get someone to do many things for us in this life. We can have people do, and run, errands for us, but there is one thing, of course, that no one can do for us and that is die. Every one of us is to die. If Jesus Christ does not come during our lifetime, and if we are not believers, every single one in this auditorium shall pass through the experience of death. It is one of the things that is necessary. As the write of the Epistle to the Hebrews says, “It is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment.” We cannot have anyone do this for us. We cannot have it done by proxy.

I have sometimes thought that life is very much like a gigantic chess game. There are some of us who are kings. There are some who are bishops. There are some who are knights. There are some who are pawns. But the time is coming when the game is over and then we shall all stand before God in the same light. The Puritans had a great way of expressing this. If you look at their grave yards you will notice that all of their grave stones are of the same height. They were trying to get over a point that in death we are equal. In spite of all of the wonderful things that medical science has done for us, the mortality rate remains a constant one hundred percent. People knock on your door all the time and they say, “Will you contribute to the cancer fund?” And so you contribute hoping that you shall help those who are afflicted with cancer and shall prevent some from being taken by that particular disease, but if it’s not cancer, it’s pneumonia. If it’s not pneumonia, it’s heart disease. If it’s not heart disease, it’s something else. And if it were possible for us to plug all of the dikes then a new hole would come, and all die. I appreciate very much all that our medical doctors are doing, but they’re fighting a losing battle, and all of them have to acknowledge that in the final analysis our life insurance mortality tables must read, “Death one hundred percent.”

What is physical death? What does the Bible say about physical death? Now this is the first thing that I want to speak about this morning. The Bible looks at death in three ways. It speaks of death as a three-fold experience. It first of all speaks of spiritual death. Now spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from God. Ever since Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, every man has been born spiritually dead. Paul in the Epistle to the Ephesians in the 1st verse says, “And ye who were dead in trespasses and sins, hath he quickened.” Every single individual is born dead in sins. You are dead as you come into this earth. You are separated in your spirit from God. That is the way you are born. The Bible speaks of that.

The Bible speaks also of physical death. That is the temporary separation of the spirit from the body. That takes place when we die. The spirit separates from the body, but only temporarily. For even those who are outside of Christ have a resurrection. They have a bodily resurrection. Even those who are unbelievers shall one day have a resurrection body in which they may suffer the pangs of eternal torment.

The Bible also speaks thirdly of eternal death, or the second death. Just as it is possible for us to live twice, physically and spiritually, so it is possible for us to die twice. We are spiritually dead when we are born and if we persist in this state throughout our earthly life, ultimately we shall die the second death, which the Bible states is the being put by God into the lake of fire. It is the culmination of continuance in spiritual death. There is a remedy for spiritual death. That remedy is the new birth. And when a man believes in Jesus Christ, he receives a new nature. He is born again. And he is spiritually alive. That is his spirit is now in contact with God, having been created a new by God. He is a new man, a new creation in Christ. I am a new creation in Christ. My face looks the same, but I am a new creation in Christ. The outward man wears away, as Paul says, “The outward man is destine for destruction but within my new man is being renewed day by day as I feed upon God’s word.”

Now there is a remedy for physical death too. Someday if Jesus does not come, there will be a funeral service for S. Lewis Johnson, Jr. I hope you come, and someone will give a message. I hope he preaches the gospel. And they will say some things about me. I hope they say simply this that he was lost, spiritually dead, was born again and is destined for the resurrection. For you see I shall be with the Lord and waiting the resurrection of the body. Then my physical death shall be remedied and I’ll have a body of which I can genuinely be proud for it shall be like Christ. There is no remedy for eternal death. If a man dies outside of Christ there is no second chance.

May I say just a word at this point? In the light of the fact men are, who are believers in Christ, are born again and destined for the resurrection of the body, it seems to me, and I say this with a great deal of feeling because it may be that you as I have had members of my family, of your family as well as of my family, who have had bodies cremated after death. It seems to me that this which was a pagan service is contrary to the New Testament teaching. Now let me hasten to say this. I believe that Jesus Christ is able to accomplish the resurrection no matter what we may do with this physical body. And I have no doubt that Christians who have had their bodies cremated shall participate in the resurrection, but it seems to me that fire, which in the Bible is a token of judgment and destruction, is not the way in which a Christian should be buried.

The other day I heard a story of a man whose mother-in-law died. The funeral director said to him, “Sir, do you wish her embalmed and buried or cremated?” He said, “Sir all three. Let’s don’t take any chances.” [Laughter]

Let me also emphasize this. There are two things. First, death is the cessation of bodily life. In other words, when a person dies and the spirit departs, the body is left here, and that body is a something from that time on. The body is no longer that person. The spirit has returned to the Lord, a something. Not long ago I read of someone who described the human body after the spirit has gone. A noted analytical authority tells us that in the average man there are the constituent parts of twelve hundred eggs, iron enough to make two ten penny nails, phosphorous enough to make the tips of four thousand matches, fat enough to make seventy-five candles and a good sized cake of soap, hydrogen enough to fill a balloon and carry him above the clouds, six teaspoons full of salt, a bowl of sugar, and six gallons of water. Charles Mayo, a surgeon, said there is lime enough to white wash a chicken coop, magnesium enough to make a dose of magnesia, potassium enough to explode a toy cannon, sulfur enough to rid a dog of fleas, the value of which at the time of which he said that was ninety-nine cents. So we’ve gone up in value. Inflation has come. We’re worth about two dollars today perhaps, perhaps a little more. But death is the cessation of bodily life and all that we have before us is a something. That’s the first thing about physical death we should remember.

The second thing is this. That death is a separation of the spirit from the body, a somebody, the somebody who was at one time in that something, the physical body, is no longer in that body. Socrates, though he did not have a Christian revelation at least understood something of this. For he said, “You can catch my body if you like, but you cannot catch me to bury me, for you shall be gone.” I have sometimes heard scientists say that we have no evidence what so ever that when the body dies the spirit does not die with it. That is the most flagrant exhibition of unscientific thinking that it is possible for us to engage in. True, as far as the senses are concerned, that’s so, but whoever said that we should confine our thinking to that which the sense sees. I have a personality. Have you seen it? I have life. Have you seen it? I also have love and do love someone. Do you see that love? The greatest forces in human nature are the forces that you cannot see, which any kind of imperial reasoning should recognize. So that is physical death, cessation of bodily life, the separation of the spirit from the body.

Secondly, why do men die? What is the cause of this one hundred percent mortality rate? Now I think we can look at the reasons in three ways. Materially speaking, the heart stops beating. I read my encyclopedia the other day in preparation for this particular message. I wanted to discover just exactly what it was that the encyclopedia had to say about death. And this is what it had to say, “Death is the moment when life ends.” Now that’s a great statement. “Men usually die because the heart stops and blood no longer circulates and bring nourishment to the cells of the body.”

Now that of course is right. Materially speaking, death comes when our hearts stop beating. When the spirit leaves the body, it is dead. Now, of course, this does not give us the kind of information that we want to know. We are interested, of course, in the cause of physical death from other stand points. I know that the moment my heart stops beating, I shall die. Oh it may take some time, certain tissues and cells in the body take longer to die. I understand that some doctors have even maintained certain types of animal flesh for as long as twenty years. But as far as practical death is concerned, it occurs when the heart stops beating. Now when we go beyond that for the cause of death, we are dependent upon divine revelation. We do not have any other evidence that is really worthwhile and reliable, and so the Bible is our light.

Yesterday I was reading a letter from a preacher, and in it he had a story. I thought it was kind of good. He said, “There was a man who was marooned on an island.” And he said, “Now let’s just imagine that man, and let’s imagine that someone went to him and said, ‘Out of all of the books that have been written, what book would you want on this little island upon which you have been marooned?’ He said, ‘I would want that book entitled How to Build a Boat.’” [Laughter] You thought he was going to say the Bible didn’t you? “And then the person said, ‘And if you had one person of all the people in the world to be here with you on the island, who would you want?’ He said, ‘the person who wrote that book, How to Build a Boat.’” [Laughter]

Now when it comes to spiritual things, we need this book, the Bible, and we need the person who is responsible for the Bible, the Holy Spirit, for in this book we have a divine revelation, and next week when I speak to you on the subject of the intermediate state, I want to talk about why we can believe in an intermediate state, or life after death, but let me just anticipate it a little by saying that the strongest evidence, that we have, though not the only evidence, is the revelation of God in his word. Morally speaking then as we look at the Bible, death is the result of sin and guilt because men have sinned men die. As we read in the Epistle to the Romans, the 5th chapter and the 12th verse, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” or in the Old Testament, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Death morally speaking is the result of our sin and the result of our guilt.

Now our guilt is not criminality. It is not moral pollution. It is the judicial obligation to satisfy justice. That is our guilt. We must satisfy divine justice, and we abide under that guilt. Metaphysically speaking, of course, God is the ultimate cause for death. If I had time I could turn to passages in the Bible to point this out, but I don’t think that I have to point this out to this audience, that death is ultimately the result of God. He is the cause of physical death. In other words, he has ordained a moral law that demands death and a physical law that obeys that moral law so that the result is that men die, and they die with God the ultimate cause.

Now this is important for me. Do you know why? Because this means that no one can die without the express permission of God. Have you ever looked at some lives and wondered why it was so? I’ve known many young people who were killed, or who died when they were young with great promise in their lives. You can of course think of many in the spiritual sphere. I think of Robert Murray McCheyne, for example, one of the great saints of the 19th century. McCheyne died when he was about thirty years of age, or a little less, a marvelous power for God. Why did he die so young? But all of these are rationalizing of course are of insignificance when we begin to think about Jesus Christ. He died at age thirty-three let’s say. Oh how the world needed Jesus Christ, how the world needed Stephen, how the world needed the apostles, but they died. Now death is ultimately something that is in the hands of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ’s life was short, but oh what was accomplished in that short life. Ultimately we cannot question God in death, for what he does he does sovereignly. And you can be sure that he does that which is right. We may have a difficult time explaining it, but every one of us has a completed plan for our lives that shall be carried out by God.

Now I know that there are many ways in which we do not realize God’s best, but you can be sure that when the time comes that you pass from this earthly existence, it has not been apart from the mind and will of God. I think of so many things that I would like to do. I wish I were twenty years of age, and I wish I knew something about the Bible as I know now. I’d like to engage in the study of the word of God. And I wish I knew some things that I know now. I wish I knew at age twenty so I could eliminate a lot of the mistakes that I’ve made. I know I have so many things before me now that it is impossible for me to ever possibly ever fulfill them all in my life. I have a relatively few years left if I live a normal life. I have so many things to do I could not possibly complete them. And yet I know that when the time comes, God shall say from heaven, “Completed.” That is it.

Now, thirdly what about the consequences of the fact of death? Therefore since men die and since men die as a result of sun, the effects, of course very with the classes of men. Mankind in general looks at death as if it were a mystery. As Job says, “But man dieth and wasteth away, ye man giveth up the ghost and where is he?” Every avenue of approach by men to the fact of death seems to be darkened by an impenetrable shadow. What can we know about death? Henry Thoreau was dying and his friend Parker Pillsbury was at his bed side. He was anxious to know about the future. And as Thoreau was just about to pass into eternity, he said, “Henry, what do you see?” And Thoreau replied to him, “One world at a time, Parker.” We cannot see beyond this world. Death is a mystery. It’s a mystery that faces us however, and it faces us not only as a mystery but as an enemy.

The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 26, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Why is death an enemy? Well it is the end of all that we cherish. It is the end of physical beauty. It is the end of material riches. It is the end of earthly honor. And men who are interested only in this look at death as an enemy for that is exactly what it is. It is the king of terrors. And let me say this, that if you are in this audience today and you have not yet believed in Jesus Christ, death ought to be the king of terrors for you. You should be so afraid of death that you are literally shaking in your boots.

Monday night in the Bible class that I teach every Monday night a woman came up to me afterwards when I was by myself. She said, “I’d like to speak with you.” She said, “I’m not sure that I’m really a Christian.” She said, “I grew up in the Anglican church and I have accepted Christian truths, but I’m not really sure that I’m a Christian.” I asked here did she believe the things that Christians believe. She said, “I think I do.” I said, “Why do you think that you are not a Christian?” I think she is a Christian by the way. She said, “I’m so afraid of death.” She said, “Perhaps it’s because I’m afraid of how I die.” I said, “Well anyone would be afraid of how we die.” Not all of us would like to die of a lingering illness. But she said, “I’m afraid of death,” and she said, “It seems to me that Christians should not be afraid of death.” Death is an enemy. It is an enemy to us.

It’s amazing to me in the light of this that some men can treat it as if it were inconsequential. Some men are stupid. They die like an ox dies. Other men are completely indifferent to it. Some men die and challenge God. I think all of us were saddened to read in the paper of a young man just this week from our community out here, eighteen years of age, ready to go into the marines, who took a pistol, took out all of the bullets in it except one, and played Russian roulette. Took the pistol, he said before he fired the shot, “I’m not crazy,” and fired the shot and in about ten or twelve hours was dead. Death is the kind of terrors. It’s amazing to me that men can play with death for death is final. And when that comes there is nothing else. For a Christian, of course, death is different. Death is a door into the presence of God.

I love the way the Bible speaks about the Christians death. It speaks about it as a sleep. Have you noticed that? Christians sleep in Jesus. Now there are some things about sleep which are true of death. Now in the first place it is a time of rest. Secondly, it is a time of living, and most of us make some sounds in order to confirm the fact that we are alive when we are sleeping. Oh not most of us, most of you are young, most of us who are older perhaps make some sounds. Evidence of the fact that we’re alive, and sleep of course is followed by an awakening. That is why the Bible speaks of death as a sleep because these things are true.

The Bible also speaks of death as a departure for home. The Apostle Paul in the 2nd epistle to Timothy, the 4th chapter and the 6th verse speaks about how he is just ready to set sail for home. He uses a nautical metaphor. I think it’s so good too, you know, because if you’ve ever lived by the seashore and you’ve watched ships go out, you’ve seen how ships go out, and you’ve watched those ships until finally just the tip of the mast, you can see. And finally the mast seems to sink into the water in which it is. And someone says by your side, “It’s gone.” But it really hasn’t gone. On the other side, someone will see it coming, and they will see it arise, and they will say, “There she is.” And death is very much like that. It is a departure for home, and it may appear that we have gone, but we have not really gone, or rather we have gone, we have gone to be in the presence of the Lord, but it is a departure at which there is an arrival following.

Victor Hugo once said, “The tomb is not a blind alley. It’s a thoroughfare.” And that’s what it is for a Christian. It’s the way into the presence of the Lord. The early Christians used to call their cemeteries koimeterion, that is, “sleeping places.” The Germans, I understand, called their cemeteries, “God’s acre.” That is, it is the place where the bodies of believers lie, but their spirits are with the Lord. They have gone to be with the Lord.

Now you know me. I grew up in the Presbyterian church and I don’t like to ever quote the Shorter Catechism very much, but I’m going to quote the Shorter Catechism right now because there is a lot of good truth in it. And this is what it says, “What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?” And this is the answer. Do you remember learning it, some of you who are Presbyterian? “The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united in Christ, do rest in their graves, till the resurrection.” That is true.

The Bible also speaks of death as a dismantling of a tent. Have you been out camping kids? And you know when time comes to go home, you strike the tent don’t you? You take it down. The Bible uses that same expression for death. In 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 1 the apostle says, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, (were dismantled, were struck like a tent) we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” In other words, death is an exodus, a departure. Death is a sleep. Death is a removal. This is the Christians death. For us we have victory over terror. Death is swallowed up in victory as the Apostle Paul puts it. Of course we must die physically. Have you ever wondered why God has made it that we should die physically? He does for this reason. Death is still a discipline. In fact if we disobey God as his children, it is very possible that we may ultimately so persist in our disobedience that God shall take our physical life, and so death remains as a discipline for us, but death as far as an entrance into separation with God for eternity is gone. “Oh, death where is thy sting. Oh grave where is thy victory?” For death has been swallowed up in victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Death also is not inevitable because Jesus Christ may come and take us to be with him.

There is a text in the Old Testament which I like. It’s in Numbers chapter 23 and verse 10, and in that text it goes something like this, “Oh that I might die the death of the righteous, that my last end might be like his.” For when a believer has put his trust in Christ, death for him is not entrance into a state in which we are reserved for everlasting judgment, but we have come into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. To the unsaved it is the precursor of final judgment.

The infidel Hobbes said, “I’m taking a fearful leap into the dark.” Queen Elizabeth said, “Oh that I might not die. I would give millions that I might not die.” Mirabeau said, “Give me more laudanum. I don’t want to face the fact of my death.” And even Edward Gibbon, the noted atheist cried, “All is dark and doubtful.” Charles the IX, the bloody tyrant said, “I know not where I am. I am lost forever. I know it.” In the final analysis, there are really only two ways to die. Jesus said, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” That is one way, to die as an unbeliever in Christ. The other way is the word that comes from heaven in the 14th chapter in the Book of Revelation in which the voice from heaven said, “Blessed are they that die in the Lord.” So we may die in our sins, or we may die in the Lord. Moody, what a wonderful saint Moody was, when Moody died how different from Hobbes, how different from Mirabeau, how different from Queen Elizabeth. He said, “Earth is receding. Heaven is opening. God is calling.” Joseph Everett died with, “Glory! Glory! Glory!” That’s the death of a Christian.

If you are here this morning in this audience and you face the fact of death, every one of you, shall it be in your sin? Shall it be in the Lord? If I were in your place and I did not know Jesus Christ as my personal savior, I would not draw another breath until I had received Jesus Christ as my personal savior. The next breath that you draw may be your last breath. Death is the king of terrors, from it there is no recall. A child may be with us this Sunday and not with us next. Once in Dallas I said this to an audience. The next Sunday a young man, twenty years of age, was no longer with us. These are facts. Shall you die in your sins or in the Lord? It’s so simple. All you need do is to realize that Christ died for your sins and just to say to him, “Thank you Lord Jesus for dying for me. I take you as my personal savior. I see that I’m guilty. I see that I’m under divine condemnation. I know that I’m headed toward death. I take you as my savior. Thank you, Lord, for your salvation.” The moment that that decision is made, from that moment on, you have new life. You have passed from spiritual death into spiritual life and no longer shall die the second death. May God help you to make that decision. Let’s stand for the benediction.

[Prayer] Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us and is now at the right hand of the Father in the heavens, the love of God the Father who gave the Son and who raised the Son from the dead, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit who lives within the hearts of all who have believed be in abide with you. For those who are here without Christ, O…