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Cecil Rhodes was the founder of the De Beers diamond
Mining Company in South Africa. He wrote:
"I've found much in Africa.
Diamonds, gold and land are mine, but now I must leave
them all behind. Not a thing I've gained can be taken
with me. I have not sought eternal treasure, therefore
I actually have nothing at all."
What Happens When I Die?
The answer to this question is up to you...
If you were to die today, would you go to heaven?
If you answered "yes", why do you think
God will let you into His heaven?
Because you are basically a good person? You haven't
murdered anyone, right? You're probably a better person than some
people you know... right? You've done more good than bad. You're
basically good, so God should let you into heaven. Right? You are
saying you're okay?
Are you sure?
I have some bad news for you.
Let me ask you a question.
Have you always obeyed the Ten Commandments?
1) Have you ever told a
lie? It doesn't have to be a big lie. Have you ever intentionally
told someone something you knew was not true?
2) Have you ever stolen something. It doesn't
have to be anything big. If you've taken a pen from work, without
permission, that's stealing.
3) Have you ever taken
the name of God in vain? Have you used God's name as a cuss word...
using God's name instead of a four letter word?
4) Have you ever lusted
after another person? Men, have you ever looked at a women, not
your wife, with lust in your heart? Women, have you ever dreamed
about a man with lust in your heart? The Bible says that if you
lust after another in your heart, that is committing adultery. (Matthew
Did you answer "yes" to any of the above?
If you are a normal person you probably answered "yes"
to all four. The Bible says, "For all
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." [Romans
To sin means to have disobeyed God.
When you stand before God to be judged, will
He find you guilty or innocent of disobeying Him?
We are not perfect. We are all guilty of disobeying
God. (If you say you are not, please read #1 thru 4 above again.)
When we disobey God, even once, we earn the consequences of that
disobedience. What are those consequences?
"The wages of sin
is death." [Romans 6:23]
This means that because you have lied, stolen,
taken God's name in vain, committed adultery, and broken many more
of God's laws, you have earned the death penalty. This is not an
ordinary death penalty, it is eternal separation from God... which
is called hell.
But there is some very good news!
"For God so loved
the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes
in Him will not perish but have eternal life." [John
What does this mean? Jesus died on the cross to
pay the penalty you earned. He died instead of you.
"God saved you by
His special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for
this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good
things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."
What do you have to do? Nothing. If you know you
are a sinner (you've disobeyed God), desire to turn away from sinning
(disobeying God), and you believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty
you owe for your sins... you will have eternal life.
Here's An Example
you are driving your car doing 60 mph in a plainly marked 20 mph
school zone where a blind children's conference is being held...
and you get caught. (God knows everything we have done wrong. You
will be caught. We can't keep any secrets from God.)
You are now in the courtroom standing before the
judge who gives you an opportunity to say one last thing before
he gives his judgment. You say, "Judge I know you are a good
and loving man, so I have no doubt you will let me go free."
The judge replies, "You are right about one
thing. I am a good man, and that's the reason I'm fining you $50,000."
This is exactly what we try to say to God. "God,
you are good and loving, so you will let me avoid the penalty I
deserve." But, God is also just, which means--just as the judge
in the courtroom did--His judgment will be that the penalty must
be paid. Justice will be done.
Saved By The Judge
Back in the courtroom, what if after he gives
his judgment, the judge steps down from then bench. The judge is
your father and he takes off his judge's robe, steps up to the clerk
and pays your fine. You go free because your fine has been paid
by someone else!
That is exactly what God has done for you.
You faced the death penalty, but God paid that penalty on your behalf
when Jesus died on the cross. Now you are free to join God in heaven
for eternity! This is good news!!
You've Condemned Yourself
But what if when the judge
tries to pay your fine, you say, "No thank you." You reject
the gift your father wants to give you. What happens then? You are
still responsible for paying the penalty, and you will pay the penalty...
in this case, since you don't have enough money to pay the fine,
you go to jail. In the case of your life you will die to pay the
death penalty you earned by disobeying God.
"For the wages of
sin is death." [Romans 6:23]
That's what happens with
God. If you refuse to accept the gift God has given you, then you
must pay the penalty yourself. You must go to hell instead of eternal
life in heaven.
It's your choice. God does not force anyone
into heaven who does not want to be with Him. Do you want to spend
eternity with God? Trust that Jesus will get you there. Trust that
Jesus Christ died on the cross so that you will not have to die.
What is your decision? Have you decided to trust
Jesus? Please tell Him about it.