Summary: In our text, Paul gives us the lowdown on death; when and what to do. 1- Death reaches all 2- Death requires preparation 3- Death reveals our future
INTRO.- People say there are only two certainties in life. What are they? Death and taxes.
ILL.- A woman named Shirley from Beverly Hills had a heart attack and was taken to Cedars Sinai hospital. While on the operating table, she had a near-death experience. She saw God and asked, "Is this it?" God said, "No, you have another 30 to 40 years to live."
Upon her recovery, she decided to stay in the hospital and have collagen shots, cheek implants, a face lift, liposuction, etc.. She even had someone dye her hair. She figured since she had another 30 to 40 years, she might as well make the most of it.
She walked out of Cedars Sinai lobby after the last operation and was killed by an ambulance speeding up to the hospital. She arrived in front of God and said, "I thought you said I had another 30 to 40 years?" God replied, "Well, Shirley, I didn’t recognize you!"
Never fear, God will always recognize us, dead or alive. HE IS GOD!
Most people are scared when you talk about the possibility of them dying and going into the presence of God. Although some people probably aren’t worried about seeing God when they die since they believe death is the end.
Hebrews 10:31 “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
It will be dreadful for some, for sure! But for us who are in Christ it will be a different matter! What will it be like? Isaiah of old may give some insight about God’s heavenly presence.
Isaiah 6:1-7 1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
I don’t understand everything in this picture but I get the main point! Isaiah was greatly humbled before God. He was more than humbled. He was also convinced of God’s might and power and he was convicted of His sin. “I am a man of unclean lips.”
Most of us are guilty of far more than unclean lips!
What happened to Isaiah needs to happens to us, only it needs to happen here and now, before death comes! It needs to happen in this life so that our guilt is taken away and our sin is atoned for! Our sin has already been atoned for in the person of Jesus but we have to humbly accept His atonement for our sins!
What will it be like to see God, face-to-face?