Death is sure. Death is common. No one likes it, but sometimes we expect it. A grandfather in his seventies. A mother who has been battling a terminal illness for decades. An actor with a long, successful, much-feted career. The victims of a long-running war in which hundreds or thousands have already died. In these cases, we grow numb to death. We expect it. We prepare for it.
But, sometimes, death hits us in surprising ways — slaps us in the face, causing us to startle in surprise at how truly painful and horrible it is. And we were reminded of that this past week.
An up-and-coming French singer, Barbara Weldens, was performing at a concert inside a church when she collapsed and died mid-song. She was only 35 and had recently won acclaim for her first album released earlier this year.
In another shocking incident for the music industry, Chester Bennington, lead singer for the rock band Linkin Park was found dead at his home. He was just 41, and left behind a wife and six children. He had just released his band’s seventh album and was about to go on tour this week. Sadly, the cause of his death is apparently suicide.
These untimely deaths shock us into considering that we too might die, as they say, “before our time.” The future is guaranteed to no one — not the next day, not even the next hour. Many of us act like the rich man in the parable that Jesus told in Luke chapter 12. We store up our goods and make plans for the future as if we have all the time in the world. We eat, drink, and enjoy today like there’s no tomorrow. But, one day, there might literally be no tomorrow. As God said to that rich man, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.”
What if your soul is required of you tonight? You might not think it is your time to die. You might be young and energetic. You may have eaten healthily and exercised consistently for the past 20 years. You may have big plans about where you want to be ten years from now. But none of that matters if death comes knocking. The only thing you can do is be prepared to die at any time — and that means settling the destination of your eternal soul. Doctors, law enforcement officials, and psychologists will spend days trying to figure out what caused the deaths of Barbara Weldens and Chester Bennington. But the only thing that really matters is whether or not these two made their peace with God and settled the destination of their souls. And that is what I invite you to do today.
Get to know the God Who made you so that He can save you so that when your time to die arrives — whether it’s tomorrow or thirty years from now — you will be ready. Here is how:
First, you must realize and admit that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
Second, you must understand that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” This is both spiritual death and physical death. We die physically and go to the grave because of sin and we die spiritually and go to hell because of sin.
Third, you must understand that you are on the road to hell because of your sins. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Fourth, you must accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Fifth, you must accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Because of God’s love for you, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Because God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, we can live with God in Heaven for all eternity after we die.
Finally, with these facts in mind, you must repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me the following simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour!
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.