Recently, my family and I learned about the unexpected deaths of several loved ones and friends. When such news reaches us, realization sets in as to how fragile, temporary and passing human life is. Experience with death is always sad, unpleasant, uncomfortable, unsettling and unnerving.
At the same time, we remind ourselves that we have hope that our loved ones will live again—and that we will see them again in a better world. But are we totally sure? Is there any doubt in our minds? Are we certain that we will be immortal God beings in God’s Kingdom and that we will be able to help our loved ones who were not called to salvation in this life, but who will be called in the next? And if we are sure of it, is our conviction based on reality?
As it is dangerous to live with nagging self-doubt, with the constant fear that we will not make it, so it is also dangerous to be over-confident about ourselves. Throughout my many years in God’s Church, I have seen many persons, including respected so-called “pillars,” turn their back on God and leave the Truth. One popular Church author wrote an article in one of the Church’s publications about Satan’s evil devices, asking the hypothetical question as to what he would do if he were Satan. He gave the answer: Try everything he could to influence people to leave the Church. Shortly thereafter, he had left the Church.
Paul warns us: If you think you stand, take heed lest you fall (compare 1 Corinthians 10:12; Revelation 3:17). Far too many have fallen and ARE falling, as we speak. They attended Church services, became baptized and might have received God’s Holy Spirit, and then left—often after quite a few years of Church “membership.” Maybe they were never truly converted and convicted, lacking the love for God’s Truth. They might have just waited for an opportunity to depart in order to enjoy the “pleasures” of this world and return to this society’s evil observances, such as Sunday worship, Christmas, Easter and Halloween, while rejecting again God’s weekly and annual Holy Days. Perhaps they thought they still had a long time ahead of them and could wait with their repentance, or they were simply too weak, too cowardly, too fearful to fight the good fight in the face of obstacles.
You must make sure that this does not describe you!
Look at the world around you. Make no mistake: The time is at hand! This evil age will soon end in total ruin. Crazy and careless politicians and ruthless military leaders will attempt to wipe out mankind with weapons of mass destruction. Death, misery and suffering will become commonplace. The return of Jesus Christ to this rotten and godless world and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth is humankind’s ONLY hope. God wants YOU to be there to help Him teach others HIS Way of Life. How much do YOU want to do this? Do you care enough for others that you are willing to forego all ungodly distractions and to overcome your personal sins and weaknesses so that you WILL be there to HELP others when the time has come?
Think of your loved ones who died without having been called in this day and age. Do you love them enough that you want to be there and teach and HELP them when they come back to life in the Second Resurrection? Do you love God and yourself enough so that you are willing to give up everything which will prevent you from entering God’s eternal Family? Or will your loved ones enter the Kingdom of God in their due time, while YOU are destroyed in the lake of fire?
Think! Don’t be foolish enough to throw it all away for ANY temporary, passing “justification” you can think up. The choice is yours, and yours alone. A falling away from the Truth is coming and will affect God’s Church in the near future. For those who refuse to resist evil and continue to love this world, even though “they had tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come” (Hebrews 6:5), their fate will be eternal death in the lake of fire (verse 8). We have to make sure that we do not belong to those who will walk away from God.
Christ WARNS us, saying, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy… to stand before the Son of Man” when He returns (Luke 21:36)! We are also admonished in this way: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15); “…be even more diligent to make your call and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10); and “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Care enough, and have enough LOVE.