We hear statements like this periodically throughout life, “What if this were your last day?” and we often just think quickly about all the things we haven’t done. Many instantly think about our bucket list and what we’d do first. This article begs to ask the same question, but in a different context; what if today were your last day and you were going to stand trial before a judge for the good or evil you have done, where your eternal existence depends on the Judge’s verdict? What would you do differently on this day?
Related: Are You Fighting the Good Fight?
The question I have asked seems to have a bit more weight to it than other times we are asked jokingly by our friends. But I want to ensure you that I ask in a loving manner, just as a true friend would. God wants us to live for Him and He wants us to spend eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven. However, the bible tells us that only those who follow Jesus will get to go there (John 14:6). The bible also tells us to live in a state of readiness, as the Lord could show up at any moment to redeem us (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3), which I would relate to living in a potential “last day.”
The enemy, Satan, knows that we are in a spiritual battle for our souls. He knows that time is limited and that we are in our last days. He knows that he only has a short time to deceive as many as possible. And, what is the fate of those he deceives? Eternal punishment alongside himself in the fiery pit of Hell. The bible tells us in Revelation that the devil will be cast into Hell, and all those who follow him. However, unlike Satan, if we are breathing now, we have a chance to repent from our sins and turn to God.
To repent means to turn away from, or, to change our minds. We can literally change our minds about living in sin. This is exactly what God is hoping we will think about when asked, “What if today were your last day?”
Hell is a terrible place reserved for Satan and his followers
“The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.”
“Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
These Scriptures give a brief description of what Hell will be like. It says there will be eternal torment with no relief forever and ever. This should scare us straight into the arms of Jesus. However, for many, it won’t. Again, this is because Satan has deceived many into believing that it either won’t be like this, or that the whole thing is just a bunch of hogwash.
This is his great deception, because as I have already discussed, those who choose not to live for God will effectively, choose to live for Satan; even if unknowingly. The penalty for this is eternal separation from God.
If you were to spend some time thinking about this being your last day, are you convinced that you are going to Heaven? Is there any concern that you might miss the mark and fall short of God’s expectations?
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Tomorrow in not promised
Too many people get in accidents each day around the world that claim their lives. We hear of vehicle accidents, natural disasters, assaults and murders, and a whole host of other situations that take people’s lives quickly. For these people, there isn’t time to get right with God; there isn’t time to repent from sins and ask Jesus into their lives.
The urgency of this article is for those who do not know Jesus or who are spiritually asleep. The bible tells us of a time of “End days” that is coming where there will be many natural disasters and much persecution and especially, death. We don’t have to go far to notice that things are changing rapidly in our world. We have natural disaster on top of natural disaster, we have wars and rumors of wars, and we have persecution on many different levels for believers of Jesus.
“There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.”
The bible gives us these details throughout as signs of the times. We are given various descriptions and insights about things to come. We must look around us right now and see that these “signs of the times” are upon us now. We have a chance right now to make a determined choice to come to Jesus and to spend our time getting to know Him, and, how to live for Him.
We only have this short life on earth, compared to eternity. We are wise to look into this and see what God is saying to each of us.
What can I do to be prepared?
If I believed that today could be my last day, which I do, there are some things I would spend my time doing. For me, this will be mostly hypothetical, as I’m already doing much of this, but here are a few things I’d start with:
- Determine a relationship with Jesus
- Repent of sins and sinful living
- Forgive and make amends
- Read the bible and pray
1. Determine a relationship with Jesus
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
In these Scriptures, we can see that Jesus was sent to us by the Father to make atonement for our sins and to give us Life. These verses also show that Salvation through Christ is available to “All who believe.” Finally, these verses show that Salvation comes only through believing in Jesus and the resurrection of Christ, and nothing else. This is good news because we don’t have a big list of things we need to do for Salvation, if we haven’t already received it.
Once saved, God marks us with His Seal, and we move into “right standing” with Him because He see’s His Son and Spirit in us.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
2. Repent of sins and sinful living
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. For those who accept Jesus as Lord, all their sins are forgiven. There is no more debt to be paid. However, we are still human, and we will still sin periodically. We are not made perfect yet.
This means that there will be times where we must go to God and ask forgiveness for these sins. When we sin as believers, we grieve the Holy Spirit, who lives in us. When we confess our sins and repent from them, we clear our conscience and we move into closer fellowship with the Lord.
The Holy Spirit, who is God, gives us the power to resist the devil and his temptations. We don’t have to worry about not being strong enough to resist sinful living. When we surrender to God, and we seek Him and His strength, we will be strong enough to withstand the attacks and temptations from Satan.
However, if we choose to maintain sinful living of any sort, we effectively give Satan the right to come into our lives and mess with us. It is when we turn away from his lifestyle and take on new Life in Jesus that we become powerful to resist him. Confessing sins is one part; repenting from them is the other part. We must do both as often as necessary.
3. Forgive and make amends
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
When we confess our sins to God and ask forgiveness, we can be sure that we are forgiven. The bible here is telling us that if we aren’t willing to forgive others, to not expect the Father to forgive us.
If we aren’t forgiven for our sins, how can we go to Heaven?
It can be very difficult to forgive those who hurt us and those who attack us, but God will give us the strength if we’re willing (Philippians 4:13).
We are called to love one another, and if we refuse to forgive someone, this is likened to holding a grudge or harboring hate in our heart. The bible looks at hate as the same as murder.
Take some time and think about everyone you know. Say their name in your mind and then pay attention to the first thought that comes to mind; is it a pleasant thought? There probably isn’t any issue there. However, if the very first thing that comes to mind after thinking of a person is bitterness, resentment, or any form of a bad memory, there is a high likeliness that forgiveness and healing is necessary. Seek the Lord’s help in this.
4. Read the bible and pray
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”
These three verses tell us how to live each day. God wants us to spend as much time as possible studying the bible, which is His written Word. In doing this, we are equipping ourselves with all the tools necessary for standing against the enemy. We are also told to pray about everything. I would say the word “everything” in Philippians 4:6-7 means that God is okay with us praying about even the small stuff on our minds.
The more we study the bible and walk in communication and fellowship with Jesus, the easier it will be to love others, including, forgiving them when they hurt us. We don’t often have the power within us to forgive our enemies, but the Holy Spirit in us does.
Also, the more we pray to God and read His Word, the more we learn of His character and start to understand His promises and how He never falls short. This should help build our faith in Him.
If this were your last day, do you think God would accept you into His Kingdom of Heaven? Are there any last-minute changes you would need to make?
What if you don’t know Jesus already; do you think you are “good enough” to be saved?
Well, let me remind everyone; none of us are “good enough.” That’s exactly why we need God’s Grace. Too many people are not turning to Jesus because they believe the lies that Satan tells them about not being good enough to go to Heaven. The bible tells us what the requirements are: believe in the Son.
I have covered this in this article, and I have also covered the fact that Jesus says that “All” who believe are saved. There is literally no person that is too bad or not able to turn to Jesus. If you have been putting off a relationship with Jesus because you feel you don’t deserve it, then I encourage you to let go of that feeling and ask Jesus to come into your life and start repairing and healing you. He will.
If you are already a Christian who has been struggling to maintain faith and an upright walk, I want to encourage you to make a decision to surrender fully to Jesus. Anytime we rebuke Satan and turn to Jesus, we put ourselves in a position of victory. This means, if Satan is attacking us, we can tell him to be gone in the Name of Jesus, and he must. But we must be sure to close the doors of sinful living behind him.
You only get one Judgment Day and the time is now to prepare to meet the Judge. Are you ready?
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.