Those who fear death first say there is no God, then say they’re afraid of eternal torment. If you fear death it is because you don’t have a clear understanding of your salvation. Of course, no one wants to die by terrible torture or disease, but once the body is dead the spirit that animates the body is free to join God’s Family in the Heavenly Kingdom or will rest in peace until God calls the spirit forth again for a final judgment and determination of “one’s reward.” And that’s the upset, isn’t it? You’re not sure of your “reward” and it worries you. Am I right?
My Friend, if you are saved in the Christ Jesus you can go to your ending happily because it only means you will go to your real home with God where we will enjoy peace, happiness, comfort, wisdom, and greater joy than we have ever known.
Where is that “home?” There is debate about that. Some say in a parallel universe we call the Heavenly Kingdom, while others argue based upon scripture it will be on a renewed Earth, cleaned up and made like the Garden of Eden. Whatever it is, if you have invited Jesus the Christ into your life and asked for The Holy Spirit to help you, you’ll have no further worries. You’ll develop a peace that goes beyond modern men’s understandings.
Salvation is entirely apart from any self-help. We are not saved by imitation of the crucifixion or by Christ’s example, but as Luther concluded, “that high crucifying whereby sin, the devil, and death, are crucified in Christ and not in me.”
The Bible says, “The soul that sins will surely die.” Christ died that we may live. He paid our debt to the righteousness of God. Two thousand years ago Christ paid a moral debt that belonged to you and me. His death secured our freedom from the debt and stamped the receipt “paid in full.” His death released us from all obligation to pay our spiritual debt.
The death of Christ is a historical fact at a time and place, but Christ crucified is also an eternal fact touching all-time with equal nearness. The crucifixion of Christ is an ever-present reality in the mind and heart of God. Our reconciliation to God depends entirely upon that central fact of the ages.
By faith, we lay our hands upon the head of the Lamb of God who was slain for our sins. In the sacrificial system of the Jewish tabernacle, the person offering the sacrifice laid his hands upon the head of the offering and declared by identification his sins upon that offering. The confessing Christian by faith lays his hand upon the head of God’s perfect sacrifice on his behalf. There is a solemn unity in the suffering of Christ and the believer. Christ made full atonement for the believing sinner. His death for the believer is intensely personal.
There is such an identification that the apostle Paul can say in Romans 6:6, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”
Not only did Christ die that we might live, but in a very real sense, He died that we might die. “In one death for all, then all die.”
This is all true of us and we accept it by faith. Christ died for us. He bore our sins and paid our penalty. Because of our identity with Him through faith, we have been “crucified with Christ.” My soul says let me hear that Christ died in the stead of sinners, of whom I am chief; that He was forsaken of God, during these fearful agonies, because He had taken my place. On His cross, He paid the penalty of my guilt. Let me hear the message that His blood cleanses from all sin and that I may now appear before the bar of God, not only pardoned but declared acquitted. I was in effect crucified on Calvary, and He will in effect stand before the throne in my person.
Because of my vital union with Christ, I can declare: His the penalty, mine the salvation; His the shame, mine the glory; His the thorns, mine the crown; His the merit, mine the reward.
No one “qualifies” for salvation. All of us are welcomed to it, given as a gift by Jesus and God! All you need to do is request it.
Inspirational Notes for this article came from: http://www.abideinchrist.com/
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