Scared to Death
Do you enjoy being scared? It seems as if many people enjoy the thrill of a good scare these days. Riding a wild roller coaster or walking through a haunted house are fun activities or good scares. These types of scares are enjoyable because we know in the end we will turn out just fine. They are temporary and of no lasting harm or punishment. We can enjoy the thrill of the moment without any lasting consequences or repercussion.
What I don’t enjoy, and I’m sure you’d agree, are bad scares. By bad scares I mean those things that catch you off guard in life and make you shiver on the inside clamming up with fear and sweat. Car accidents are a good example. I don’t know anyone who enjoys a “good” car accident or even a close escape. When it comes to real danger in life, these types of scares are not good, fun and enjoyable.
Along with car accidents, I can think of some other bad scares that no one really likes. A diagnosis from a doctor that you or a loved one has a terminal disease is a bad scare. Showing up to class and finding out you have a pop quiz can be a bad scare. Or showing up to work and finding out you no longer have a job can be a pretty bad scare.
Can you think of any other scares that you don’t enjoy?
Fortunately there are plenty of warnings we can heed for these type of scare. Wear your seatbelt. Stop smoking. Pay attention in class. Don’t slack off in work. These warnings can do some good in preparing us for the scares of life. What you are about to read is one such warning. If you heed the advice given here you can successfully avoid this scare all together. If you choose to ignore it, blow it off or pretend you never heard it, it can cost you your life. So please pay close attention!
When you die, you will stand before God in judgment. In this moment, God will see everything you have ever done, said or thought. He’ll see the times you deceived or dishonored your parents. He’ll hear every lie you ever told. He’ll have a record of every word you’ve spoken, cruel comments, backstabbing remarks, gossip and strife. He’ll see and judge every motive of your heart and every action of your hands. He’ll even expose the times you’ve used his name as a cuss word in anger or disgust.
God will be able to see every evil or wicked deed that was done in private. “Even the darkness doesn’t hide from [God], but the night shines as the day. The darkness is like light to [Him]”. (Psalms 139:12) Jesus said, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:2-3)
Friend, standing before God on judgment day can be the scariest experience you will ever face! The Bible says that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31) It can be like standing before a judge on trial for a crime you know you’ve committed, facing a ruthless prosecutor and yet having no lawyer to plead in your defense. You will feel helpless, hopeless and lost. But even the best of lawyers wouldn’t be able to bail you out on judgment day because God is an all-knowing judge. Don’t ever ask God for what you deserve! You don’t need justice, you need mercy. You don’t need vindication, you need salvation! You need to be rescued from the wrath of God upon sin.
Good news! God does not want you to suffer the punishment of his wrath on sin. If you were to bear the full consequences of your sin, you would be sentenced to eternal life in hell, “for the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) But God desires that none would perish and go to hell, but that all would be saved. “The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. “ (2 Peter 3:9) So instead of allowing you to take the punishment for your sins, He took it for you. Here’s how he did that.
When the right time came, God sent his son Jesus to be born of a woman and placed in the world under the same laws and regulations that we ourselves are under. (Galatians 4:4) Jesus lived on this earth and faced every possible temptation one could face, yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) At the end of Jesus life, he stood before God in the courtroom of eternity and gave his life as a ransom. (1 Timothy 2:5,6) Jesus stepped into the courtroom and in essence said to the judge, “I will pay the penalty for the sins of mankind.” In the ultimate plea bargain of human history, God agreed.
Now here’s where you come in. In order to cash in on the benefits of Christ’s death on the cross and avoid the penalty of your sins, you need to come into agreement with God. It’s what Jesus referred to as the “new covenant”. “For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
Like any contract, the new covenant requires you to agree to the terms. You need to come to God humbly, admitting your need for his forgiveness. You then need to acknowledge your helpless condition before God who sees all things and place your trust in Christ’s death and not your own deeds. It is by faith in Christ that you can be freed from the penalty of your sins and escape God’s judgment. You can stand before God without fear, but instead experience his love for you. “In this love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:17-18)
So what are you waiting for? Pray this prayer in faith asking for God’s forgiveness and mercy.
Dear God, I know that if you were to judge me for my sins I would be guilty. I would have no chance of pleading innocence because my conscience knows that I have sinned before You. So I ask not for your justice, but for your mercy. I place my faith and trust in your son Jesus’ death as the payment for my sins. Forgive me. Cleanse me. Make me whole and give me a new start in life. Fill my life with your Spirit’s power and love so that I may live victoriously over my sinful nature and enjoy life with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.