If you died today…



The billboard on the interstate highway asked “If you died today, where would you spend eternity?” 

The question was never asked in the Bible. It reflects a theology based on some assumptions that are not held by biblical authors. I would be uncomfortable asking the question to anyone, for fear that they might assume that I hold the theology.

First, asking where would you spend eternity  assumes that everybody is going to be alive to spend eternity somewhere.  The Bible does not teach that. The Bible teaches that God’s gift of eternal life is available only to those who put their trust in Christ. Eternity is not a given.

John 3:36  “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life”

John 6:40  “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’”

John 6:47  “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”

John 10:28  “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

1 John 5:11-12  “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Jude 1:21 “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.’”

Second, asking if you died today indicates that it is the time of one’s death that seals their fate.  A more biblical question would be Who is your LORD today?  A person’s fate is not based on the time of her death but the quality and commitments of her life. 

Matthew 10:25  “It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.”

Matthew 10:42  “And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Luke 14:26-27  “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:33   “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

Acts 9:10  “Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.””

Nevertheless, the question is an honest one. My brothers and sisters in Christ who put up that sign may be somewhat confused about their theology, but their heart is in the right place. The question on the billboard reflects an urgency. It implies that thousands will drive that road every day who have never seriously considered their eternal fate. It is correct.

Perhaps you are one of those people who have never taken seriously the claims of Jesus Christ.  Maybe you have thought about what would happen to you if you should die today.

Probably nothing. You would probably be buried, and rot in the grave for a very long time. But one day the same Jesus who was raised from the dead the first Easter Sunday will come back and raise you from the dead too.

Then you will really face the moment of truth. It will not be the day of your death, but the day of your resurrection which you should be concerned about. 

Matthew 13:47-50 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The evil ones who trust in their own ways will suffer, be discarded and destroyed. The righteous who put their faith in Christ will be gathered and saved for eternity. If you were to die tonight, which resurrection would you be a part of? Would you have a chance to spend eternity in God’s new heaven and new earth?

Commit your life to Jesus Christ today. Then you will not have to worry about whether you die today or tomorrow. You can be safe in him.

Author: Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !

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