If we wait to be
saved until the future
it will be too late,
but today we can
in a moment
Recently I was looking at the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, which is the only portion of the Bible that actually shows us someone suffering in the next life. I was so struck by the fact that the rich man’s suffering began the very moment he passed from life into death:
The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades….
— Luke 16:22-23
There is no indication of any interval between the time of his death and the beginning of his torment. One moment he was living a happy, care-free life, and the next he entered into unspeakable, endless suffering.
This is true even though he was not yet in the Lake of Fire. Here he is only in Hades; he will only go to the Lake of Fire after the final judgment of the damned in Revelation 20:11-15. This is similar to how today a criminal is first held in jail, then has his trial, then is pronounced guilty, and only then is finally cast into prison to serve his sentence.
What a terrible moment it is, then, when a lost soul passes from life into death, from earthly blessing into endless torment, and all hope of salvation is gone for eternity!
But, thank the Lord, there is another moment anyone may have that can save him from such a fate. The Lord Jesus tells us:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
— John 5:24
What a glorious moment is this, when our eternal destiny is changed forever and we pass over from death into life! In the story in Luke 16 we read that, after death, there is a chasm, a gulf, that has been “fixed” so that no one can cross (Luke 16:26). But while it will be too late to cross over then, the Lord Himself tells us here that we can “cross over” today from death into life, simply by believing in Him.
Some feel that we must wait until the future to know whether we are saved or not. But in fact, if we are not yet sure that we are saved, it may indicate that we have not yet crossed over and so will be lost in the future. The Lord does not say here that we shall be saved in the future; He does not even say that we shall find out in the future whether we are saved or not. Rather, His own promise to us is that, in the very moment we believe in Him, we have already passed over once-for-all from death into life!
And if we seize this moment and believe in Christ today, then we can await another moment in the future. Rather than a moment when we pass into torment, the apostle tells us of a moment in which we will pass into glory:
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
— 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
And then, ultimately, as he tells us elsewhere, we shall be “forever with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17).
So, won’t you take this moment right now to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior, and pass over from death into life? It may just be the last moment you ever have to believe and be saved:
“Lord Jesus, I want to pass over from death into life right now! So, I believe in You as my Savior! Thank You that You died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead! And thank You for saving me! In Jesus name, Amen!”
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— 7 September 2022 —