For each and every one of us today, death has its scary side. Even though we are saved, if we are in a car wreck or have a near death experience, it can cause our flesh to kind of sit up and take notice. I believe it is in our character not to wish to die. We want to live. We fight for life. People on life support are fighting for life. Their body is actually fighting to live. For those who are saved, it's not a deep scary thought because we will be in the presence of the Lord at the time of death. But we have loved ones and we have things we want to do, and when we start thinking about death and how it affects our life, we start thinking about those things.
When I went through one of the episodes with the kidney stone, I told the doctor, "You can give me a shot of medicine or a 22 shell, doesn't matter at this point;" because I thought I was going to die. But there are people in our congregation this morning who have heard the words that this king heard, and I have never heard them. They've heard the words, 'You are sick and you are going to die.' You would be a whole lot better off hearing from one of those speak on this matter this morning because I haven't been there -- ever. I've never been told that. I don't know what that's like. This king knew what that was like. He heard that word, 'You are sick and you are going to die.'
Turn with me this morning to Hebrews Chapter 9. (Hebrews 9:27) We've just been told that we are sick and are going to die -- all of us. It's appointed. We don't live that way though, do we. We live like we are going to live ten more years. The title of this lesson this morning is 'If You Knew You Only Had One Day to Live, How Would That Affect Your Life?' You see, this king was told, "You're sick and you are about to die." They were not talking about 15 years from now. It meant right now because He said to get your house in order. There are some things that you need to do. There are some folks in our lives that have passed on from this life to the next who didn't have that privilege of knowing for sure that they were about to die. It was a sudden death. Family and friends of ours have passed from this life to the next, unprepared, unfortunately, to meet that death.
We are going to look at a few scriptures this morning. Sometimes I do this and sometimes I don't, but we are going to look at a few scriptures this morning around the subject of if you had one more day to live. (James 4:13) We are not guaranteed tomorrow, are we? I've been alive on this earth for 35 years, and I'm telling you and those of you who are my senior: to you 35 years doesn't seem like much and even to me it doesn't seem like much. It is a vapor. You turn around and ten years goes around that quick. I say ten years because my son is ten. That blows my mind. He is going on eleven. He will be eleven in a couple of months, Missy. (laughter) I get to share in this. I didn't do this all myself. He will be in junior high next year. I have a kid going into junior high. It's just a vapor, guys. It's just a vapor. But we live it like we are guaranteed tomorrow, do we not?
But if you knew today that by the close of today's business you would no longer be on this earth, would you do anything different than what you are doing now? If you knew for a fact that you had just one more day to live, would it affect you? How would it affect you? We see this king had knowledge of death and it provoked a change of attitude. The knowledge of his death led him closer to God, and the knowledge of his death caused him to turn his face to the wall and weep bitterly to the Lord, displaying his dependency upon the Lord and not on the figs. I didn't do any research on that. I intended to but I forgot to. I don't have a problem with figs. I wish that were my fix Tuesday (instead of surgery). I could eat some boiled figs and that would cure me and I'd be great with that, you know what I'm saying? Some of you really wouldn't want to do that. But that's not where his dependency was; it was on God. Where is your dependency this morning? If you were told this morning you have one more day to live, would it change your attitude? Would it change your thought process? Would it cause you to weep or would it draw you closer to God. I believe this is true to our Christian life today. Unfortunately, many of us think that we have time to spare, that we have plenty of it. But let's look at this question. If you had one more day to live, what would you do?
We are going to look at three things. The first thing we are going to look at is this question of what should you do. There are some that need to do something. There is something that needs to be done in their life. There are many today in this world who are not ready to meet the Lord in judgment. If they were told that they had one more day to live and they had not gotten this solved and secured in their life, they would not be ready to meet God. There is a need for people to come to the knowledge and belief that the Lord is their saviour and their Christ, and I start with this. That's the basics.
Many of you know about my sister who had made a couple of confessions of faith in her life, and then last Sunday she not only knew God but she believed in God. There is a difference in knowing and believing. She has experienced that and is getting baptized this morning. But there is a whole world out there who do not know Christ in the free pardon of sin. They may know about God, but they don't know Him as their saviour.
Turn again into James, Chapter 2. There is a need in this world to spread His gospel to a lost and dying world. That's a real need. There is someone, I dare say, in this state who has one day to live. Now there are probably more but I'm trying to make it simple. If that person doesn't know Christ, they are going to a devil's hell and that's the truth of the matter. They are not ready and they need to do something to prepare their house, to get their house in order. (James 2:19) Believing there is a God is different than believing on a God, on the God, on trusting Him as your saviour. There is a big difference.
As I spoke to my sister on the phone, she told me last Sunday afternoon that she had experienced Christ as her personal saviour that morning during the invitation. She said, "Randall, I knew all the right answers but I had never really believed. I had never really committed. I got in a trap because everybody knew that I had married Craig and he was a preacher and how would that look to his job?" That was the devil, by the way, throwing stumbling blocks in her path. If Andrea only had one day to live and it was on a Friday or a (continued...)