It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The third reason Solomon gave for making God central in our lives is the certainty of judgment. In the book of Ecclesiastes, we have seen that Solomon was bothered by how unfair life is. He realized the same fate awaits both the wise person and the fool, and that is death. But even though there is one fate for everyone, there are two destinies: heaven and hell. So Solomon closed the book of Ecclesiastes with these words: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (12:13-14). The wisest man who ever lived was saying, “If I can leave you with one thought, it is this: live your life with the perspective that one day God is going to judge you.”
If we really let it sink in that one day we are going to stand before God Himself, it is going to change the way we live. Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” One of the most sobering things about this judgment by God is once we die and stand before Him, it will be too late to change anything in our lives. It will be too late to make any improvement in our relationship with God.
When comedian Billy Crystal was fifteen, he had a bitter fight with his dad. And that night, his dad died of a heart attack before they had a chance to reconcile. In an interview, Crystal said, “That was part of the hurt of it all in never getting a chance to say, ‘I’m sorry.’”
Once you die it is going to be too late to say to your heavenly Father, “I’m sorry.” It is going to be too late for any reconciliation. Jesus said in Matthew 7:22-23: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” These are not Satan worshipers; these are religious people who deluded themselves into thinking they were saved.
The most important preparation you can make for the inevitable day of your death is to make sure you have said “I’m sorry” to God before it is too late, to make sure you have trusted in Christ alone to be your Savior, to make sure when you stand before God, you are not standing in your own righteousness but in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Graduation from Hebrew High” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Billy Crystal, interview by Michael Eisner, NBC News, June 30, 2006, https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna13188253.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.