GLMX #162: Prepare to Meet Your Maker

Two weeks ago, we learned that Ariel Castro, the Ohio man who kidnapped and raped three women, and held them captive in his home for a decade, committed suicide in prison. After admitting to all of the charges brought against him in court, he was sentenced to life in prison and then 1,000 years for his crimes.

Castro likely committed suicide thinking that death would allow him to escape the judgment for his crimes. However, his death only drew him closer to his final judgment before the Judge of the universe. Ariel Castro went to meet his Maker a few weeks ago.

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Castro will not have another chance to live his life or undo his deeds. He has gone to answer for what he did. The Bible says in First Peter 4:5 that everyone “shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”

No matter our status in this life, no matter how good and moral we are, no matter how much success we have, we will each go to meet our Maker when we die. Each of us has an appointment with the Creator of the universe. Revelation 20:12-13 describes this great meeting. The apostle John writes, “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books…And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”

The only thing that will matter once you have gone to meet God is whether or not your name is written in the “book of life” mentioned in these verses. Those who do not have their name written in the book of life will face eternal punishment in Hell as described in verse 15 of this very same passage: “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

+ Plus, listen to Shine Bright Baby singing “Never Too Far”

GLMX #145: Justice

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/91927-glmx-145-justice.mp3]

This past week, America witnessed the wonderful deliverance of three women who had been kidnapped and imprisoned in the home of their captor in Ohio for ten years. These women were re-united with their families and friends who had prayed and hoped — and even some who had given up hope — that they were still alive somewhere and that they would one day return home.

Those families and that entire community are relieved that an evil situation that lurked right underneath their noses for so long is finally gone. And the kidnappers who perpetrated this evil will finally face justice. “Justice” is an act of reparation where someone is fairly punished for what he has done wrong.

Throughout our lives, each of us has faced acts of justice because of our wrongdoings: a parent chastising us for disobedience, a teacher sending us to detention for not being cooperative in the classroom, and as we got older, law enforcement having to give us a ticket for driving faster than what the law says we are supposed to drive on the highway. This administration of justice is what keeps our society running in a harmonious manner.

There is one other very important matter where justice must be administered as well. And that is in the area of our personal relationship with God. The Bible tells us that God is a just God. Deuteronomy 32:4 says, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Because of our sins, we each must face justice from God.

From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the penalty (or judgment) for sin is physical death and eternal punishment in a place of fire and torment called Hell. God warned the first man, Adam, of the consequences of breaking his laws. He said, “for in the day that thou eatest [the forbidden fruit] thou shalt surely die.” During the thousands of years that followed, God repeatedly made the consequences of sin and disobedience clear. In Romans 1:32, he said, “they which commit such [sins] are worthy of death.” Death is the judgment for sin. It is the way justice is administered.

Because God is perfect and holy, his justice must be served, and sinners have to pay the consequences for their sins. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” And Ezekiel 18:20 says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

However, because God loves us, he did not want to leave us in our sinfulness, waiting our entire lives to be punished by death and then to go to suffer in Hell. So, he decided to do something about it.

+ Plus, listen to Hillsong singing “Mighty to Save”