“LIFE is a glorious opportunity if it is used to condition us for eternity. If we fail in this, though we succeed in everything else, our life will have been a failure.
There is no escape for the man who squander his opportunity to prepare to meet God” (Billy Graham, “Till Armageddon”, 1981).
In our (my wife and mine) book titled “A letter to the Youth: A message on success”, 2000, we presented our “Formula for Success”.
We defined “Success” as achieving your earthly and divine goals. This simply means that our earthly goal must lead ultimately to your divine goal. Our intention is for people to contribute in making our” earth as it is in heaven.”
However, internationally noted evangelist Billy Graham pointed out that even if we fill to achieve our earthly goal as long as we achieve our divine goal of attaining the Kingdom of God in what counts most.
To this we say.” Amen.”
Hence, it is imperative for people to fully prepare for the eventuality of death. As always, our Holy Bible is our best reference on living and on dying – from womb to tomb. Below are some Biblical verse we must red for better understanding of the topic at hand.
From the old Testament:
• Psalm 83:4-8 states, “even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallows a nest in which she puts her young – Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God! Happy are those who dwell in your house! Continuously they praise you. Happy the men whose strength you are!
Their hearts are set upon the pilgrims. When they pass through the arid valley, they make a spring of it. They early rain clothes it with generous growth. They go from strength, they shall see God of gods in Sion.”
• Job 14:5, Psalm 83:48 and Psalm 103:15.
From the New Testament:
• John 3:6 states, “No one who abides in him commits sin; and one who sins has seen him, or has known him”.
• James 4:14, Ephesians 5:16, Philippians 1:21, Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 5:1, 2 Timothy 1:12, Revelation 14:13, 1 Corinthians 15:17-20, John 11-5-26, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Romans 6:8-23, Philippians 1:23, 2 Timothy 4:68, Hebrew 4:9, Corinthians 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:1, and John 14:1-6.
Graham stressed that “Heaven is a Home which is permanent, beautiful, happy, because Christ will be there”. It is a “Holy City, glorious garden, and beautiful bride”. Hence, in heaven” we will be immune from suffering and will be immortal.“
He admonished us: “Let us live for Christ. Let us trust Him. Let us turn to Him in our time of need. And let us joyfully walk hand in hand with our Lord Jesus Christ – regardless of our circumstances – until we personally join Him throughout eternity!”
We Catholic believed in purgatory as a purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven which is experienced by those who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly, purified.” It notes that “this final purification of the elects is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.
According to our Church, the “purification is necessary because the Scripture teaches that nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven and, while we may die with mortal sins forgiven, there can still be many impurities in us, specifically venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.”
In this connection, we Catholics believe in two judgements. There are: 1) First or particular or individual judgement.” 2) Final or last and strictest judgement.” It is between the particular and general judgements, then, the soul is purified of the remaining consequences of sin.”
Psalm 89:40 states: “What man lives and not sees death or saves himself from the grave?” Noted evangelist Billy Graham once wrote: “The Bible has much to say about the brevity of life, and the necessity of preparing for eternity.
Although most of us live as if we were indestructible we need a new awareness of the fact that death is rapidly approaching for all of us. The Bible has many warnings about how we should prepare to meet God. The rich with all their wealth cannot buy a reprieve from the death sentence that hangs over every man. The poor cannot beg one extra day of life from the “grim reaper” who pursues every man from the cradle in the grave.”
We have come in a time and place in history when human intellect alone is no match against the problems we must confront. If we are to save our souls, we will need the help of a powerful, loving and merciful God. It is by God’s grace not by our work that we can enter the Gate of Heaven.
My concluding message: “In this pandemic crisis, let’s remember God’s Word in Romans 8:18 which says, “I consider that our sufferings are not worth comparing with ‘the glory that will be revealed in us. A child of God is always welcome home.”
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