If You Died Today ... Then What?
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: NASB
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the NASB version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
It could happen, you know. Every day, all over the world, death surprises multitudes of unsuspecting people. The sun rises, they get up and get about the day’s business, never imagining that this will be their last day in this world. Death is a tragic reality that faces each of us. While death ends all earthly hopes and dreams, the more important question is, what really happens to the person who dies? Surely you will agree that a question with so much at stake deserves serious thought. It is our firm conviction that the answer can be found and is clearly revealed in God’s book, the Bible. We have printed this little tract with the sincere hope that you will consider what God’s Word teaches on this subject. Please think for a few moments about this matter. If you died today, what then?
Why do we have to die anyway? If we were created by a good and wise God, why is dying a part of the process? Why would a good God bring us into the world only to have us exit it eventually by death? I certainly agree that the question “why do I have to die” is a good one. But God has given a true and reasonable answer in the Bible.
Please understand that ultimately death is not God’s work—it’s man’s work. It was never a part of God’s original design for His perfect creation. The Bible is clear that sin entered the world by the first man that God created (Romans 5:12). This man, Adam, deliberately chose to disobey God’s plain command and as a result, plunged all of his descendants, whom he represented before God, into a state of sin and condemnation. While it is true that Adam’s original sin brought death to the human race, we cannot excuse ourselves by this fact. We are not only guilty in Adam, but we have all personally and willfully sinned against God.
God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. Being the just judge of His creation, He must punish all sin. The Bible defines sin as any “transgression of the law” of God (1 John 3:4). The great summary of God’s law for mankind is found in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). The punishment for breaking God’s law is death (Romans 6:23). So there is your answer—we die because we have sinned. It is that simple. Had there been no sin, there would have been no death to mar God’s beautiful world. Since we have sinned, death must reasonably follow.
But the Bible reveals more. It clearly teaches that, after death, man must face this offended God in judgment (Hebrews 9:27). All men who die in their sin are sent by God to a place of punishment which the Bible calls hell (Matthew 10:28; Revelation 21:8). This is not a myth. This is the faithful and true Word of the one true God.
Can you not see how, according to biblical teaching, the question that begins this tract is of utmost importance? Since these things are true, we are all in serious trouble with God and the fault is all ours. He has every right to justly judge us for our willful disobedience to His law.
But there is good news. There is, in fact, great news. God, who is not only just, but also gracious and merciful, has of His own will provided a perfect remedy for our sin and the death and judgment that it brings.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
John 3:16 is not just something that many of us learned as children. It tells us the wonderful truth about a loving God who, though He had every right to leave us to the punishment we rightly deserve, chose to save sinners from an eternity in hell and give them eternal life. God has done what only He could do. He took the necessary action so that sinners “might not perish, but have everlasting life.”
He did this by sending His own Son into the world on the greatest of all rescue missions. God could not merely overlook our sins, or forgive them without payment. He could not remove our guilt by a stroke of divine magic. Every sin must be punished, or God cannot remain the just judge of His universe. Real work had to be done to remove our sin and guilt. That work is what God sent His Son into the world to accomplish.
Jesus lived the sinless, God-pleasing life that we could never live. Then He took the sins of His people upon Himself and died under the divine judgment that they deserved. Jesus wasn’t just the helpless victim of human wickedness when He died on the cross. He was there suffering the curse of an offended God in the place of sinners, so that they may be forgiven. This atoning death of Christ completely paid for sin and satisfied the justice of God. Then God raised Jesus from the dead, proving beyond all doubt that the rescue mission was complete and had been accepted as sufficient payment for sin. So now Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of God as king over the universe.
This is the wonderful message of the gospel. It is not a myth, but is absolutely true. The New Testament tells us that after His resurrection, Jesus’ disciples went everywhere spreading this good news, proclaiming that any sinner could be forgiven through the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Two thousand years later, there are millions of people all over the earth who have made this wonderful message their only hope in life and death.
Friend, think about this message. Isn’t this exactly what dying sinners need?
Yes, you do have responsibility in this matter. Though you could never have saved yourself, you are responsible to receive by faith the salvation which God offers you today through Jesus Christ. John 3:16 doesn’t teach that God’s love, expressed through His Son, will automatically keep you from perishing and give you eternal life. Instead, it teaches that this salvation is for “whoever believes” in Christ.
The Bible is very clear that all that is required of any person for salvation is to repent of his or her sins and then believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. To repent, one must come to hate his or her sins before a holy God, with determination to forsake them, humbly acknowledging one’s guilt before this holy God. To believe is to entrust one’s self wholly to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work. Faith alone in Christ alone is God’s only way of bringing sinners out of darkness into the marvelous light. You cannot add anything of merit to the perfect saving work of Jesus. If you try to, God will not accept you. A life of devotion to God and acceptable good works will follow as the result of your salvation, but these things could never be the cause of being made right with God. To be saved you must simply receive by faith the Lord Jesus and His salvation.
If you do this, eternal life is yours. Then if you die today, you will not perish in the hell that you deserve. Instead you will enter into the everlasting life that He gives you. With Jesus’ blood cleansing you and His righteousness covering you, you never have to fear death or God’s judgment again.
This is your responsibility. You have received His message and offer of salvation. What are you going to do with it?
Please think about and honestly answer this question—If you died today … then what?