“Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” (Amos 4:12)
I believe that when those meant to hear these words spoken to them, they trembled, death was no longer just a faraway concept pondered occasionally, not a passing thought any longer, but an immediate concern.
Death was coming, he had been dispatched and would arrive soon.
As is common with mankind, their own demise is not a thought contemplated often, at least not until the setting sun on the horizon is clearly seen by them, when they turn around one day and find that they are closer to the end of life than the beginning, when old age arrives. Most will not contemplate the Almighty, they will not sing praises because soon they will stand in His presence, no, most attempt to fulfill as many desires of the flesh as they can before time ends for them here.
“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Eze. 33:11a)
And those who do not love the Lord Jesus Christ do not find pleasure in seeing that final day approaching. A creeping malaise begins to envelope them, fear becomes their master, anger follows close behind. Unjust is the word they will use, and they will hurl it in the direction of the God they do not know.
These men are in no way prepared to meet their Maker, at best they hope the scales will fall to their favor, they have no understanding of the word grace, repentance is foreign to them, good works balanced against bad deeds is all they know. Sin is not a word to them.
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31) And into His hands they will go, judged and found wanting.
If you do not have assurance of your salvation, in many ways you can compare yourself to these individuals, if you do not have trust in the promises, if you do not have faith in the words of the Scriptures, you have, at least in a modicum of comparativeness, fear.
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Unless you are part of the blessing of the Rapture, the cup of death will be placed before you, and you will drink it.
I also believe that everyone who has been born-again understands that there may be pained involved, and if that thought frightens you, then you have forgotten what those blows to His face must have felt like, what the whip on His back did to Him, those thorns as they pierced His head, and the spikes that tore through His hands and feet, or perhaps you have forgotten that the full force of the wrath of God was poured out upon Him for you.
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings:” (Phil. 2:14)
Can you die well? Can you die without complaining? Can you accept with praise to His Holy name that which the wicked run from with all their strength? Will you attempt to hide from the inevitable? Will you not pass through the door that leads to the Living God with great anticipation?
As that day approaches, the wicked are forlorn, those who love them grieve with no hope, knowing their day will arrive as well, but refusing to accept the truth of it.
Shall I offer you the verse again, have you read enough of these letters to know what it is I will now pen? Can you do what it says, can you place all the fear off to the side, can you laugh at and rebuke your flesh as it grows more and more frightened, as it realizes that final day is approaching?
Can you believe this verse with your entire being?
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)