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FIVE THINGS THAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU
ON THE DAY YOU DIE

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the combined retreat of Calvary Road
Baptist Church and the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Thursday Evening, August 28, 2003


"Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble" (Job 14:1).


Everyone has been talking about Bob Hope's death, which came two months after his 100th birthday. He lived a long time. He was born six months before the Wright brothers invented the airplane. He died thirty years after man walked on the surface of the moon. And yet even 100 years is a short time, when seen against the backdrop of eternity. One hundred years is only a "few days" in comparison to the vast age of the universe, and the even more boundless, uncountable stretches of the eternal state.

Job is not speaking of man's soul in this verse. The soul, once created, lives on forever, either in Hell or in Heaven. Job is not speaking of the soul of man. He is speaking of man's flesh. He is reminding us of the shortness of time we have in the flesh on this earth.

I know that 100 years seems like a long time to you when you are young. But I am now sixty-two, and it doesn't seem very long to me any more. It seems to me, now that I am getting old, that even if a man reaches 100, yet it is true:

"Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble" (Job 14:1).

For every person who lives to be 100 there are thousands who die much younger than that. Forty-two million American children were killed in the womb of their mothers, by abortion, without ever seeing the light of day or taking in a breath of air. Millions of others die in childhood, or as young people. Thousands of teenagers die in automobile wrecks. Thousands more die from drug abuse. Thousands more die from suicide, or other accidents or diseases. Death comes at every age, and so it is true,

"Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble" (Job 14:1).

How long will you live? There is only one person who knows - and that is God. Job knew that. Look at what he said in verse five,

"Seeing his [that is, man's] days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds [his limits] that he cannot pass" (Job 14:5).

"The number of his months are with thee." God knows exactly how many months you will live. Dr. Gill says,

The term of man's life is so…fixed by God, that he cannot die sooner, nor live longer, than he [God] has determined he should…and when God requires of man his soul, no one has power over his spirit to retain it one moment…[the poet] Seneca says the same thing; "There is a boundary fixed for every man, which always remains where it is set, nor can any move it forward by any means whatsoever" (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint of the 1810 edition, volume III, p. 307).

How many more months will you live? God knows exactly. God already knows the date and time of your death. The date is set. The time is fixed. The day of your death may be tomorrow, or a few weeks from now, or a few months later. But be sure of this - it is not far off. Moses said,

"O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" (Deuteronomy 32:29).

The night before my father died he said to me, "Robert, I won't live much longer. I will die soon, but remember that you will soon follow me." I have often thought of the truth of what he said that night, "You will soon follow me." And so will you, who are listening to this sermon tonight. Then it is wise for you to consider, to think about, your latter end, and to think of the day of your death. Here is what will happen to all of you who are unsaved on the day that you die.

I. First, on the day that you die your soul and body will be separated.

The Bible makes that very clear. It says that when you die your body will return to dust and your spirit will go to God:

"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

Your body will either be burned in the pagan manner of cremation, or be buried beneath the ground in a Christian ceremony. Then your soul, your spirit, will return to God. For some that will mean that you enter the joyful presence of God in Heaven. But for many it will mean that your soul will return to God for judgment, and that He will consign you to a place of great horror in Hell.

You have no power or ability to decide when your body and soul will be separated. The Bible says,

"There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death"
      (Ecclesiastes 8:8).

Bob Hope had the highest honors the world can offer. Queen Elizabeth made him a knight of the British Commonwealth. John F. Kennedy gave him the great honor of a Presidential Medal. Five U.S. Presidents attended his ninety-fifth birthday party a few years ago. Bob Hope was a multi-millionaire. He owned thousands of acres in Malibu, Palm Springs, and the San Fernando Valley. He owned two major television stations, and much more. He could afford the best medical treatment in the world. He had the finest doctors available anywhere. And yet, when his appointed day of death came - none of this could keep his soul and body from separating in death.

"There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death"
      (Ecclesiastes 8:8).

And it will be the same for you. When the day and hour of your death arrives - perhaps in a few months - you will have no power at all to stop your soul from being wrenched from your body - and, in your unsaved case, sent to the boiling, burning, belching dungeon of pain and suffering for all time, and for all eternity.

II. Second, on the day that you die all earthly relations will end.

This is made clear in the account of the rich man's death, recorded in the sixteenth chapter of Luke.

"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him [Lazarus] to my father's house…that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment"
      (Luke 16:23, 27-28).

But Abraham told him that this was impossible, that the dead could not go back to the living - even to warn them. You see, this rich man was cut off forever from his friends and relatives by death.

After my mother died, whom I loved dearly, and who was a great Christian lady, I often seemed to feel her presence in the room with me at night. But I know from the Bible that this was only an hallucination, perhaps even a demonic trick, for Mother was no longer with me. She was in the land of glory, in Heaven with Christ - which is far better.

No, death dissolves and separates you from every human relative and friend on this earth. If you are not a Christian, you have no Scriptural hope of ever seeing them again, for in Hell all comforts are gone, and there can be no joyful reunions there. That is why the rich man in Luke 16 was so desperately alone in his suffering. Death will separate you forever from all of your closest friends, and all of your most loved relatives if you are unsaved when death comes.

We will stand around your coffin and weep. Part of our sorrow will lie in the fact that we will know that we will never, ever, see you again - for you will have gone to Hell - and we will know it. Think how lonely Hell will be for you without your mother or father, or close Christian friends to give you comfort. Think of the horrible loneliness of Hell!

III. Third, on the day that you die all of your possessions
will be stripped from you.

Do you remember that awful scene in Dickens' A Christmas Carol, when rich old Scrooge was given a glimpse in a vision of what they would do after his death? The maids tore down the expensive curtains around his Victorian bed - to be sold for a few farthings. Other maids, and even the undertakers, stole his clothing, his big gold watch and chain, and even the blankets on his bed - as they laughed and cackled about what a mean and miserly old fool he had been in life.

This horrid scene may not occur exactly like that when you die, but there will be similarities. You girls - all of your pretty little dolls and dresses will be boxed up and sold or given away. Your earrings and bracelets, perhaps even your prized wedding ring, will be sold or stolen by greedy people. With my own eyes I watched the undertaker wrestle the wedding ring, with great difficulty, off of the finger of my dear old aunt, so one of her children could sell it and use the money to buy drugs, which my aunt would have hated.

You boys and men will not fare better. They will box up your souvenirs, and photographs, and toys from childhood and sell them - or put them away in a musty attic, never to be seen again.

Any money you may have had in life will be fought over and taken by greedy relatives. Nothing will be left as a token of your life on earth. Death will strip you of all your earthly possessions.

In my own home, I have some of the possessions given to me after relatives died. Uncle Oscar's prized painting of the English countryside where his father was born hangs in my living room. The piano my stepfather's mother played, is there also, now played by my two sons. My mother's dinner table and chairs are in our dining room. My father's furniture is in our living room. The bed in which my father died is in one of our bedrooms. Uncle Clifford's grandfather clock stands near the kitchen door.

And so it will be with you. On the day of your appointed death everything you own will be taken from you in a moment of time. The rich man in Luke 16 took nothing with him to Hell - and neither will you, for

"Riches profit not in the day of wrath" (Proverbs 11:4).

IV. Fourth, on the day that you die all your earthly plans will end.

You have made plans for the future. You have hopes of doing many things in your life. But on the day of your death all of these hopes and plans will end abruptly. Jesus gave a parable to show this:

"The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"
      (Luke 12:16-20).

This man had great plans, but they all ended suddenly that night, when he died. You have many plans and dreams of things you hope to do. The day that you die all your earthly plans and dreams and hopes will suddenly end - and you will face eternity without hope - because you did not seek the salvation of your eternal soul. Then God will say to you also,

"Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee"
      (Luke 12:20).

V. Fifth, on the day that you die all hope of salvation will end for you.

There is no hope whatever for anyone who dies unsaved. The Bible says,

"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still…" (Revelation 22:11).

If you die unjustified and filthy, uncleansed from your sin by the Blood of Christ, you will remain in that lost state, in Hell, for all eternity. There is no hope of getting to Heaven for anyone who dies without Christ.

In Heaven, Abraham spoke to the rich man in Hell. He said,

"Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that…neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence"
      (Luke 16:26).

A great gulf is fixed between Heaven and Hell. A "gulf" is an abyss, a wide separation, like the Grand Canyon.

I once stood on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, and looked across its wide expanse - and I thought of that verse in Luke 16. There is a separation wider than the Grand Canyon between those in Hell and those in Heaven.

"Neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence" (Luke 16:26).

On the day that you die, all hope of salvation in Christ will end for you.

Remember our text,

"Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble" (Job 14:1).

"…his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass"
      (Job 14:5).

God alone knows how many days, how many months, you have left before you die. The camp ends tomorrow. You know that - but you do not know the day that you will die. "Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12). Come to Christ and be cleansed from your sin by His Blood before it is too late.


(END OF SERMON)

THE OUTLINE OF

FIVE THINGS THAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU
ON THE DAY YOU DIE

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble" (Job 14:1).

(Job 14:5; Deuteronomy 32:29)

I.   On the day that you die your soul and body will be separated,
Ecclesiastes 12:7; 8:8.

II.  On the day that you die all earthly relations will end,
Luke 16:23, 27-28.

III. On the day that you die all of your possessions will be
stripped from you, Proverbs 11:4.

IV. On the day that you die all your earthly plans will end,
Luke 12:16-20.

V.  On the day that you die all hope of salvation will end for you,
Revelation 22:11: Luke 16:26; Job 14:1, 5; Amos 4:12.

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