“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now He commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him. For He has set a day for judging the world with justice by the Man He has appointed, and He proved to everyone who this is by raising Him from the dead.” — Acts 17:30-31
The news has reached every part of the world — Osama Bin Laden is dead. When he awoke from his sleep a day ago, he had no idea that he was enjoying his last few hours on this earth. What a surprise it must have been for him to look up and see 24 expert seal-commandos with their weapons trained on him! I can only imagine the universal phrase that went through his mind as the confrontation was taking place — uh oh. It was the last day of his life on this earth.
A radio talk show host asked his audience an interesting question some time ago. “If you knew that this was the last day of your life, what would you do?” The responses were overwhelming and most enlightening.
The first caller said, “I’d hurry to an organ donor bank and make sure that some worthy persons would benefit from my body parts.” Another said, “I would crowd everything that I thought was fun into this, my last day. I’d want to go out laughing.” The third caller said, “I would phone all of my friends and tell them how much I appreciated all that they had done for me. I’d want each of them to know how much our friendship had meant.”
Finally, one caller said, “I’d want to take time to be alone with God and pray and make sure that my heart was right with Him. I’d want Him to know how much I was looking forward to meeting my Savior, too.”
I know that it is not a pleasant thought. We each have a date with death and judgment. Few know the day or the hour when this grim event will occur, but we all know for certain that there is life after death.
How can we be sure of our standing with God? Can we really know we are right with Him when the time comes to leave this life? Paul told the men of Athens to make preparation to meet God. He said, “[God] commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him.” This is the simple message of reconciliation. This is how you and I can be sure we are right with God.
We must turn from our sins. This means we must agree with God that we are sinners and in need of His mercy. There can be no forgiveness if there is no presence of guilt. Then, we must turn to God for forgiveness. Turning from your sin and turning to God is called repentance. Repentance is absolutely necessary for a person to be right with God and not face His judgment. Jesus said in Luke 13:5, “No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”
Think about it. What if this were the last day of your life? Are you ready to stand before God and face His examination? Do today what you will be thankful for all eternity that you did — be reconciled to God!