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(Time to die) SCRIPTURE - Ecclesiastes 3:1-2                                                    June, 1997



This month's subject, deals with a belief, an erroneous belief, that is held by most of you, concerning the subject of death, and how it fits in to the overall scheme of things. We all know, that as sure as the sun rises and sets, that every living thing on this earth, has an appointment, if you will, with death. It makes no difference who you are, your station in life, your sex, race, or even religious belief. All of us, will face death, sooner or later, if Jesus doesn't come back before then. For the bible says,' It is appointed unto man, once to die, ......' You can't get around it.

However, the erroneous part I am talking about, is this mistaken, devilish perception that many of you hold, that says, 'when your time comes, no matter what you are doing, you will die. Not a minute sooner, or later.' Now, while that may seem like a legitimate belief, especially concerning the verses of scripture above, that belief, misses the mark as far as the north pole, is from the south pole. And, because of this belief, many people have died, and will die, before they should. How, you might ask. By continuing to do things that put their lives at risk, thinking that if they die, it was meant for them to die at that time, no matter what they were doing. And, that is a flat out lie of the devil.

However, don't take my word for it, let's see what the bible has to say about it. After all, it is God, who many of you believe, sits up in Heaven, with a calendar, and a big clock. And on them, He has all our names. And on the day, and time that our name appears for death, we will die. BALONEY!!!!

[EXODUS 20:12], God speaking to Moses, in giving the commandments says,
'Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land, which the Lord thy God gives you.' Doesn't that give you the idea, that the lives of children, may be lengthy, if they obey their parents?? Well, if God has a preset time for us to die, why give a commandment like this?? Could it be possible, that being disobedient to our parents, can cause lives to be cut short??? We only have to look at all the young people, that are dead today, because of their disobedience to their parents. The parents tell them to stay away from certain people and things, and they go and do it anyway, and now they are dead. Some of you, that are parents that hold to the view above, let your kids do what they want to do, because you think they will not die, until it is their time. If they get killed, you think, 'well, it was their time, and nothing that anyone could have done, would've helped.' Pardon me while I say, 'that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, especially when it refers to God. He is going to give you a child, then take it away from you. Well, let's look at another scripture.

[PROV. 18:21], 'Life and death, are in the power of the tongue, ...' Once again, I get the message, that there is a responsibility of the individual, of how long they live. How many people do you know, are dead today, for the simple reason, that they ran their mouths too much??? I could name a whole lot. The bible says, that your mouth, can cause you to live, or die, simply by what comes out of it. Many arguments have led to the death of individuals, when all that was necessary, was for one of the individuals, usually the smartest one, to shut up, or begin to say things, that would calm the other person down. Jesus said, 'Bless them that curse you [MATT. 5:44]. What you say, and how you say it, can easily determine if you will live to see another day. How about another scripture??

[ROM. 6:23], 'the wages of sin, is death, ....' Now, this one is really the main cause of premature death. Rejection of God, and His principles for living, will bring death to you, quicker. And if we look around, it is cleaning house. Look at all the people dying from AIDS, that acquired it through a sinful lifestyle. Homosexuality, fornication, adultery and drug use. All of which, go contrary to the Word of God, are taking their toll on all of us. Drug use, violence, robberies and such. All have claimed the lives of individuals that were well below, what God calls a full life.

Another is found in [PROV. 16:18], 'Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit, before a fall.' Here, God, is giving us words to live by. Pride and a high minded [thinking you are better than someone else] spirit, has led to the deaths of multitudes of people. If you couple this scripture, with the one above, about the mouth, you see what propels many people in to keeping on arguing, when they need to just walk away. But, they have to have the last word. They have to show how bad they are. Then people can go the funeral home, and see how dead they are.

Now, I could go on and on, but I think you are getting my drift. The length of your life, depends on you, not God. If you think that God has a set time for you to die, then why do you bother going to the doctor, when you are sick??? He or she can't do anything for you, if it is your time to die, except maybe, relieve the pain. Is that what you go for???

As stupid as some of this thinking is, many of you do it, unconsciously. One young lady, responding to my telling her, jokingly, even though it's the truth, that those things (cigarettes) will kill you, said, 'you gotta die from something George, and it won't happen, till it's my time to go.' You see, we have been brought up in a society, and even in churches, that believe this foolishness. Look at all the daredevils, that make money by risking their lives. They figure, they will not die, until it is their time. And they will die at that time, no matter what they are doing. So, they might as well die, doing what they enjoy doing. People dying of lung and throat cancer, continuing to smoke, because they are dying anyway, might seem okay, but it is a stupid way of thinking, because, they could be hastening death, but, it may be possible, that God wants to heal them, but He is not going to do it, if they are going to continue destroying themselves. Besides, look at this scripture, [1Co 3:16-17] Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Of course, this is only concerning those of you that are saved. The rest of you, are already out of the loop, so to speak. You need to get saved. God doesn't dwell in an unclean place, so the Holy Ghost, isn't in you.

So you see, there is a lot to our being responsible for our own lives. God doesn't set a time or place for our deaths, we do. You can die young, or you can die old. It all depends on you.
[Pr 3:1-2] My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments; For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Look at that will you. Keeping God's laws and commandments, will add days, even years to your lives. That means, once again, that the responsibility on how long any one of you lives, is based solely on you.

Many of you, are walking around today, mad at God, because of the death of someone close to you, or the suffering they, or you, are going through. And the reason for this, is that you figure, that God, has this plan for our lives, and the sickness, suffering and death that we face, is totally His doing. Right??? Well, have I got news for you.

When you are doing anything, that goes against what God says, there is a price to pay. The wages of sin (disobedience), is death [ROM. 6:23]. And that comes about, at the hands of the devil [a.k.a. the thief]. [ST. JOHN 10:10] says 'the thief, comes not but for to steal, kill and destroy....' This is Jesus speaking. God in the flesh. Surely, you can trust Him.

There was a time, when I used to think like you. But, after having three close calls with death, and still being alive, I wondered about several things. Each instance happened, when I was someplace, that had I not been there, it wouldn't have happened, at least not to me. There are many of you, that if you will be honest, will realize that. Some of you, are suffering from diseases of the lungs, throat and mouth, that if you had not been smoking, or chewing tobacco, would not be suffering from those diseases today. Many of you have high blood pressure, and other forms of heart disease, because of the foods you eat. Lack of exercise, over indulgence in all types of things, like alcohol, food, sweets, over work and you name it, has left you in a poor physical condition, that if you are not careful, will put you in an early grave. And it won't be because it was your time to die, according to God's calendar. It will be because it was your time to die, according to the calandar, and clock in your own body.

God, designed the human body, to live eternally. All that was necessary, was for mankind to obey one commandment. Just One!!! But, he had to go and disobey it, and that started the cycle of death, sickness and disease that we now face. Even so, the more man stayed close to God, the longer, and healthier their lives were. Medical science will confirm that the body, is well able to heal and renew itself, if we will do what is right according to what medical science says. And that is true. Now, if you couple that, with what God says to do, then you really are going to be blessed with long life. Even when medical science, can't seem to help, God is all you need. But, He will only move in your behalf, as you begin to move toward Him.
So, what's it going to be, my friends??? Living as long as God allows, or until your body can't take the abuse anymore?? Is your mouth, your stubbornness, your pride, your arrogance, or your just plain rotten attitude, going to set you up for destruction??? It's all up to you. The ball is in your court. You can either receive it, or reject it. No one is forcing you to change your way of thinking. If you want to die early, that is totally up to you. As for me, I plan to be around until the rapture of the Church, or at least until 80 years of age. That is, unless I do something to cause it to be less. Then, that is my fault, not God's. I will have caused my own time to die.