“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) How many times have you heard this scripture in sermons that justify the sinful nature of a person? Typically it goes like this: “Well even Paul called himself a wretched man, that he’s a sinner. And if Paul was like this, then what can we say about ourselves?” But what is Paul really writing about here? Is this the condition (the condition of a wretched man) of a person who is born again, born from above? Paul is writing about the condition of war, a condition where you are in constant battle between the law (which is good) and sin (which is bad). This is the condition of a person who is under the law. Christ came to free us from the law and from the wretched state, from sin!
Death is a touching subject, especially if someone experienced the death of a loved one, someone dear to them. Perhaps death is a subject you try to avoid, try not to think about, or imagine it to be something that is surreal, something that does not pertain to you. Perhaps you imagine it as a natural event occurring at an old age, after you have lived an eventful or ‘fruitful’ life.
Although death may seem like a scary subject, the truth is: the physical death on this earth is not the Real death, is not the death that we should be afraid of! The physical death is merely a passing to another life, and the question is: which life?
How many of us will be able to say: I have finished the course and kept the faith? “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Or, for me death is gain? “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21).
The truth is, whether we like it or not, God has predestined the number of years for each person. No one knows when his day will come. So while there is still Today, the day of salvation, still breath in your nostrils, “before the silver cord is removed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the well, or the water wheel is broken at the cistern – and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the life’s breath returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7), Be Saved! Strive to enter through the narrow gate! (Luke 13:24)
What is the narrow gate? This is the cross, Golgotha, the complete death for self, for this world, for all untruth, and the resurrection in Christ, a new creature, one that is Holy and sin free! Nothing impure will enter the Kingdom of God (Revelations 21:27), and this is a state that one must gain while still here on this earth, while there is still Today! For when death comes or old age – it may be too late!