We shouldn’t be, but we are always surprised. It was late November in either 1997 or 1998 that a vehicle speeding down the hill in Gordon Avenue towards the intersection of Soutpansberg and Gordon that becomes Stead. There was speed, but I can’t say whether there was alcohol or drugs involved. The vehicle went through the traffic lights and collided with a tree. A few of the occupants were killed. They were returning from a matric, yearend party. Even on the Monday morning it was a somber sight. The Sowetan reported today:
A matric celebration in North West ended badly when three grade 12 pupils died in an accident. The provincial department said the three pupils from Rethusegile secondary school in Lethabong village near Rustenburg were with 14 other passengers in a taxi that was transporting them from a resort near Brits. North West education spokesperson Elias Malindi said the incident happened on Friday and the three pupils … were certified dead on the scene after their taxi overturned along the R511 road. “Four learners are still in hospital receiving medical attention whereas seven of them have been discharged,” Malindi said. Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela said: “They spent 13 years in our schools and we never anticipated to part ways with them in this manner.”
Some weeks ago, Mamelodi Sundowns soccer player, Anele Ngcongca was killed in a motorcar accident. He died in a car crash on the N2 outside Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast last month. This morning we hear that another Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana player, Motjeka Madisha died in a car accident today (Sunday morning). The details are still sketchy at the moment but the accident happened near Kempton Park and it is not clear if the 25-year-old was driving alone at the time of the crash or whether there were others with him in the car.
We shouldn’t be, but we are always surprised when these things happen. People are dying all around us daily. With the type of driving (I’m not relating any of these deaths to alcohol) we have these days both those driving badly and those who are innocent are being killed. Couple this to “matric parties” and the “silly season” or the “holiday season” … we shouldn’t be but we are always surprised when so many deaths occur, especially those of our matrics.
It is inevitable that we will all die. We are born and we will all die … and then? What a sobering question. Many are persuaded that they will be in “soul sleep” for many years. Other believe they will be annihilated (that is, they will cease to exist). Still others believe in reincarnation. They believe they will die and return again and again … each time better than before until they achieve the required ‘goodness’. Still others believe in purgatory. This is a place they are taught will cleanse them through suffering for a thousand years … but should you purchase an indulgence policy from a priest, he will pray for you or your loved one in ‘purgatory’ and they will be released before the thousand years have passed … meaning that the more indulgence policies you buy, the sooner you or the loved one will be released from that suffering. Each one of these beliefs cannot be substantiated by Scripture. They are all manmade up to push a particular religious ideology. However, the Bible, which Is God’s inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word, informs us that we cannot earn, purchase or deserve life in heaven after death outside of God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. It declares, talking about Jesus:
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
That is very final and excludes every other attempt to indoctrinate people into a belief that will carry them into the One God’s heaven one day. The same Bible says:
Heb 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.
If I were unsaved, after reading that, I would be petrified because not only will I die (which I know), but I’ll face God’s Judgment Throne … like it or not, ready or not.
Yet, the truth be said … spiritual complacency is the order of the day. There tends to be very little interest in the spirit world associated with the True God of the Bible. Most people will busy themselves with everything that distracts from the Living God. Many of these things might be good and noble things … but they are used to hide behind so that God cannot be seen because if He is seen, then He is heard and if He is heard then I need to listen to Him … and if I listen to Him the chances are that I will have to agree He is right in what He says and I am wrong in what I believe! Now spiritual complacency kicks in and erects a “barrier wall” between me and God so that God is prevented from entering into my space … and if He can’t get into my space I am protected from Him. I can go to church, do all the right things, be the person the family or society expects me to be … as long as I have that “invisible barrier wall” around me. No one can see it … only God and me! Paul was perplexed by all the idols in Athens. When he had the opportunity, he said:
Ac 17:29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
See the brutal truth right there in verse 30? “He [God] commands all people everywhere to repent.” God’s command penetrates through that “barrier wall”. This means that every time the gospel is preached, God commands people to repent. Each time people refuse to repent, they disobey the command of God! Death does not and cannot offer anyone another options … all death offers is a place before the Judge of all the Earth!
Lord, You hold the keys of both eternal doors, heaven and hell. Please call souls irresistibly to Yourself. Amen.