What if I told you that there’s a prayer which we all have said at one point or the other that has a condition attached to it as to whether it will be answered or not, would you believe?
There are lots of other prayers which we say that for God to answer those prayers is dependent on one condition or the other. But I want to talk about this particular one which I believe that all mankind might be guilty of. We say it but we have never sat down to think about its spiritual implications taking the scriptures into cognizance.
Someone lost a loved one in an accident, or a group of people were shot by hoodlums, or one that has been sick for a long time and the sickness deprived every medical assistance and he died. Or let me just put it this way. No matter what led to the death of a loved one, colleague, neighbor, popular personality, after we may have shown remorse or cried depending on our closeness to the person, we end up saying a word of prayer. “May his soul rest in peace”. Every one would say, amen.
But this prayer for the dead to rest peacefully is dependent on the life the individual lived while still alive. Once an individual is dead, no amount of prayers said ON HIS BEHALF FOR GOD TO FORGIVE HIM HIS SINS AND ACCEPT HIM IN HEAVEN is possible. The scriptures say with your own mouth confession is made unto SALVATION (Romans 10: 9-10)
Forget about the ceremonial long prayers and the sprinkling of holy water or oil done in some fellowships. Once an individual dies without being in good relationship with the Lord, the person is not resting in peace but in pieces.
The scriptures say that it is appointed unto MAN to die once and after that judgment (Hebrews 9:27) There is no repentance in the grave. ” No! I tell you, but without repentance, there’s no forgiveness” (Luke 13:3) Only the living has the chance to reconcile with his maker. No one can do that for an individual when the individual didn’t do it before breathing his last. No HEAVENLY being can intercede on your behalf – for denominations where they call on angels or Mary to pray for the dying.
2 Corinthians 6:2, says “Now is the acceptable time of salvation”. Now! Now!! it is now not later, now!!! While you’re still alive, while you are still breathing. It’s now! Now!! Now!!! It doesn’t matter who prayed for you when you’re gone. It doesn’t matter the number of great ministers that prayed for you when you are lying lifeless. If you didn’t die in Christ you’re dead into crisis and you will not rest in peace but you will rest in pieces. It doesn’t matter if you are a pastor or a pastor’s wife, or a pastor’s mother, or a pastor’s father. Heaven is an individual race.
So, even the one that was ill for a long time and you felt he has suffered enough that it was better he died so he would rest. If he didn’t rest in Christ, his final destination would be worst than if he were alive and kept suffering under the illness. Who knows, he might encounter Christ eventually before his final breath. Or better still, ensure that they reconcile with Christ. It’s an opportunity. Don’t waste it.
Do not be deceived by what you see at burial ceremonies. THERE’S NO NEUTRALITY WITH JUDGEMENT. IT’S EITHER YOU MAKE HEAVEN OR YOU HEAD STRAIGHT TO HELL. YOU CAN NEVER BE IN THE FENCE. YOU CAN NEVER BE IN-BETWEEN.
All mankind have a final destination awaiting us and it is a function of how we lived our lives on earth. Let’s just say that our lifestyle here purchase for us either of the two places. You live a good life, you purchase heaven for yourself. But with a bad life, you purchase hell fire for yourself.
Rest in peace is for those who rested in Christ and not for those who rested without Christ. THE UNFORTUNATE PART OF IT IS THAT ONLY THE LORD KNOWS THOSE WHO RESTED IN CHRIST (2 Timothy 2:19) We will only know when we get there.
May we be privileged and may we find grace in the sight of the Lord to be in good relationship with the Lord before we rest our last in Yeshua’s name, Amen.
God bless you.