A few months ago, the Christchurch mosque shootings shocked the world. We heard condemnation from everywhere.
Then, the bombings at the Sri Lanka churches and hotels also caused much heartache.
Whether Muslims or Christians or others, we are shocked and sad when faced with sudden deaths and casualties. This is normal human emotion and the natural reaction.
In fact, whether it is sudden death or gradual aging and illness, each person must face a cruel reality: death.
On this earth, every year over 55 million people die, every day over 150,000 people die, every hour over 6000 die, every minute around a hundred die, every second almost 2 persons die.
In other words, as I finish this sentence, in the last six or seven seconds around 10 people have died. Among these 10, at least 6 or 7 will enter an eternal death. This eternal death is far more terrifying than physical death, yet people are only shocked and sad for the deaths happening before their eyes, and not for the eternal deaths.
Perish without repentance
When the Lord Jesus faced events of sudden death, he solemnly warned those who were still alive: “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)
I remember 19 years ago, when my mother, who was over 80, suddenly passed away, we were all shocked and sad. But we also felt comforted because she already trusted in Jesus as her Saviour. She passed not into eternal death, but into eternal life. Jesus promised: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
Dear friends, death is a cruel reality, but crueler than physical death is eternal death, eternal suffering, the pain of burning in the lake of fire, the endless pain and suffering. But you can avoid this eternal death. Right now, believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised on the third day. Then you will go from eternal death into eternal life.
Shocked and sad over eternal deaths
Brothers and sisters, there are many friends around us who have never heard the gospel. We need to lead them to repentance and belief in Jesus, to escape the eternal death and enter the eternal life.
Every year, missions month in July reminds us that all the people heading
towards eternal death needs our care and concern. There are many, many
people out there who need to escape the cruelest death.
My friends, when we are shocked and sad over sudden deaths, we are all the more shocked and sad over the cruelest deaths of many people every minute now.
By Rev Dr Tie King Tai, SCAC President