"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" (Hebrews 12:14).
For over two months now we have been writing on the Death of a Christian, the Intermediate State, The Resurrection of the Body, and the Heaven that awaits the believer who dies in the Lord. We have primarily been addressing Christians, and labouring for their comfort. But now I have a word for you, my unconverted readers. I have a solemn warning for you that unless you are saved by grace, you will not enter into heaven. I have been comforting the saints that when they die, they will die in the Lord and be blessed. But I give now a solemn warning that not everyone who dies goes to heaven. It is written in the word (Revelation 14:13), "blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." But it is equally true that "cursed are the dead which die out of Christ." There is a happy Intermediate State for those who die in the Lord, for to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord (II Corinthians 5:8). But there will be an Intermediate State for you who are unsaved as well. You will lift up your eyes in Hell when your soul is absent from the body (Luke 16:23)! There will be a resurrection for you my unsaved Reader. It will be the resurrection of the unjust (Acts 24:15). You will be raised to God's everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2) and be given a body capable of suffering everlasting and conscious punishment in the lake which burns forever with fire and brimstone forever and ever. My text this week plainly declares that you will not see God in heaven and immortal glory unless you are in pursuit of holiness. No holiness-- no heaven! Now you better heed this awful warning; nothing, nor no one that is defiled shall enter into heaven. Unless God makes you a holy person, it will be said of you as it was of Judas Iscariot- "it had been better for that man had he never been born!"
I pray the Lord may use this article to shake some of you to your senses and set you to seeking Christ. How many times I have stood in the funeral home when someone has died with no evidence they were saved. Invariably someone will say, "he (or she) is better off!" What I want to say is, "or you sure of that?" But, I am hated enough as it is and I dread to lose any of the few friends I still may have I suppose, so I just keep silent. Neighbour if your loved one died without holiness, they are not better off! They are infinitely worse off! I can do nothing regarding those already in hell, but I can warn you my dear reader; unless you are following holiness you will miss heaven and be cast into hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not!
My text is a warning to you who are universalist in your mindset. Not everyone who dies goes to heaven. How many ways can I say it? How many times can I repeat it? Only those who enter into the Narrow Way that leads to life by the gate of conversion shall live in heaven (Matthew 7:13-14). Only those who are saved by grace and given a new nature shall enter into heaven. Our Blessed Lord has warned, "not everyone that saith unto me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21)".
Perhaps there is one of my readers who is alarmed by this week's message and you are now crying out, "what is holiness? How may I be holy? What is it to follow holiness?" Let us a hear a voice from the past regarding this eternally important issue. "To 'follow' holiness is to live like persons who are devoted to God- to His glory, to His claims upon us, to His Cause in the world. It is to make it evident that we belong to Him. It is to mortify the flesh, with its affections and lusts. It is to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit (II Corinthians 7:1). It is a life task from which there is no discharge while we remain in the body." ( A.W. Pink). Dear Reader, do these words of this faithful preacher from the past describe you? If not, you will not enter into God's heaven. You will be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth forever! There is somebody reading this week that needs to come see me so I can tell you how to be saved and start following holiness. May the Lord open your heart today and draw you to the Saviour.