WHERE WILL YOU GO WHEN YOU DIE?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below on the PODCAST LINK to today’s blog post:

PODCAST: “WHERE WILL YOU GO WHEN YOU DIE?”
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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Hello and happy day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, your Virtual Life Coach welcoming you to Winning with the Word!.

Today I’d like to start our program by asking you a very important question. It’s a question that may at first sound negative, but in reality, it’s one of the most positive questions I could ever ask you. In fact, it may very well be the most important question anyone could ever ask you.

The question is this: Do you know where you will go when you die?

Perhaps you’ve never thought about that question before, or perhaps it has crossed your mind on occasion, but you quickly brushed it aside because you did not like to think about it. After all, no one really likes to think about death.

Do you know the reason people don’t like to think about death or even to talk about it? The reason is that the concept of death is foreign to God’s original plan for humanity. It was not something He ever intended for man to experience. On the contrary, when God created man and woman, He intended for them to experience only life forevermore. He intended them to live in total health of spirit, soul, and body, to enjoy abundant wealth. and to be happy and full of joy forever. Somewhere deep down in our hearts, we know that we were meant to experience this kind of life. We know that we were meant to live forever. Consequently, the thought of death troubles us. 

“The concept of death is foreign to God’s original purpose for humanity.”

Furthermore, because we believe that death is beyond our control, we try, in a variety of ways, to get a handle on it so that it won’t seem so frightening. Have you noticed that when you acquire knowledge about a particular topic, any fear you may have had about it loses its power over you? Well, subconsciously, we believe that if somehow we can figure out death, we will be able to master it, that if somehow we can arrive at an understanding of death, the fear of death will lose its power over us.

One of the ways we try to get a handle on death to gain some control over it is by coming up with all kinds of explanations as to what happens to us when we die. For instance, some people believe that death is simply the end of life and that there’s nothing beyond it. This belief spawns what is commonly called an Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you might die philosophy. After all, if this life is all there is, why not throw ourselves recklessly into living it by doing whatever we want.

Others believe that everyone will go to heaven because God is good, and a good God would never send anyone to Hell. Even if we’ve done terrible things during our lifetime, when it’s time to die, God will feel sorry for us and let us off the hook.

Still others believe that if they live a good life, they will make it to Heaven, although they won’t know for sure until after they die. These people are great at doing all kinds of good works, because they are convinced that the more good works they do, the better chance they will have of making it into Heaven. At the same time, however, they live with a continual undercurrent of fear and worry, because they won’t know until they die whether or not they actually made it to Heaven.

Then there’s that group of people who believe what the Bible says, which is that after we die, we go to one of two places: Heaven or Hell, and that, not only is the choice entirely up to us, but also that we make that choice while we are still on this earth. I belong to this last group.

In the Bible, God’s operating manual for humanity, Jesus says in John 3: 3 that “unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” What does it mean to be born again? Simply put, to be born again means to be restored to a right relationship with God. This can be done only by accepting Jesus Christ as the means of restoring that relationship. Jesus Himself said in John 4: 6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Contrary to much prevalent opinion, there is only one way to receive eternal salvation. And that way is through Jesus Christ.

In Acts 4: 12, the Bible affirms that there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved. This means that no other name of any other god can save us–not the name of Buddha, nor the name of Allah, nor the name of Sofia or any other god or goddess. For no other god rose from the dead with power as Jesus Christ did. No other god is still alive today with the power to heal the sick, drive out demons, and raise the dead. No other god can set people free from alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, sickness, and disease as Jesus Christ can and still does today.

You see, Jesus Christ alone is the one true God. He was God before He came to earth. He was God while He was on the earth, and He is still God now that He is back in Heaven. According to His Word, and to the surprise of many, He will come back again as God to establish His millennial reign of peace and eventually to judge those who rejected Him.

Jesus Christ is the focal point of all history and the focal point of Christianity. You see, Christianity is not a religion. It is a vital, living, dynamic personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, His son. When Adam and Eve sinned, they willfully severed that relationship, thus allowing sin and evil to enter the world. Without someone to rescue them, Adam and Eve were doomed to Hell and eternal punishment.

When God created Adam and Eve, He created them to live forever. It was His intention and desire for them never to die in any way–spiritually, mentally, or physically. God’s dream was that Adam and Eve would live with Him forever in total health and well-being, in peace and joy.

God’s dream, however, was temporarily thrown off course when Adam and Eve sinned against Him. At that pivotal moment in history, spiritual death entered the human race, and with spiritual death, there came also physical death. It is due to Adam and Eve’s sin that evil is present in the world today in all of its forms: wars, earthquakes, tornadoes, broken relationships, sickness, disease, and death.

When Satan tempted Eve, he thought that he would destroy God’s dream forever. But God isn’t One to let anyone or anything steal His dream. He had a backup plan to restore humanity to its original state of life. That backup plan was Jesus Christ.

You see, when Adam and Eve sinned, they sinned against God who is perfect. Since they themselves were no longer perfect, they could never pay the perfect price of restoration that the perfect God required. Only a perfect person could do that. Since no such person existed on earth, God, in His great love, sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be that Perfect Person and to pay the perfect price for our sin. Because Jesus was God, He was perfect. Because He was also man, He could represent humanity and pay the price for our sin.

And that’s exactly what He did when He died on the Cross. He took our sin, and the punishment that goes with it, so that we could be restored to a right relationship with God the Father. In return, He gave us His righteousness;  that is, His right standing with God.

But, in order to experience the benefits of what Jesus did for us, we have to accept His gift of salvation. If I offer you a gift, but you don’t know that I’m offering it to you, or you don’t believe me when I say that I’m offering it to you, you won’t accept it and it won’t be yours. Or, if I offer you a gift and you refuse to take it, it won’t be yours.

The same is true of salvation. Jesus is offering you the gift of eternal life that He earned for you through His death on the Cross and through His resurrection from the grave. But you have to believe that He died on that Cross and that He rose from that grave for you personally. In fact, He would have done it if you were the only person on the face of the earth.

Listen to what the Bible says in John 3: 16 about why God sent Jesus Christ to die in your place: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The reason that God sent Jesus to die for you is pure and simple. God loves you! He loves you right now, this very moment, exactly as you are and exactly where you are. He loves you if you’re on drugs, if you’re an alcoholic, if you’re addicted to pornography, or if you smoke 30 packs of cigarettes a day. He loves you if you’re sitting in a prison cell, or even on death row. He loves you if you’re divorced, if you’ve embezzled from your company, even if you’ve killed someone. What you’ve done does not change the truth that God loves you!

You see, God’s love for you is unconditional. That means that you do not have to earn it. In fact, it’s impossible for you to earn God’s love. There is nothing you could ever do–no good work, no act of service, no huge charitable contribution–that could ever earn you God’s love. You could never be good enough to earn God’s love. So, stop trying to earn it. Just accept the fact that God loves you just as you are right now and no matter what situation you’re in. You could be in the midst of the worst sin, the worst problem, the worst mess, and still, God loves you. You could have committed the worst crime, told the worst lie, stolen the most money, yet still, God loves you.

I know that this is a difficult concept to grasp, especially since we live in a world where mostly everything has a condition attached to it. Also, it is a rare person who has grown up in a home where he or she was loved unconditionally. Even though your parents may not have meant any harm, they still may have implied through their words or their actions that their love for you was contingent on your performance.

For example, perhaps they accepted you when you got good grades, but they disapproved of you when you didn’t. Or perhaps your father accepted you as long as you played Little League, but when you told him you wanted to be an artist, he disapproved and grew distant. Whatever your situation may have been, these kinds of experiences can make you skeptical when it comes to believing that God’s love for you is unconditional, that He loves you with no strings attached. Nevertheless, it’s true. God loves you just because you are you! It’s a concept that we cannot grasp with our minds. We have to grasp it with our hearts.

Romans 5: 8  tells us that God proved His love for us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners. You see, it’s the sinner who needs a Savior, not the righteous person. It’s the sick person who needs a doctor, not the healthy person. And since every human being is born into this world spiritually sick, we all need a Savior. The Bible confirms this in Romans 3:23 when it says that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

So, if you are a sinner, you are a candidate for salvation. You are a candidate for Christ’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. No matter what kind of a mess your life is in, you can receive forgiveness of your sins, and total restoration of all that sin has stolen from you. You can receive the love of Jesus Christ that makes you whole.

I want to emphasize the word receive because that’s what it takes on your part, to experience God’s love in your life. The Bible says in John 1: 12, that “as many as received Him, to them, He gave the right to become children of God”. So it takes both believing and receiving to be saved. You have to believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for you and that He rose again from the dead, and you have to receive personally His precious gift of salvation.

If you have never received God’s love gift to you in the person of Jesus Christ, I invite you to do so now. Just repeat this simple prayer after me.

Lord Jesus, I come to you just as I am. I admit that I am a sinner in need of your mercy and grace. I believe that you are the Son of God, that you died for me, and that you rose again on the third day. I invite you now to come into my life. I receive You as my personal Savior, and as the Lord of my life. Make of me all that You created me to be. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you are now a born again follower of Jesus Christ. I invite you to write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your Christian life. I also invite you to visit my website at maryanndiorio.com. And if you don’t attend a church, ask God to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can be blessed and fed with the Word of God, and where you can use the gifts God has given you to bless others.

Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are, and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on winning with the Word!

Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below on the PODCAST LINK to today’s blog post:

PODCAST: “WHERE WILL YOU GO WHEN YOU DIE?”
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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Now, it’s YOUR turn: What about you? Do you know where you will go when you die? Do you want to know? Please share your comments in the Comments Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “WHERE WILL YOU GO WHEN YOU DIE?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (Click to Tweet)

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Copyright 20111-2019 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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