My Friends Are Dying
And, Though They Be
Alive, They Are
Dead Men Walking!
~ A Message of Hope ~
~ With Compliments ~
Gary Stephen Crous
Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233
“My friends are dying and, though they be alive, they are dead men walking!”
Pirates F.C. ~ Natal League Cup Winners 1986
This is a clarion call trumpeted to all who have an ear to hear. This cry out is pertinent at this most urgent time we live in. The heading at the top reads, “My friends are dying and, though they be alive, they are dead men walking!” From the day we are born into this world, we are born to die. Some die at a young age, others die at an older more mature age, but death is most assuredly guaranteed – death is but a breath away. Do you know when you will die? Do you know you have an appointment with death? And the day that you die will be the most important day of your existence. In GOD’s Holy Word, The Bible, we read of the warning, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27).
Friend, we all have an appointment we have to keep. There is no way that the appointment scheduled by GOD will ever be cancelled. Whether you believe it or not, you have a date with eternity and based on how you lived in this life will ultimately determine where you are headed. You are not guaranteed the next minute, you are not guaranteed the next hour, day, week, month or year. You are but a breath away from meeting your Creator. In this life there is death all around, and your life in your soul could be demanded or taken from you in the blink of an eye. Then what? Where are you headed come Judgment Day? There are only two ways in life as Jesus Christ said, “13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13,14). Are you going to be counted amongst the “few”? Or are you on the super highway, the way which is broad that leads to hell and destruction? Your lifestyle determines the way you are on! So are you headed for hell? Then you need to make a U-Turn and fast. But do carry on reading this warning. And if you are a Christian, you too continue on reading so you can examine yourself, for we are exhorted, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Friend, I am sure you can relate to this. You know of either a family member or a friend or a celebrity or a sportsman who has died recently and passed on into eternity. Some have hopefully died with a living hope, whilst others have sadly and tragically died with no hope at all and are damned for all eternity. It is for this very reason I come to you my friend, in love, with this most urgent message concerning: “My friends are dying and, though they be alive, they are dead men walking!”
Bill Shankly, a Liverpool manager on Merseyside from 1959–1974 is quoted as saying: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” Well, the socialist William “Bill” Shankly came to realise on Tuesday 29th September 1981 at the age of 68 when he passed into eternity that football is not “much, much more important” than life and death, when he died of a heart attack. The front page headline of the Liverpool Echo newspaper simply read: SHANKLY IS DEAD. It recorded the official Broadgreen Hospital statement: “Mr Shankly suffered a cardiac arrest at 00.30 am and was certified dead at 01.20. Shanks had been battling for life since he suffered a heart attack early on Saturday morning. He had been making good progress until his condition deteriorated yesterday morning and he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. His wife Nessie was by his side when he died.”
Dear friend, how will your epithet read one day when you pass from this life into eternity? Will you be remembered as having lived with a hope through being born-again? Or, will you be remembered as having wasted your life, been a spiritually dead man walking who is damned for all eternity? GOD’s Word tells us in advance that Jesus said, “3Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. … 5Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3,5-7)
So how does one be born again? At the outset, you are not ‘good enough’ in your own stead to receive GOD’s pardon come Judgment Day, if you are walking after the flesh and not the Spirit of GOD! Here, take a quick test using GOD’s perfect and righteous Law, The Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21) to see your plight when you have to give an account before the great white throne judgment seat of Christ – How many lies have you told in your life time? If you have told but just one lie you are a liar. Have you stolen anything – irrespective of the size or value of the object, including piracy of music CDs and film DVDs? If you have, that would render you as a thief. Have you looked at a person with lust of the heart – either in acts of heterosexual and/or homosexual lust? Jesus calls that adultery of the heart (see Matthew 5:27-30)! Or maybe idolatry is your violation of GOD’s Law. Idolatry is not only in a religion of idol worship, but idolatry can be a love of money, material possessions, sex, drugs, music, etc or maybe it is football players and teams which are your idols. For many years Liverpool Football Club, its players and the game of football in general was a deep-rooted idol in my life until I came to repentance and GOD delivered me from this idolatry. GOD sees all, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverb 15:3). “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4).
GOD being good, perfect, righteous and holy therefore has a good, perfect, righteous and holy standard! Judging by GOD’s standard, any person breaking HIS commands would leave that person guilty of breaking GOD’s Law and therefore GOD must punish their sin! Scripture reads, “12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12-15)
Dear friend, if you have violated GOD’s commandments that would leave you guilty before the Judge of the Universe. We all must appear before GOD, as we read, “13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14)
You have heard that old cliché: “You do the crime, you do the time.” Well, GOD will punish all sin wherever it is found, and so, if you are found to have transgressed GOD’s Law and is found to be a lying thief, an adulterer at heart, and an idolater (just to mention a few violations of GOD’s Law) then you are guilty as a criminal who should do the time! And GOD’s place of punishment is hell as a holding cell until Judgment Day which results in an eternal sentencing into the lake of fire as mentioned in Revelation 20:12-15 here-above.
Whilst “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11b), GOD is also merciful and gracious. GOD is love (1 John 4:8,16) and HE shows HIS love by making a way for wretched sinners to be saved from HIS wrath, and reconciled back to HIMSELF, “16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21)
As can be seen that the salvation of GOD is obtained through HIS Son Jesus Christ and not through the thousands upon thousands of man-made religious practices, customs and traditions. Man worships his plethora of idolatrous gods through his man-made cultic religions such as Roman Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, the ZCC, the TACC, Shembe Nazarenes, Seventh-Day Adventism, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormonism, the 38,000+ “ecumenical Protestantism denominations” (the Papacy’s harlot daughters) that have little unity in their doctrines and teachings, and atheism which is a religion of worshipping and serving the creation and not the Creator, as we read, “20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:20-25)
Yeshua haMessiach, the Lord Jesus Christ, said He is the ONLY WAY to GOD the Father when, Jesus said, “6I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6,7). The prophecies of old that were prophesied by the prophets in the Old Testament concerning the Saviour came to pass as YEHOVAH (YHVH), the One and Only True and Living GOD, ordained it to be. GOD confirmed through the prophet Isaiah, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us” (Isaiah 33:22). In the Historical account when Mary was pregnant with the baby Jesus, she said, “46My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:46,47). Jesus confirmed, “56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:56-58). Jesus Christ being the manifest GOD in flesh is the Saviour of the world.
All the memories, the accolades, medals and trophies, degrees and the like that you have accumulated through-out your life are worthless and cannot save you, “36For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36,37). You need a living Saviour to save your soul. For Christ suffered in our place taking the wrath of GOD upon Himself, as we read, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” (1 Peter 3:18). Today, while it is still today, find peace with GOD through repentance and faith by calling upon Jesus Christ, for this is your only hope. If you reject the Lord Jesus Christ, you reject GOD at your own peril! “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
Whilst the “You’ll Never Walk Alone” song [see Footnote], made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers, is synonymous with Liverpool Football Club fans, the song is an anthem of hope, but for every Christian true Hope is found in the lyrics of Psalm 23: A Psalm of David,
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalm 23:1-6)
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone
Published by Repent and Believe South Africa
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