Brothers and sisters we are gathered together today to pay our last respects to Mr. I Will Later. Mr. Later passed away without warning at Doubter’s Nursing Home, 623 Romans Street in old Jerusalem late last Friday evening. I had talked to Mr. Later many times about obeying the gospel. I encouraged him to become a Christian; therefore being added to the Body of Christ. I can’t count the number of times that I visited him but he kept telling me, “Preacher, I’ll be down there when I get straightened out.” True to his word, he is here today in the assembly and he is straightened out, but he is eternally lost. You see a coffin is not how you want to get straightened out!
You may not know Mr. Later personally, but I wager that you know many others just like him or maybe you are like him. Let’s look at the obituary record as I share a little part of his life. He lived a long life being a fine neighbor and good friend to all. He spent the last few years of his life in Doubter’s and Prognosticators’ Nursing Home. He was born at Jeremiah 1 Apartment 5a. He was the same age as you when death called on him. He had no church affiliation or any sincere belief in God. His Pallbearers will be his best friends: Not Enough Time, More Convenient Time, Another Time, Get Around To It, Meant To, and Intended To. He is survived by his wife: Maybe Later; one daughter; Hope-To Later and two brothers; Going To Later and Sometime Later. His relatives are too numerous to mention. In lieu of flowers it has been asked that each one make sure they don’t wait too long to get right with God.
Hebrews 9:27 Tells us we are going to die, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Yes I know, we are not sure when it is going to happen, but it will happen. Some of you reading this article will have the year 2019 on your tombstone. That is why everyone needs to understand that at the point of death, even before their body is taken from the scene, the deceased knows their final destination. The apostle Paul states in Second Corinthians 5:8, “To be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” The opposite could be said for those who have refused the gospel. To be lost at death is to be absent from the body and present with Satan’s workers in torment. Hypothetically Mr. Later already has a taste of the reality of his final destination. Later he will be cast into the lake of fire where he will spend eternity.
Now let us take a moment and consider this man’s life. He was a sinner. “For all have sinned” (Romans 6:23). The Bible says, “The soul that sins, shall surely die” (Ezekiel 18:4 & 20). Up to the age of accountability this man was headed for heaven, but after that he had to answer for his sins. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (Second Corinthians 5:10).
His life’s characteristics were indifference, neglect and procrastination. He was especially indifferent and neglectful concerning his spiritual condition. Many at the visitation said that he never intended to die without getting right with God, but he just never got around to it. Procrastination was his lifestyle. He lived a life filled with it. Procrastination is a ten dollar word for putting things off. In reality, procrastination is good intentions put aside. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. That is why Second Corinthians 6:2 needs to be read and heeded. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
There is only one reason why a person would put off salvation. And that is sin. Listen; I am not writing to your neighbor or somebody else, I am writing to you. I want you to examine yourself. You see, sin is something that people love just a little more than Jesus. There are many sins that keep people from obeying the Lord. Your sin might be: position, lust, covetousness, drunkenness, gambling, or pride. You need to understand that whatever your sin is, it will send you to hell unless you repent and turn to Christ! Don’t wait like Mr. I Will Later did, please make a decision for Jesus Christ and do it today.