Your First Breath, Your Last Breath
Your First Breath, Your Last Breath
I recently attended two funerals. I am glad that both were known Christians and have the eternal promise that they are with the Lord. It seems the word death is avoided. Death is compared to a shadow, vapor, a step, sleep and a last breath. Some say, “He is with Lord, gone, passed away, God took him, in Heaven, but only the Bible explains what happens when a person dies. You have an appointment with death that cannot be postponed or canceled.
If you want to know about grammar, go to an English book. If you want to know the past of America, go to a history book. If you want to know about numbers, go to a math book. If you want to know about nature, go to a biology book. But if you want to know about God, Jesus Christ, life, death, soul, and eternity you must go to the Scriptures in the Bible. It is the only book that defines death and eternity.
Paul described death as a departure and an arrival (II Timothy 4:6-8). Some countries say at death, “He has arrived.” God is the Creator of life. “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living (eternal) soul” (Genesis 2:7).
You are a soul with a body, not a body with a soul. Your body will die, but your soul will live forever. Your body will die, but you will not die. Your eternal soul never dies.
Dear friend you now have life, but you have an appointment with death that cannot be postponed or canceled (Hebrews 9:27). One day you will take your last breath. Your body will lie in the casket. Your name will appear in the obituary column. As others view your body, where will “you” be in eternity?
Will you be in H________ or H______?
How Far is Hell? Hell is at the end of a Christless life. You had no choice about birth, but you do have a choice about death. There are many religions that are good for life, but only one that is good for death. At death God only sees two groups of people: (1) those “In Christ,” (2) those “Without Christ.” At death the Lord will not ask the name of your church, but He will ask what you did with Christ, His Son. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (I John 5:12). Once you take your last breath, you will face death and eternity. All opportunities will be gone. Don’t die without Christ! If you die without Christ it would have been better if you had never taken that first breath of life.
Your First Breath
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” – Genesis 2:7
You are a soul with a body. The body was just a form until God breathed life into it, and the body became a living soul. This means you are not a body with a soul, but a soul with a body. When you first breathe, you have life. (Note: The baby has life within the womb, but the first breath is taken at birth.) When you cease breathing the body dies, but your eternal soul still lives and cannot die. Your earthly body can die, but not your eternal soul.
“The most profound event at birth is the baby’s first breath. The newborn baby’s lungs were filled with fluid, but now must be filled with oxygen. The first few gasps of breath may be the most difficult the baby will ever take. After a few breaths the baby is able to breathe deeper and more regular” (healthychild.org).
Your Last Breath
An average person who takes 12 breaths per minute will take 17,280 breaths each day. One day you will see and hear for the last time. You will make your last step. You will touch someone for the last time. You will take your last breath.
“As death approaches, the body slowly and naturally shuts down. Breathing becomes shallow, quiet, and slow. The breathing rhythm may look regular. At any time there may be an audible sigh or moan which are caused by air passing over the relaxed vocal cords causing them to vibrate and sound. This is not a sign of pain or distress. There will be an audible gasp just before the final breath is released. For most, the last gasp breath is a quiet, gentle sigh. The eyes may open and then close, or remain partially open. The lower jaw muscles may relax and the jaw falls open as the last breath is finally taken” (brainhospice.com).
What Happens After Death?
Death ends this life, but not eternal life. What happens to those in Christ, after their last breath? To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Cor. 5:8). You are absent “here” but present “there.” The Bible also explains what happens to those who die without Christ. “The rich man died and in hell he lift up his eyes being in torment” (Luke 16:23). Hell is at the end of a Christless life. At death everyone will be absent “here” (on earth) and present “there” (Heaven or Hell). “There” are only two places: Heaven or Hell! There is no purgatory, but you are immediately “there” after your last breath. Now inhale, hold it, exhale, you still have life. Be thankful! “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).
Since you can breathe, you still have life, But at any moment you could take your last breath and then face death. Many who lived as you now live have taken their last breath. They would love to have the opportunity you now have to be saved. Now, take another deep breath, exhale and, pause. While you still have the opportunity, let the Lord open your heart. Do what you know in your heart needs to be done. Do it! Pray, believe and receive Christ as your Saviour (John 1:12). While you still have breath, believe the Scriptures and turn from your past life and to the Lord, and trust Him as your present Lord and Saviour. It will be the best decision you ever made! (Ithess 1:9). Do it now! Don’t die without Christ. Be saved today, because tomorrow may be too late!
Pray: “I don’t want to die without Christ. I do believe He died as the sacrifice for my sin. He became my substitute and Saviour as He rose from the grave.” Dear Lord, I now turn to you from my sins and receive you as my Lord and Saviour. I am now saved and “in Christ.” – Amen!