TITLE: The Tombstone
OBJECT: A tombstone with the initials R.I.P.
STORY WITH THE OBJECT
I think we all know what these initials represent: RIP, “Rest In Peace.” Yet, the interesting thing about this is that surveys show that more than 95% of the people are afraid of death.
TRANSITION TO THE SPIRITUAL
So the question is: if you don’t have peace before you die, how are you going to have peace after you die? I was very afraid of death, not so much of death itself as what would happen to me after I died.
THE PROBLEM (LAW)
I knew that the judgment of God was waiting for me after death. And I had a very dirty conscience. I don’t know about you, but I had broken the laws of God. For example, the law that says, “Do not commit adultery,” any kind of sex outside of marriage, even lust in your heart. And what about stealing? Things from work, coins from your mom’s purse, riding the metro without paying. And what about the law that says, “Do not kill?” God judges the lack of forgiveness as murder in our heart.
THE CONSEQUENCES (ETERNITY)
For good reason, we should be afraid of death because we know we are guilty and Judgment Day awaits us. The just punishment for breaking God’s laws and rebelling against Him is eternity in hell.
THE SOLUTION (CROSS)
I was afraid of death and I didn’t know if there was hope for me. Until one day someone told me about a way out of my guilty state. He explained how Jesus Christ paid for my sins on the cross when He died. God laid on Jesus all of our sins, and He suffered the consequences for them, and three days later He rose from the dead, demonstrating that He was able to pay for our sins.
THE CALL (REPENTANCE AND FAITH)
That day I asked Jesus to forgive me and take control of my life as my Lord. I know that God has forgiven me and set me free from the coming judgment because since that moment, the fear of death left me and has not returned during the past 30 years. Be honest with God, repent, and surrender your life to the only one who can forgive you, Jesus Christ.