The Check Out Line

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Early last week, my step-brother passed away, he checked out. He was younger than I am, and by rights, he shouldn’t have been the first one to die, but he was. I hadn’t seen him for years so I don’t really know where he stood spiritually.  He did however, let me pray for him a few weeks before he passed. The doctors told him he had a limited amount of time and so he had the opportunity to prepare spiritually for his turn in line. They gave him six months to live but it was only two weeks before his name was called at The Check Out Line. 

You see, we are all waiting our turn at The Check Out Line. The Check Out Line is not linear and it seems random at times. You would think the first people in would be the first to check out but The Check Out Line doesn’t work that way. Sometimes those who have been in a relatively short amount of time are the first to go. Since none of us knows exactly when our name will be called, we must ask ourselves the obvious question, “Am I ready to check out?”

Lots of people think they are ready to check out but they aren’t. Those that don’t believe in God or life after death think they are ready. Those that believe that “if they are a good person” think they’re ready. Those that believe we have lots of chances at The Check Out Line think they are ready also…but they are not. The Bible says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. ” Hebrews 9:27-28. 

We all need to make sure we are ready for The Check Out Line. There IS life after death and we must all face Jesus, the righteous Judge of the universe when we check out. He will of course look at what we have done with the lives he gave us but the most important question will be, “What did you do with the free gift of salvation I offered you?” He DID die on the cross for our sins and He offers us eternal life with Him in heaven. If we want to spend eternity with Him, we must choose Him before it is out time to check out.

Facing the Music

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Every Saturday, I sit down and put all the debit slips from the week in my checkbook; I then balance the checkbook. The next week, same thing. Once a month, we get our bank statement in the mail and I have to “face the music.” Did I make any math mistakes…you know, add the two – carry the one? If so, when it is time to balance the statement, I must “face the music” and make the corrections. Sometimes, I do pretty good and I am about on track with the bank. Other times, I have made mistakes in our favor. That is always a good day when I can add money back into our account. There are other days however, when I have made mistakes that are not in our favor and I must subtract money from our available balance.

If the mistakes aren’t too big, I don’t mention it to my husband. My motto is: No harm, No foul,  but if the mistakes are over about $25.00, I feel I need to let him know. Not that he says anything, mind you. He just gives me that look that says, “Why don’t you use a calculator when figuring the balance?” The problem is: I do use my calculator now, but I can still make mistakes when entering the numbers.  No matter how hard I try, I still cannot do it perfectly.

Last evening, when I was out on my nightly walk, I began thinking about “facing the music” in terms of our trespasses. What if I didn’t confess them to the Lord as they happened, instead I waited until Saturdays to get things right? I would have to start writing them down in order to remember them all. You know how the list would go…I had a bad thought about someone, I had a bad attitude when I talked to my boss, etc… the list would continue on and on.

What if, rather than once a week, I waited until the end of my life to try and get things right with the Lord? What would that look like? I know one thing for sure; there is no way I could remember all of the wrong things I had done. And yet, some people saunter through life like that. They don’t even think about “facing the music” when they die. Surely, there must be a better way.

For daily debits, think in terms of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” For those who are sauntering through life not thinking in terms of “facing the music,” Hebrews 9:27 should give them pause: “And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Let’s face it, there is not a notebook big enough to write down all the sins we each commit in our lifetimes. You see, that’s why Christ came. The next verse says, “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” There is a “Get out of Hell” free card, we just have to be willing to take it.