February 22, 2021 — For Whom The Bell Tolls

The Bible says if you’re only born once, you’ll die twice, but if born twice, you can only die once. Interesting!

It isn’t so long ago that, when a person died, the church bell would toll for that person, often ringing one time for each year of life. John Donne, writing in 1624, penned the famous words, “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” The bell-ringing, or Death Knell, was a somber reminder to the townsfolk of the brevity of life and the certainty of death. When people won’t listen to any other preacher, that eloquent old Preacher, Death, gets their attention. Genesis 5 is like the tolling of the death knell. You remember Satan’s lie to our first parents, even if they disobeyed the Lord? “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die’” (3:4). But God’s warning was to the contrary in chapter 2: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (vv 16-17). So who was telling the truth? This chapter gives the solemn answer. Each generation is the terminal generation, isn’t it! Like the tolling of the bell, we read over and over, “and he died…and he died…and he died.” That’s going to be true of you and me, too, unless like Enoch the Lord catches us away to heaven with all believers at the Rapture. So the question is not whether we will leave this world, but how we will leave it. Do you know where you’re going when the time comes? Some say you can’t know, but the Bible says you can. The apostle John writes, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 Jn 5:24). Please remember these words: Life is short. Death is sure. Sin the curse. Christ the cure.