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Religion: one step away from death.

web posted October 21, 2015

By Pastor Phillip Howell
RELIGION- The fall of the year makes me think about the mountains. I am reminded of back during my sophomore year of college, when I had long hair and was involved in rock climbing. mountain climber up at North Greenville University. I enjoyed this phase. I liked my curly locks, and climbing mountains was really amazing.  I never did anything too big, but I loved it.

During this time I read a great book called Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. In it he tells of his near death experience of climbing Mt. Everest. It was on May 10, 1996, when Krakauer finally made it to the top. He writes that he paused only for a few minutes before heading down. He wrote his muscles were exhausted, his limbs frozen, and his brain oxygen-deprived. He described that as he descended; some clouds drifted up and closed in on him. Soon, thunder, lightning, and a snow storm disoriented him. Fortunately he was close enough to base camp number 4 (Everest is climbed in stages) to get to the sheltering tents before the full force of the storm hit.

Unfortunately, four climbers who had arrived at the summit shortly before Jon and stayed longer at the top did not have time to get to the camp before darkness. The storm caused them to lose their way. The four climbers, who were exhausted and lost, simply laid down to wait out the night. Amazingly when they awoke in the morning, they found they had lain down just one step from the 4,000 foot sheer drop of the South Wall of Everest. They had slept the night on the edge of a cliff in the middle of a snowstorm and had no idea.

This made me think. These four people were one step away from death. As amazing as this story sounds, we all live our lives only one step away from death.  4,000 people die every hour, 96,000 each day, 35 million people every year die. Death affects all people, poor and rich, saint and sinner, Christian and Non-Christian. David said in 1 Samuel 20:3 “Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death." Then Jesus brother James, writing much later, added in James 4:4 “you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” The writer of Hebrews in 9:27 finishes this line of thought as he says “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment”

Ever since the fall of man recorded in Genesis 3, humankind has rebelled against its Creator. All people reject their Creator in unbelief. The Bible says that people love the darkness and hate the light of Christ. Each day a person lives their life apart from a saving, personal, life changing experience with Jesus; it is spent asleep on the edge of the mountain just inches from a 4,000-foot fall to their death. We often fail to realize that we are all potentially one breath away from meeting our Maker and being sentenced to an eternity of heaven or condemnation. It takes just one car wreck, one heart attack, one slip down some stairs or one driver out drinking and driving.

Right now if you don’t know Jesus you are in a predicament of peril. But there is good news. It is not too late; as long as there is breath in your lungs it is never too late to give your heart and life to Jesus. You can be assured that when your day of death comes, you can face it boldly knowing that as you breathe your last breath here you will awake in heavenly splendor safe in the arms of Christ forevermore. If you have any questions about your eternal destiny or relationship with Jesus drop me an email at
philliphowle@hotmail.com and I will be happy to help in anyway.

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