Better to Never Have Been Born – Why?

Published: 21st July 2010
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Jesus, in reference to his betrayer Judas said, "It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." (Matt. 26:24 ESV) Most of us who believe the Bible can understand what Jesus said and why as it pertains to Judas and if we could leave it at that we could rest in peace. Why then does such a statement torment us? Because we know the truth to be that any man or woman, whether it is our mother or dad, our wife or our husband, our son or our daughter, our grandchild, our best friend, whoever it may be is in the exact same place with Judas just as soon as their last breath leaves their body if they are not a faithful Christian when that breath has been drawn. It is torment to us and deep unrelenting sorrow to think about what is to become of those we care about and love deeply if somehow or another they do not get their lives turned around before death takes them. It is better to never have been born than to die in sin and spend eternity in hell.



I do not understand how it is that some do not seem to understand that they are not in charge of their lives. Everyday people die unexpectedly, suddenly, without warning whether from accidents, heart attacks, you name it. Even with long life one cannot overcome death. It is going to get each of us sooner or later. It is a battle we cannot win. So what then - then after death?



The answer is, "it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." (Heb. 9:27 NKJV) "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." (2 Cor. 5:10-11a NKJV) Thus what comes after death is the judgment and its terrors for those unprepared.



Paul says he knew "the terror of the Lord" but it seems few do today. It is like men (and women) are living their lives going around singing the song "who is afraid of the big bad wolf" like we did when we were children only now applying it to God in adulthood. It is as though there is nothing in the least to be concerned about even though they know full well that if the Bible be true they are living in active disobedience to the teachings of it as regards Jesus, the gospel, and the keeping of the commandments of God.



There is a day of judgment the Bible being true. You cannot say you believe in the Bible and deny that it teaches a day of accounting. For all practical purposes the day of our death is the day of judgment for us even though the actual day of judgment at the end of the world may be years beyond. Our fate is sealed the day of our death. Until that day we have some control. Until that day we can repent and turn our lives around by gospel obedience. However, on that day free will will end and the choices we had will then be gone. It will simply be too late.



In Matt. 25 we are given a look into the judgment scene to come. In it Jesus is separating the sheep (the saved) from the goats (the unsaved). The goats are going to be told, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt. 25:41 NKJV) He says they will "go away into everlasting punishment." (Matt. 25:46 NKJV) How does one read passages like that and then not fear God's power in judgment?



Tell me you have no fear of God then I say you are a fool. Paul tells us why man is condemned before God in Rom. 3:10-18. Here are two of the things listed that are applicable to this article. (1) "There is none who seeks after God." (Rom. 3:11 NKJV) (2) "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Rom. 3:18 NKJV) What do we learn from this? That we must seek God in our life and we must respect him for who he is - God.



We will not be seeing Jesus in his unglorified state on the Day of Judgment. You are not going to see Jesus setting on his throne as a flesh and blood human being but rather as king of kings and lord of lords. When Jesus was transfigured the bible says his face "shone like the sun." (Matt. 17:2 NKJV) Peter in referring to this event later says he and his companions "were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Peter 1:16 NKJV) We will see Jesus in his majesty as we stand before him.



John described what he saw in the vision he received on the Isle of Patmos in Rev. 1. He described Jesus, in part, as having a head and hair "white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes like a flame of fire; his feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace." (Rev. 1:14-15 NKJV) My point is not to try and describe what Jesus will look like, not at all, but I simply refer to these things for the benefit of the "tough guys" and the rebellious who think they are not going to fear Jesus on that day. When that day arrives you will know terror, you will know you are no longer in charge, and there will not be a doubt in your mind. There will be terror on that day like no man has ever experienced in this life.



The reality is that we have no English word that can describe the kind of terror those who have disobeyed God all their life and have never become Christians will have that day as they stand in the presence of the glorified Jesus to be judged knowing in their minds and hearts it will only be a matter of minutes if not seconds until they will be cast into hell fire, the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, for eternity from whence they can never ever escape or have hope of it relenting.



Why are people not afraid to face Jesus in the judgment? Why? I cannot comprehend it. I really can't. It bothers me that I am unable to get into the minds of other people and understand how they think. If I could understand then maybe I could figure out a way to persuade them but I just do not understand and thus have no idea what it will take to get them to a place of reason and common sense in their life. It is insanity to not do all in one's power to avoid hell.



If a person says I do not believe then what do you believe? Do you believe life was created from non living material? That is real smart isn't it? The truth is we inherently know God exists. We may want to deny it but down deep we know it. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse." (Rom. 1:20 NKJV) We know it but we may have reason to suppress the truth one reason being our deep desire to retain our sinful life as it is and to justify ourselves.



But be all that as it may it would be better to never have been born than to not believe and not obey the gospel and die a sinner. "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36 NKJV) "He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son." (1 John 5:10 NKJV) It is pretty dangerous business to make God out to be a liar and to have the wrath of God abiding upon you. It would be better to have never been born than to be such a man.



When Jesus returns he will be "revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power." (2 Thess. 1:7-9 NKJV) For such a man /woman it would be better to have never been born.



Jesus speaks of the unprofitable servant being cast into outer darkness. "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 25:30 NKJV) It would be better to have never been born. In John's vision in the book of Revelation, "anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev. 20:15 NKJV) This is the place of torment where "they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Rev. 20:10 NKJV) For such it would be better to have never been born.



We know the way to have our names written in the book of life for Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NKJV) But, are we determined to commit suicide? So many are and why I cannot comprehend. Why die an eternal death which while called death is really eternal torment, pain, and suffering accompanied by weeping, gnashing of teeth, overwhelming sorrow, despair, and hopelessness? One does not have to enter into that state and endure it but it is a matter of choice and that choice has to be made here and now while you can do something about it.



I kind of think many just do not believe God will cast them away if they are disobedient just as long as they are a decent human being and have a good heart so they will put God to the test. They will live here like they are God, live by their own rules rather than his, and then test him in the last day. I guess the idea is God is some kind of wimp, I can rule over him, and get him to do just what I want on my own terms. Based on all the funerals I have heard over the years that seems to be the idea for I have never been to a funeral but where the man was saved beyond doubt.



Besides that on what basis do we get to judge ourselves as having had "a good heart?" Do we now make ourselves the judge and attempt to usurp Jesus on the throne of judgment? "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." (Jer. 17:9-10 NKJV) It sounds like it might be best to let the Lord do the heart judging business as we might not be the best judge of our own heart. Most men have no problem justifying their ungodly life (at least to themselves).



Actually, if that is our approach to our relationship with God then how do we differ from the devil himself? He was pretty much determined to do as he pleased too from all I can read. People live as though they are God in this life, usurping his authority in their lives, and then on the Day of Judgment when they can no longer be God of their life they want him to take over on their behalf and rule in their favor.



If we are not concerned about the Day of Judgment we ought to be. If the teaching of the word of God does not put some godly fear into our lives it ought to. No, I am not saying a faithful Christian needs to fear. You know that is not my point. But, for the unfaithful and the disobedient, for those who have never obeyed the gospel, for those living life as they please to suit themselves, no thought of God involved in their lives, they do not know what they are getting themselves into. You cannot succeed in a battle with God. You will suffer beyond any power of words to convey if you continue on in rebellion and disregard for him. Why are you doing this to yourself? What joy and satisfaction is it giving you?



The words of God to Israel are applicable to man today. I close with them.



"'Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,' says the Lord God. 'Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,' says the Lord GOD. 'Therefore turn and live!'" (Ezk. 18:30-32 NKJV)



All of Denny's articles, over 100 audio sermons by Waymon Swain, a free online Bible correspondence course, plus access by links to many other Bible study resources can all be found on Denny's web site DennySmith.Net.




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