Rev. 22: 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still:
and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still:
and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:
and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Popular among children at one time was an expression called “Do-over”. If a mistake was made while playing a game, one could call out “I want a do-over” and the request was granted to allow the player to do it over again. How many people today wish they could have a “do-over” for some of the errors of their lives? For example, how many who started smoking and ruined their health wish they could have a “do-over”? If the “do-over” were granted they would run so far from cigarettes that even second-hand smoke would have trouble reaching them. A man who walked away from his family, leaving his wife to raise the children might cry “do-over” when that abandoned daughter willingly and lovingly becomes the care provider for the final days of his life. Every time that daughter spoons soup into his mouth or every time she turns his frail body in bed to make him comfortable he would wish that he could have a “do over”. Wouldn’t the mothers who reached old age with no children cry “do-over” to undo the death of her aborted babies who would have served as life-long friends and caregivers? Yes, those mothers would gladly endure the shame of an unwed pregnancy if they were allowed just one little ”do-over”. But, worst of all, wouldn’t the souls who are burning, rolling and crying in Hell cry “do-over” if they could? With every tormented breath they would remember the chances that they had been given to be saved but they turned down. “Why didn’t I get saved?”, they would cry. “Ah”, they would say, “if only I could have one little “do-over”. But there is no “do-over” coming.
There are some people who believe that there is a purgatory or half-way house somewhere between Earth and Heaven, or between earth and Hell, but that is a cruel myth concocted by Satan. In such a place, they believe, are those who were not quite good enough to go to Heaven but not bad enough to go to Hell. They believe that those who are alive on earth are able to pray for the “not-so-bad” sinners and cause God to allow that group to be taken into heaven based on the prayers of the living. In essence they believe that their prayers will cause God to grant the person who died in their sins a “do-over”. They have this belief because they don’t understand that whether or not one goes to Heaven after death is not based on the “goodness” of an individual. Man’s “righteousness” is not ever good enough to get us into heaven. The righteousness of the “best” person is as filthy rags according to Isaiah 64:6. (KJV) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Praying prayers of this nature are not only unscriptural and a waste of time, they tie up the living, not allowing them to move forward with their own lives. Some individuals might even feel that their prayers are responsible for the outcome of the dead.
What determines our eternal destination is based on 1) recognition of the fact that every individual who was ever born is a sinner who is destined for Hell if we do not get saved; 2) whether or not we ask for forgiveness for our sins and place our faith on the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the propitiation of our sins; 3) and whether or not we turn from our sins and intend to never commit them again. A person who sincerely repents will be immediately forgiven and his/her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. If God chooses to allow that individual to live on earth beyond the point of repentance, he needs the Power of the Holy Ghost to live according to God’s mandates. The Holy Ghost is received simply by asking for it. Luke 11:9-13
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
What happens to the soul of each individual is an individual affair and is based on the individual’s own repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Titus 2:11 tells us that every person will be given an opportunity to be saved. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Romans 10:13 says For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. That Scripture does not say call upon the name of the Lord for another after they are dead and they shall be saved. Let’s take a second look at Rev. 22:11.
Rev. 22: 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
This Scripture tells us that as a man lives, so will he die and so will he be forever. In the words of the Late Apostle Lobias Murray, “You cannot expect to lay down and die a sinner and get up a Saint.” So, Saints of God, no matter how much we would like to beg God to give our dead loved ones a “do-over”, our time is so much better spent praying, fasting and witnessing to the living rather that crying for the soul of one who has already gone on to his or her judgment.
Hebrews 9:27 (KJV) says And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Take a lesson from David in the 12th chapter of the Book of 2 Samuel. When David’s son by Uriah’s wife became ill, he prayed, fasted and cried out to God for seven days. When the child died, however, he stopped his fasting, rose and anointed himself, worshipped the Lord and went to his own house and ate. David bowed to the will of God, realizing that death is the great divide. He did not and we should not attempt to cross that line with prayers for the dead.
As human beings we will cry when we lose a loved one but we cannot change the kind of life they lived, the decisions they made or the outcome that they received. You have a responsibility to make sure that your soul makes it into the kingdom of heaven and to take as many with you as possible. Be encouraged, God Himself will wipe away all tears. Get up, wash your face and get back into life and the business of winning souls. God said to remind you that He loves you. It is my prayer that these words of encouragement are helpful to someone who is not only grieving, but asking and seeking God about the souls of one who has already died. Remember that God is in control. Cast all of your cares on Him, for he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7. Allow the words of Ps. 24:7 to comfort you.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
You have not abandoned your loved ones when you stop praying for them after death, you are simply bowing to the Will of Almighty God. His World, His Rules. Get on with your life and live a holy life as a memorial to your loved one. Get as many people into the Kingdom of God as you can and you will honor their memory. And, in so doing, you will please God.
Is. 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.