1 Samuel 28-31, Psalm 86
In 1 Samuel 28:16 we read a very disturbing statement by Samuel, “So why do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy?”. We get this same reality in the New Testament, Paul said in Colossians 1:21, “And you who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled,”. Again Paul says in Romans 5:10, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son,..”.
We see in these passages that there is really no middle ground in the eyes of God. You are either His friend or enemy, saved or unsaved, destined to Heaven or Hell. As we come to the end of Saul’s life, the enemy of God, it appears (only God knows for sure) that his eventual residence will be in Hell.
In the Old Testament, those who die go to Sheol, in the New Testament this place is called Hades. We get a vivid picture in Jesus’ story in Luke 16 of Lazarus and the Rich Man, of this place, and that there is no crossing over after death. This story by Jesus is not a parable, since parables never use specific names of individuals, rather generic names. In Hebrews 9:27, the author says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this judgement”. We also know from Jesus’ statements that those going to Hell far outnumber those going to Heaven, as we read in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The story of Saul and his end should open our eyes to the reality of eternity. We are all surrounded by unsaved family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. None of these individuals stand on neutral ground. If they are not God’s friends and therefore saved, then they are God’s enemies and they will wind up on the wrong side of eternity. Whenever anyone dies it will be either a time for rejoicing for the dead individual or mourning. There are no coincidences, everyone in your life is there for a reason. Jesus ended His first coming, before His ascension in Matthew 28:18-20 with the Great Commission (His command to evangelize). May we look continuously for opportunities to reach our unsaved friends before, like King Saul, it is too late.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: