In recent years our nation has been overwhelmed with tragedy. All you have to do is hear the words Columbine, 9-11, or Virginia Tech and immediately you are transported back to the images of the events on those dreadful days. This week another such event sent shockwaves all over the United States and perhaps the globe as fifty plus cars were sent plummeting into the Mississippi River as a bridge on a major highway in Minneapolis gave way almost instantaneously. The last time I checked there were five people confirmed dead with at least twenty more missing and assumed dead. Most of us have viewed the horrible video footage taken from a security camera as our hearts dropped when the bridge and vehicles fell before our very eyes. It is a great tragedy, but is it the greatest tragedy?

This may come as a shock to you, but over 150,000 people die every single day. That is one person every 1.8 seconds. Death is not a surprise. All of us will die unless the Lord returns. Death is not only not a surprise to us, it is certainly not a surprise to God. In fact, our deaths are appointed by God Himself [Hebrews 9:27]. Here lies the greatest tragedy, that following our appointed death comes the judgment. As John Macarthur has so well said, “The tragedy is not that people die untimely deaths, the great tragedy is that people die and enter a timeless eternity without Jesus Christ in hell.” Events like 9-11 and the bridge collapse should remind us all of the words of Jesus, “Repent, or you will likewise perish.” Repentance and faith in Jesus alone will not keep you from dying in this life, but it will keep you for perishing forever in hell.