From Anthony Carter at the Gospel Coalition blog:
At a recent prayer meeting someone asked the question, “How do people make it in this world without Jesus?” The answer to that question is that they don’t.
There is a sentence of death over every one who has not professed faith in Jesus Christ. This sentence is executable at any moment. And the only reason that it is not executed and the sinner is not immediately experiencing the terrible judgment due for sin is because of the grace and mercy of God.
Yet, even more is the reality that instead of having the sentence immediately executed, millions of people experience the grace and mercy of sunshine and rain; seed time and harvest. The fact that there is any light or joy in the life of a sinner is owing to God’s desire to show mercy and to be longsuffering.
Nevertheless, those who have come into the knowledge of the truth and have experienced the forgiving grace of God in Jesus Christ are aware of the pending danger of judgment upon the unrepentant and thus we plead with them, even in the midst of God’s longsuffering and patience, to repent and believe. We plead with them because God will not strive with them forever and without repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ, judgment for their sin is coming. The sun they take for granted will be darkened, a perpetual night will grip their soul, and they will know the true nature of their sin and the necessary punishment for it. It is a terror just to contemplate. And so we say with all our energy, “Flee from the wrath that is sure to come! Flee to the mercy of Jesus Christ!”
Everlasting life is not possible without Jesus. Neither is life in this world. Those who acknowledge it in this world will have life in the next. Those who don’t, won’t.