1999-09-30 - One Sure Thing
Heb 9:27-28 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, (NAS)
The old joke goes something like: "There's only two things you have to do in this life, die and pay taxes. And you don't even have to pay taxes, if you don't mind going to jail." So, I guess there is really only one thing we must do in this life. It's something nobody wants to talk about. People do all kinds of things to look younger, stay fit and fend off the Grim Reaper. But death will come for us one day.
There are only two people in recorded Biblical history who have escaped this fate. Enoch was 'taken by God' in Gen 5:24, and Elijah was caught up in a whirlwind on a chariot of fire in 2 Kings 2:11. I believe that these two men will be the two witnesses spoken of in the Revelation in 11:7. I won't debate the point, that is just my opinion. However, even these two witnesses will taste death when their witness is completed, before rising from death after three and a half days to ascend into Heaven at Jesus' call.
There are groups working on anti-aging and anti-adamic drugs. Others are delving deep into microbiology trying to unwrap just why we age and die. I've heard that the effects of aging begin around age three. From the time we are three years old, we are beginning the process of dying. It is possible they might even succeed in pushing death back to some extent, with God's consent. But we are still mortal beings. We are not impervious to serious injury or fatality from any one of a vast array of illnesses and accidents.
Ps 103:14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. (NAS)
I find it ironic that the one thing we can not change is the one thing we spend a good deal of time, effort and worry over. There is a second part to the verse that we can do something about. We know there is a judgment for each of us after we die. There are different judgments for believers and non-believers, etc. true. But there is at least one judgment for everyone.
Since we must be judged, we should prepare for that certainty. We can do that by learning about the judgments and what will be expected or required. The simplest way is to accept the provision that Jesus Christ made for us with His death on the cross. He died to make a way for us to be forgiven of our failings and made perfect in the sight of the Father. Those who accept this salvation will be accepted by the Father in Rev. 20:11.
We will stand before Christ for our actions as believers for rewards as well. We will not stand before the Lord for our eternal destiny. That is already sealed if Jesus is your Savior. We are given instructions on how to live a life that will reap rewards. It is not full of don'ts, just two do's. Love God with all your heart, soul and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. If everyone lived by those two rules, this society would be very different. If we lived lives preparing for the one sure thing that we will face, knowing that God cares so much that He paved the way, I dare say we would not recognize this world.
Rev 22:12-14 "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. (NAS)
Lord Jesus - keep our time in this world focused with an eternal perspective. Amen.