At Whits End: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow....

Today a lady well-known in my community passed away. She was a relatively young woman in her late 50’s. Today people were just mentioning how they had just seen her a few days ago and one mentioned how she had just had lunch with her. To the surprise of many this woman had a severe stroke on Friday, May 13, 2011. Within 24 hours of that stroke conversation took place about taking her off the respirator. Late this evening it happened she was removed from the respirator. I share this story because life is but a vapor. We have no idea how long our time on this earth will be. The wisdom of David is found in his statement, “Lord, teach me to number my days.” He understood that we all had a finite time on this earth and he was hoping for a glimpse into that time frame. Paul who knew his time was short stated, “I have run my race. I have finished my course.” Then there are those of us who are not as aware of the brevity of our lives. We believe we will go on forever. The bible states “it’s appointed to every man to die and then the judgment.” The wisdom of God by not telling us exactly our last day is many of us would live like a hellion and then on the day before we were scheduled to go we would accept Christ as our personal Savior in order to squeak into heaven.

There are many people through the centuries have predicted the exact date they believe the world would come to an end. We know that scripture tells us that each of our days will end as though a thief in the night comes in and swoop’s us up. We’re told no man knows the day or the hour and also admonished that since that is the case we should always be ready. My pastor is always reminding us that the only part of our life that we are responsible for is the dash. What’s the dash? It’s the line between the day you were born and the day you die. Each of us will give account as to what we did with the time given to us that is within our control – the dash.

For those of us who are Christian’s in 11 Corinthian’s we are told that our lives will be tested by an incredibly hot, burning flame. We are told that whatever we’ve done since our acceptance of Christ will go through a furnace some will have remains and others won’t. If your life has amounted to one pleasing to God we are told that our lives will shine like precious jewels. When the fire hits precious gems they grow my brilliant. Then there are those who will have done nothing with their salvation and their life’s works will instantly combust into ash; that’s the residue of hay, stubble, and wood. Many of us make the mistake of thinking because we went through the process of accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior that our salvation is sealed and there is nothing else expected of us. That is true to a point. You ask, what’s the point or where’s the point? Here is your litmus test to see if you truly accepted Christ as your personal Savior. Scripture reminds us if we have truly accepted Christ as our personal Savior that we are now new creations, old things have passed away and all things are becoming new. We are told because of what Christ did on the cross we no longer live for ourselves but for Him. We are told with our newness we are to be ambassadors for Christ and ministers of reconciliation. We are further told that we are the light of the world, the salt of the earth; we are supposed to lead a dying world to Christ by our very lives. In Revelations we are told that they, those who didn’t know Christ, are overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. We are further reminded that true undefiled religion is taking care of widows and orphans and keeping oneself holy. We are reminded if we have love one for another then we are truly His disciples. We are told to live a life of forgiveness. We are supposed to be compassionate and merciful. With what we know that scripture speaks of, is your salvation sure? Are you sure that if Christ came back today that you would go to heaven? Is your life truly transformed? Are you a new creation or are you exactly the same? Has there been growth in your life? Will people remember you as a Christian because of your life or because of your membership?

 It’s scary because I know those who say they pray but they spend absolutely no time in His word. I ask, what do you pray for? If you don’t know God in an intimate way, the only way you can know Him intimately is to spend time with Him in His word, then how in the world do you know how to reach God at His heart? The bible states all the promises of God are yea and amen through Christ Jesus. If you don’t spend time in His word how do you pray His promises? We are told that the steps of a good man/woman are ordered by God. You learn those steps by what His word says. We are told that His words, His statues, His laws, and His commandments are a lamp unto thy feet and a light unto our path. David stated in psalm 119, “thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” You must know what the scriptures teach so that you can live your life in agreement with God’s expectations.

So as you review your life, Paul tells us each to examine ourselves to see if we are truly of the faith. The only two who know if you are truly saved and on your way to heaven is you and God. My prayer is that you don’t miscalculate and find yourself like the rich man looking up instead of looking down.

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