You know the old saying “You know you are getting old when you look in the obituaries each day to see if your name is there”? Well, I am at that age. Even though I have not lived in my home town for over forty five years I still get online to read the obituaries in the online local rag. In the last few weeks there have been several people that have passed from this life to the next that my wife and I knew way back then.
Then there is the high school I graduated from over fifty years ago. It now has a web site where my graduating class has a page and those who register can update details on themselves. Wow, have those fifty years gone fast and the fact that we can keep up on where and what others from that class are doing is something that would have been unimaginable fifty years ago! However, also classmates who know of those who have recently passed from this life into the next list their names. . Looking at those names certainly makes me realize my own mortality. It also brings afresh the reality of what James said “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Moses put it this way “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” Psalm 90:10.
In viewing the class web page I get a feeling of nostalgia and when I view the names of those who have passed away from this life into the next I wonder if they were prepared. Then I also begin thinking about those who are still alive; are they prepared for that day which comes to all of us?
Now, some who visit this blog will not agree with what I will am saying while others will agree and others may be simply indifferent. I don’t know where you fit into this but allow me to share just a few thoughts. The first thing is that no matter what you believe about life and death, you know one will end and the other will occur. No matter how well you take care of the body it will die! Life may end in various ways. It could happen as the result of an accident, a heart attack or as unconventional as ebola. We do not know when or in what way our life will end but when that time does come, the question is, will you be prepared for it?
Now some people think when your dead you are just dead. But what if they are not correct? Or, you might think you are reincarnated, but what if that isn’t correct as well. The reality is, your life is over and your after-life (eternity) has begun and there is no second chance!
Now, allow me to back up just a little. Why does life as we know end? The answer goes all the way back to the beginning of time. The Bible puts it this way in Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. That man spoken of was Adam. He disobeyed God and the result was death. There is no escape from physical death, Hebrew 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.
A full discussion of what the Scriptures say concerning man’s need for a Saviour will not be dealt with right now as I am probably preaching to the converted but just in case some reader has continued this far let me tell you about two preachers who were put in jail for preaching the Gospel. So much for free speech! As these preachers waited in their cell they also sang hymns and prayed loud enough for all, including the jailer, to hear. Then an unusual event occurred. An earthquake shook the jail so much that all the cell doors were opened. The jailer of course was afraid the prisoners had escaped but at the same time he was also convicted of his personal sin and need for forgiveness through the singing and praying of the two preachers. Because he believed all the prisoners were escaped he was going to do himself harm. However, the two preachers seeing what he was about to do loudly told him that all the prisoners were still there. Upon hearing that he came into the preachers’ cell and asked them what he had to do to be saved or put another way, made right with God. These two preachers did not tell the jailer to go to church or to be baptized but to simply “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”. This the jailer did and his life was changed. You may read this account in Acts 16 of the Bible.
Now what that jailer did not only changed his life here on earth but changed where he would spend eternity when this life ceased. This is the same thing that can take place in your life if you will simply turn from your sins and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.
As I read the obituaries in the local online town rag and the names of my former classmates who are now deceased I am hopeful most of these people have had a jail house experience and even though they are “absent from the body” they are “present with the Lord.” Dear reader I pray the same is true of you.