Moses once said, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom [Psalm 90:12. NIV]." The truth is that unless Jesus returns in our life time, which he could, each one of us has a date with death. None of us knows when that will be, although you can get a bit of an estimate by entering your details into the online death clock. It might seem a bit morbid but it’s a reality we must face. Of course you may live longer, or you may not live as long. None of us knows.
What we do know is that life is brief – much like a ‘mist’ that appears and then suddenly vanishes away (see Psalm 39:4-5 and James 3:13-17). In contrast, eternity is long – very long.
How should we then live?
Make sure that you don’t buy into the primary values of the world which are pleasure, possessions, and prestige (see 1 John 2:15-16). These things, though not necessarily wrong in and of themselves, have no eternal value (1 John 2:17). What matters most for eternity is loving God, loving people, and investing our time, talents, and resources into God’s work here on earth.
On judgment day, we will each have a personal audit and essentially be asked two questions:
- "What did you do with my Son, Jesus?" That’s a salvation issue – heaven or hell.
- "What did you do with your life?" That’s a reward issue.
Let’s live each day with the readiness as if it may be our last but with the wisdom and foresight that we hopefully will have many more to come. Because tomorrow is not guaranteed us, let’s remember that THIS is the day that the Lord has made so we will rejoice and be glad in it (see Psalm 118:24).
Finally, a few important Bible verses on the subject of death, which is the last enemy to be destroyed …
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." [Jesus – John 11:25-26. NIV]
"… and now, brothers and sisters, I want you to know what will happen to the Christians who have died so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died. I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words." [Paul – 1 Thess 4:13-18. NLT]
"… and the last enemy to be destroyed is death … Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies … in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. When this happens — when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die — then at last the Scriptures will come true: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." [Paul – 1 Cor 15:26, 42-58. NLT]