Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In Thirty Seconds...

This post was one I wrote for The Rebelution some time ago (almost two years, I believe) and I'm actually surprised I didn't put it on my blog, but this really struck a chord with me as I discovered it so many months after the last time I'd read it. I am always in awe of how God uses my own writing to convict me often long after I've written a certain piece, and this is one of those moments. I pray these thoughts of mine can touch you the way I was touched, and even transformed by them, as I wrote them.

In Thirty Seconds...

You could die… seriously. My reason for saying this is not to scare you, make you paranoid, nor say that you will.

In light of the recent tragic death of two young men from one of the churches I attend (one being my best friend’s brother), I have pondered greatly on the subject of death. And I don’t mean thinking about and getting depressed over death, rather exploring for and preparing my mind for it. Because to be truthful I could die in the next 60 seconds; I could die while writing this. I could die as soon as I am done. We do not know the time of our death. Only the Lord God Almighty can truly know the time of our death. And so I raise a question: Are you ready to die right now?

It seems such a morbid question, such a horrendous thing to be preparing for, but in all truthfulness, it is only right and honorable that we would! This does not mean that we are to be paranoid in our every action and always envision death looming around the corner, ready to embrace us in its grasp. This is not true! Death will come when the Lord wills it, not a day too soon nor a day too late. But what if you are called home young? What if you died at 14, 16, 18? Would you be ready, or are you too busy to die? Are your relationships in the right place? The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26-27 “"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” There is a reason the Bible warns us to take action in righting wrongs. Psalm 89:47-48 points out “Remember how short my time is; for what futility have You created all the children of men? What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?” Our time is indeed short! How short we can never know, but there is no man that has lived without death, you will die as will everyone else. But as believers in Christ, we have an understanding of death, its meaning, and its value. Should we, of all people, be unprepared for it?

Ecclesiastes 8:8 says we cannot stop death. “No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power in the day of death. There is no release from that war, and wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.” Romans 5:12 states that all men must die “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—“  1 Peter 5:8 admonishes us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We are to be prepared. We are to be ready. We need to live every moment like it’s our last. We need to always have patience; we need to always be slow to anger. We need to be willing to fix wrongs immediately after realizing what we have done. We need to put down our pride. We must never do tomorrow what we can do today. We have to be ready to die.

Once you are dead there is no chance to change things. You cannot go back and fix what you left undone. Again I say, we should not be paranoid about death. But we should be aware of it. We should be aware that you do not have to be old to die. We should realize the consequences of our actions. We should act always with wisdom. When you die will people say “They lived a good life, it was their time to go. Their lives were full and blessed.” Or will they say, “It’s such a pity they’re gone. They had so much left to do with their lives.”?

The good news is that “Death is no punishment for the believer” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon). We are only leaving this sin ridden world for the golden shores of the kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus conquered death by his death and we are now able to live eternally with our king. So we can face death with no fear of what comes with it and after it.

As I think of death, its effects, its rewards, and its depth, I come to the conclusion that death is something that needs to be evaluated. Most people spend their whole lives putting death on the back burner. Friends, I plead with you, please, do not push these thoughts away. Grab a hold of them, contemplate them, pray over them, and prepare for them. Ask God to grant you the wisdom and grace to know what to do, how to prepare. Take a moment to spend with your family and your friends. It could be your last one. Put nothing aside; pour everything you have into life. Never take life for granted. Don’t waste your life.

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

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