No proof is required to verify that life is short and uncertain. We experience this daily. We get so attuned to this fact, and instead of allowing it to make an impression on us, we simply grow accustomed to it and barely ever think about it.
Someone compared life to a bridge that stretches over a roaring, raging river. The bridge floor is covered with trap doors, which open when a traveler crosses over, and he disappears from the bridge and is taken away into the depths of the raging river. Of the great number of people who attempt to cross this bridge, no one ever reaches the other side. They have all disappeared through the trap door into eternity. Again and again, huge numbers of people approach this journey.
This illustration portrays how short human life is and how certain the end is. But life entails a lot more. It has eternal possibilities and responsibilities. The Word of God tells us many things regarding the end of our life. In Hebrews 9:27 we read: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Viewed in this light, life on earth is a short probation period in which we must prepare for our future and eternal destination.
The human being is born in sin and, therefore, has the natural inclination towards evil. The Holy Spirit, however, wants to empower us to avoid the evil and follow the good. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:16, 36).
Dear reader, what is the purpose of your life? For what and for whom are you living? Jesus paints a serious picture before our eyes through the following words: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’…Then He will also say to those on the left hand: ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’…And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:31-46). May God help us to be standing on the right hand of God on that day.
H. W. Nelson