The Volatility of Life

In Job 7:21, we read, “You will seek me diligently, but I will no longer be.” Job is talking about how fleeting life is. You may say, “Someone who has gotten weak enough to talk that way has little to expect besides a swift death.” Maybe this reminds you of someone specific in your life right now, perhaps somebody old and sick. But does this only apply to the aged and infirm? What does the Bible say? 

“As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more” (Psalm 103:15–16). In James 4:13–15, we are reminded, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’”

And what do the cemeteries tell us? In many a grave lies a man torn away at the height of his prime. Others harbor women touched by the cold breath of death in their youth. And here and there, children are buried, their lives cut short. Yes, there is hardly a family that has not experienced death. How insignificant and fleeting is human life!

“Where will I be then?” This question should occur to everyone who considers the possibility of not waking up tomorrow morning. It should penetrate deep into our souls. “When it’s over, it’s over,” one or the other might flippantly say. But this is only something people say to avoid thinking about eternity because they are not ready to meet God.

In all of history, not one unbeliever can have faced death fully conscious without discarding his unbelief in utter despair. At the edge of eternity, unbelief cannot stand. But in most cases, it is already too late to repent and receive forgiveness. How many people didn’t want to believe during life but then had to learn, to their despair, that hell is real and that they were condemned to damnation for not wanting to believe the Word of God or turn to the Lord while they still had time and opportunity!

Everyone is headed to one of two destinations: heaven or hell. We will all spend eternity in one or the other. We each have to decide for ourselves if our eternity will be in heaven, with all its blessings, or in hell, with its torture and suffering.

Trying to describe an especially happy home or life, people here on earth already say, “It’s like heaven on earth!” because we cannot imagine a place of greater joy. Similarly, if we want to describe an especially unhappy circumstance, we cannot find a stronger expression than “hell on earth.”

Jesus came from heaven to earth to make it possible for us to get into heaven to be with Him, and all the redeemed, for all eternity. He spilled His blood at the cross of Golgotha to save us from our sins. Whoever comes to Him in sincere repentance will receive salvation through faith. If we follow Him obediently until the end, heaven will be our eternal home. 

E. Tschritter

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