The Uncertainty of Life
Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Men make big plans for the future, but none have the power to execute them. For man is a helpless creature, who only dreams of living as he pleases. Why is this true? Because man does not really control his life. Think of those who have made their plans and suddenly they were taken from this life without any warning.
I remember as a child on the farm, Daddy had plans for us to get our work done. But then a cloud would come and cancel that work out. Then there was the time we were going to the movies and it began to snow. Dad turned the old 1934 Chevy around and headed back home because he did not want us to get stranded in that kind of weather. I can also think of many people whom I have known in my lifetime that were seemingly healthy individuals. They have since died with heart attacks, cancer, accidents and so forth. These people wanted to live but without being asked they were struck down, some in the prime of their lives. These all had their plans for living. The message all of us need to get is that we do not have a monopoly on life. We are all here until God is through with us!
If that be true, then it would be very wise on our part for each of us to live daily asking for the Lord's will to be done in our life. And, to allow us to live in His perfect will. We all have lived long enough to know that people do not live very long, at most. Old movies on TV remind us of favorite characters who have long been gone.
No, we do not need to have a pessimistic attitude. But realize that God has brought us into the world to serve him. He wants to reveal himself, establish a relationship, and fellowship with each of us. We need to better understand that God loves us even though our nature is bent away from Him. But we can and must, through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, make the proper adjustments that will help us focus upon our Lord. Yes, life is very brief. Why live it in vanity? What will I gain by selfish living? When will I realize, I do not control a single minute of my future. With such knowledge I should say;
If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James 4:15
The Wisdom Writer in Ecclesiastes tells of his pursuit for fulfillment in life by wealth, romance, gardens, building projects, singing and other avenues. But he found everything to be vanity. He discovered that only God could give purpose to life and make it worth while.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Remember Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He was the wisest of all men, and the richest, but he was a miserable man and died around sixty two years of age.
No doubt many who have departed this life have felt they had plenty of time to prepare for eternity. But suddenly, without warning death took them from the land of the living. Now they are helpless to change their location in a place of extreme torment.
Isaiah wrote of the King of Babylon in chapter fourteen of his death and what happened to him;
Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. Isaiah 14:9-11
To paraphrase; Death was a great change to him. Just a few hours ago he looked so great, so pleasant, and was so splendidly adorned and attended. Now he looks ghastly, despicable, and lies naked and neglected. Wasn't this the man that made the earth tremble and shook kingdoms? Who could have thought he would ever come to this! That is how it will be with all who miss heaven. All who fail to repent of sin and trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, will suddenly be demoted to a lower condition of life. All pleasure will be gone. No longer any smiles, or good times. Now eternity will be one of fear, shame, hopelessness, pain and terror.
Someone reading these words may say, that will not happen to me. It will, unless you are saved. Unless you are saved, you will be with these very people Isaiah is telling about and you will be with them forever.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
Death is certain! There is a certain place known as heaven and there is a certain place that is really Hell! We are all going to one or the other of these places. Jesus said;
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
Today people are rushing here and there doing this or that. Everything is so important and they feel there is no time to waste. I have got to do this or I have got to do that. Very few have time to prepare to meet God. Have you taken time to do so?
The only control we have of our life is to act NOW regarding salvation. The Apostle Paul said it this way;
... behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2b
There is no promise of salvation tomorrow, next week or next year. Today is the day! The scriptures say so! If one misses salvation it is their eternal loss.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26
Fortune, fame or power do not give certainty to life. Young movie stars die, young athletes die, young rich men die. Young powerful men die, and all thought they had many years to spend enjoying their accomplishments.
Job knew about the uncertainty of life when he said;
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Job 3:25
Job had lived long enough and had seen enough to know that anything can happen to people. He feared the worst could also happen to him and it did.
The same is true with you and me. Visit any clinic, hospital, doctor's office, rest home or other like institution and you will see the sufferings of people who were once as normal as us. Now some live with disabilities, and some in misery. While others may suffer with some terminal affliction.
Since life is so uncertain why do people live as if nothing will happen to them? Why do people think they will have a free ride in life? At least that's the way it appears, and I think there is a lot of truth to it.
Actually that is the reason there are insurance companies that agree to pay for certain losses incurred by someone. Since there is so much uncertainty as to who may have fire damage, a stay in the hospital, death, or whatever, insurance helps cover the blunt of the loss. Sometimes someone doesn't have insurance and they are put in a bind. So wise people have insurance to help protect them from some extreme financial disaster.
So since we know that all of us are going to die, and we don't know when, it seems to me it would make sense to be ready to meet our Maker! Not only are we to meet our Maker, but we are to also be judged for what we have done with this life that was given unto us. Have you given much thought to this? Yes, all of us are going to die and then be judged. How we have treated other people, how have we used our time, our talents, and opportunities the Lord gave us. Also, how have we responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Paraphrased Living Bible reads this way in 2 Peter verses four and five;
For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment. And God did not spare the ancient world--except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God's righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood.
Now if God did not spare the angels of heaven that sinned, and the people before the world wide flood of Noah's day, he is not going to spare anyone else. Unless, they repent of their sin and trust Jesus Christ as their own personal savior.
You may be reading this today but at any instant you could be dead from any number of reasons. Therefore, it is our hope that you have prepared for eternity and are ready to enter into the glorious presence of our Blessed precious Savior.
Father in heaven, I praise you today because of the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, and may many others come to the Savior, I pray in Jesus' name. Amen, Preacher