During the course of this week, we have meditated upon some of the expressions in the Bible that describe to us the nature of death. In our final meditation this week, we will listen to the words of Job, a man of whom God said, ‘there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil’, Job chapter 1 verse 8. Job spoke of death in this way, ‘For when a few years are finished, I shall go the way of no return’, Job chapter 16 verse 22.
We often need reminding of these twin truths, i.e. that life is brief and that it is a one-way journey. We are often guilty of living as if it is never going to end. The last two years have reminded us of the truth of the words of James: ‘. . . 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’, James chapter 4 verse 14.
Jim Elliot, the American Christian missionary, who was one of five people who lost his life during Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador, wrote these thought-provoking words, ‘When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die!’
The Bible makes it absolutely clear that the only way in which this can come true for us is by ‘repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ’, who died to save us from our sins, Acts chapter 20 verse 21. Another author put it like this: ‘It is a solemn thing to die, because if you die wrong, you cannot come back to die again’.
The hymn writer expressed it in this way:
Life, at best, is very brief, like the falling of a leaf,
Like the binding of a sheaf,
Be in time!
Fleeting days are telling fast that the die will soon be cast
And the fatal line be passed,
Be in time!
Our earnest prayer and desire are that each dear reader will be saved and Be in time!