A Time for Eternity
An elderly Christian man asked a youth what he had planned to do with his life. The youth replied that he planned to get a job, make a lot of money, get married and raise a family.
“Then what?” the man further asked.
“Well, I plan to invest for the future, retire early, travel, and enjoy life,” he said.
“Then what?” the man queried.
“What do you mean?” asked the youth.
“Well… after you’ve found a job, made a lot of money, got married, raised a family, invested for the future, retired early, travelled and enjoyed life… Then what?”
“Why, I’d just die I guess!” the youth answered, a bit mystified.
But the man was not satisfied.
“Then what?” He persisted.
It’s an astonishing thing that though all around us all our lives we see evidence of death we seldom stop to consider its existential impact – that is, that one day death will come to each one of us. It will become our immediate experience.
Scripture informs us that every one of us is inbreathed by God; we have become “living souls.”
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7).
That breath of God is eternal, like God. We have become living souls – forever! Truly the penalty of sin brought death into this world. Now these bodies – indeed all nature – has a time limit. It soon decays and withers… dies. But the soul cannot die. The soul lives on — in heaven or hell, new forms await… for ever.
“…We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.” (1 Cor. 15:51-53).
So, when death becomes your reality, “then what?”
I believe one impact of Covid-19 is to urge all mortals to think deeply on this. “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,” observed Solomon (Eccl. 7:4). Solomon was gifted with the greatest of wisdom and wealth. Whatever he wanted, he got. He sated his life with any and every desire but in the end found all things of this world came up short. They did not satisfy. His conclusion about life, death, and beyond was this:
“Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.” (Eccl. 12:13-14).
In other words, make Him your Lord. Strive to be holy. Love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind.