What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Years ago, a man who had always jeered at the idea of a Savior or salvation became ill. During the months of his disorder and decline, the neighborhood minister sent him small packages. Nothing big, just a few little things to let him know he had not been forgotten. As it became apparent that time was running out, the man sent for the minister. He began the conversation by saying, “I didn’t ask you here so you could regale me with religion. I did, however, want to thank you for your kindness.” Understanding the rules of the conversation, the minister inquired, “May I ask one question?” “Yes,” said the man, “one question, as long as it isn’t about religion.”
The minister spoke: “Okay, here goes. I’m preaching tomorrow. Quite a few people will be there to hear me. Some, like you, may soon be facing death. What shall I preach about?” There was a long silence. Then came the reply: “Pastor, preach Christ to them, preach Christ.”
Some people live their lives as if they’re going to live forever. They’re not. Indeed, with the mortality rate for humanity running pretty close to 100%, it is right for us to make some plans. Yes, some of us may live to see our one hundredth birthday, but it would not be a wise move to order the cake and hire a band for the big day. But assuming that the time will come when we will have to say our earthly farewells, it is only right that we ask, “Are you ready?” The Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that we and this present earth are going to pass away, spent His entire life so that you would be able to answer yes.
Those who have faith in the Savior know that nothing can separate them from the love of God which is theirs in Christ Jesus. So that they might, even in death, be safe in the hands of the Heavenly Father, Jesus came into this world. So that we might not have to be alone when we die, Jesus suffered and was crucified. So we might know that we can, by His precious blood, live forever, He rose from the dead. Yes, this world in its present form will pass away, but we won’t. Because of Jesus, we have life eternal.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on January 26, 2003
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of life eternal. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You so that I may share Your truth with those around me. Prepare my heart so that I am ready for Your return. In Jesus' Name. Amen.