The End is Nearer than We May Think

Ok folks, clear your calendars because a very important event is coming up for which you are going to want to be prepared. I’m not talking about Easter, Labor Day, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving or even Christmas. No, it’s nobody’s birthday either. However, I think you are going to want to be ready for this one because an event like this only occurs once every thousand years or so. Oh, you want to know what’s going to happen that day? Scientists estimate that on that day, a meteor about 1/3 of a mile in diameter will come close enough to earth so that you can see it passing by overhead in the sky. It will not, however, collide with the earth (they think), but pass the earth about 22,500 miles away (still a near miss). So mark you calendars for Friday, April 13th, 2029 because that’s the big day!

“Wait a minute!” you say, “That’s twenty-four years in the future. Why should I get all worked up over that now?” Good question. Some may even be thinking “I don’t even know that I will be alive on that day,” indeed, some of us will not. Some of us may die of natural causes and others of us may die due to disease or accidents of one kind or another. It kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? All of a sudden the possibility of a meteor hitting the earth in 2029 doesn’t seem nearly as urgent when we consider that we may not even be around to see it pass. Indeed, we just do not know when our last day on earth will be.

Believe it or not, this has been man’s condition for many years. James wrote regarding this very topic almost 2000 years ago. James 4:13-15 states, “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow 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 vapour, 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.” James makes it clear that tomorrow is not promised because our lives are fleeting. The appropriate attitude that we ought to have toward the future is “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Notice that little phrase that we normally skip over when we look at this passage; “we shall live.” James wasn’t so much concerned about saying “If the Lord wills, we shall do one thing or another” as much as he was concerned about saying “If the Lord wills, we shall live.” Indeed, the activities of our life are dependent upon our life itself. Will we live to see tomorrow? We just don’t know for sure.

Another passage that comes to mind is Psalm 90 wherein the psalmist compares man, in his frailties, to the stamina and power of God. “A thousand years” says the psalmist “are but as yesterday” to God and he looks upon them as we look upon the grass of the earth which flourishes in the morning but is cut down in the evening. In comparison to the thousands of years which God experiences as yesterday, our years are threescore and ten or maybe fourscore. By the end, all of our years are merely as “a tale that is told” and then “we fly away.” What is the lesson that the psalmist draws from all of this? “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Our days are indeed numbered.

Should we get exercised about the year 2029, or even about the impending day of our death? Certainly we should prepare for death, but let’s not worry about things that are out of our control. Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” It’s sufficient for us to worry about today’s affairs and not be preoccupied with things that will occur beyond our control in the future. Today is the day of salvation, no doubt (2 Corinthians 6:2). We should get right with God today if we haven’t. In the mean time, I’m not marking my calendar for April 13th, 2029.

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