Sunday, May 22, 2011

What should I do if the world is ending tomorrow?

What time is it? (What time do you think it is)
There is is a lot of talk in pop culture right about now as another big prediction of the Rapture has fizzled. How does someone get this idea in their head that the world is coming to an end? Well, the Bible says that no one will know the day or the hour that Christ will return to earth. So if you get an idea in your head that it will happen on a certain day, its probably not from God. God might give you an idea of the season though. Regardless, its how you handle this notion that determines really if you'll end up sorry you ever got the idea, or it just might be the best thing that has happened to you.
Everyone has a preconceived notion of the future date of their death. It is a prerequisite for living. Don’t believe me? Let’s say that there are 2 people who have no preconceived notion. They are 20 years old and are walking to class when one day, one of them drops dead of natural causes. Without a pre-conceived notion – the other person would think this was normal. They would just keep on walking. Perhaps call for a funeral home to pick up the body. It must be normal, because it just happened.
Now, has that ever happened? No. Because everyone has preconceived notions about their day of death (and other’s day in this case). They may take the form of “20 year olds don’t die of natural causes. So this person died too soon! Woe is me! I could be next!” Or perhaps, “This poor soul had a rare disorder, I’m surprised she lived as long as she did – the experts only said she’d live to see 18”.
No, when we die, or people around us die, it is a big deal. Everyone has a preconceived notion about their day. But very few people really know. Even inmates on death row are unsure (appeals, pardons, etc.)
What do you think your time to die is? Tomorrow, 100 years from now?
This is important, because based on this preconceived notion, you will do certain things. For instance, if you thought you were going to die in 5 minutes, you’d stop reading this! I’m sure you could think of something better to do with your last 5 minutes of breath. Quick, what is the most important thing you can think of?
What? You didn’t think of it yet? But what if you were going to die in 5 minutes? I prove my point – you don’t think you are, or you would be doing that other thing right now. Instead you are still reading this. You fool! If you don’t believe me, its in the bible – read the parable in Luke 12:17-19.
So, we can’t know how much time we have left. And we are forced to guess something in order to be a functioning person. Guess too short and you will be cowering in a corner out of fear – too long and you might drink, smoke, or worse your way to death. What can we do then?
We can’t know the time. We can’t change the time. We will guess. We can know what our estimates are and be comfortable with them.
This is a very biblical principle. Everyone has an idea of when Christ will return. Christ has told us to expect His return soon. So even if you think it is statistically improbable that you will die in the next five minutes, your judgment day is completely outside of normality or statistics.
Below I’ve listed eleven areas of your life affected by your current expectations of your time left alive. Fill in the number of years you currently assume you have left in regards to a particular item.
Example: Conduct (Sins, purpose, use of time): Sins: 1year. Purpose: 5 years Use of time: 2 years
1. Conduct (Sins, purpose, use of time)
2. God given gifts
3. Prayer
4. Bible study
5. Relationships with family
6. Relationships with friends
7. Possessions
8. Money
9. Temple (Body) – Eating/exercises/appearance/vices
10. Romance
11. Evangelism

I encourage you to take this list and think about each item in light of how much time you appear to assume you have in regards to that item. Write down as many examples as you can think of that would prove your point to a non-biased jury.
Then make a second list - except this time put down how many years you would like to assume you have in regards to each category - and how you will handle them so as to live as though anyone observing you would be able to tell this time frame of your assumption is accurate.

Keep in mind - whether the whole world is ending, or just your world, it'll all look the same to you. So it could be any second - really.

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