Sickness, Death, And Eternity
Living To Serve The Will And Glory Of God In Our Generation
“Why is it that some believers appear uncomfortable talking about sickness, death and eternity?” A dear friend asked me that question recently. It is a question which, probably, applies to many.
It is obvious that most people, in general, day to day conversation, do not prefer to talk about sickness and death. In fact, I do not know of anyone who talks much about sickness (except medical professionals), unless they are talking about themselves. Rarely, do I hear people discussing someone else’s illness at great length.
The fact is, bodily infirmity, the process of dying, makes most people uncomfortable. We do not like to acknowledge our own frailty, either physically or spiritually.
Perhaps that is best. As believers, seeking to do the will of God, serving the glory of God, and ministering to the people of God, we must not dwell too much on either the past or the future. If we would, like that man who was a man after God’s on heart, serve our own generation by the will of God, we must do so today. We must live in the present.
Yes, let us live for Christ and eternity. Yes, let us set our affection on things above, pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Col. 3:1-2; Phil. 3:14). But we must live in the present. We must serve our God in the present. We must serve our generation in the present. If we dwell excessively on the past or the future, we cannot and do not serve our generation. If we dwell excessively on our weaknesses and frailties, either physical or spiritual, we actually do very little, if anything, for anyone. That is, of course, a great evil.
One of the most horrible things in this world is self-centered piety. I know a man, a bother in Christ, who had a heart attack more than twenty years ago. He convinced himself that he was going to die. In order to prepare for death, to become more spiritual, he quit watching television, and ceased from almost all social activity beyond public worship. He just sat in his easy chair, day after day, reading his Bible and praying, becoming more and more useless. The dear brother is still walking the earth. Thankfully, he saw the evil of what he was doing, and is now, once more, serving his own generation by the will of God.
Without question, the fear of death is, in a believer, the result of a weakness of faith. We ought to trust our God implicitly. We ought to have such confidence in Christ’s blood and righteousness, and in the promises and grace of our God that we never pause as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I know very few who have such strength of faith before they are actually dying; but that ought to be the kind of faith exercised by every believer. Yet, it is also a great weakness of faith not to live every day in the present serving our generation by the will of God.
Waiting for the promise of Christ’s coming to fetch us home, in death or in resurrection glory, and serving our generation by the will of God are not two separate things; but two indistinguishable things.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #763
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org