As we are examining how we would live if we had 30 Days to Live, it occurs to me that there has been an increasing emphasis on the end of life lately. The world has been discussing the end of the earth, as we know it, with the 2012 hysteria and even the Left Behind series. I have always avoided looking at the end times controversies until this year because I felt it was more important to look at how to live today. I now realize that what you believe about the end of your life will influence how you live today. Also…
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. – 2 Timothy 3:16
Therefore, then even the book of Revelation will affect how we would live our last month on this earth. Are we searching for deeper understanding or are just receiving whatever the latest fictional novel tells us? It’s really the whole fear-based and defeatist approaches I object to. It is because of this that some times I gloss over end-time passages of scriptures. I used to believe that they were not relevant to today. I’ve even made jokes like, “I’m a pan-millennialist. It’ll all pan out in the end.” Ok, enough with the collective groan. It was funny in the 1990s.
So, when my many people in our church wanted to do a study on the Book of Revelation in regards to the 2012 Predictions in the news, I reluctantly agreed. One of the things we learned was, HOW a person approaches the end of life, greatly influences HOW they live their time on the earth.
If a follower of Jesus has an “escape mentality” that God won’t let us suffer then if they face a 30 Days to Live death sentence from a doctor their faith may be rocked. An example of this happened in China. Mao Zedong and his regime slaughtered over a million people with over 50 million people dying under his dictatorship eventually. I am told that when the communist dictator took over and began to kill all Christians who wouldn’t denounce Christ, locals believed him to the Anti-Christ of the Book or Revelation. Hundreds of thousands of believers backslid. They denounced their faith not just because of the threat of death but because they actually lost their faith. Why? Because they believed God would catch them away in rapture before this kind of persecution. The thought, “If we were wrong about that maybe we were wrong about everything.” became the attack on their faith.
The attitude that “the end of the world doesn’t matter” can also be damaging. How? If a follower of Jesus never considers how their life will end they may live for the present only instead of eternity. We should live like we only have 30 Days Left to Live.
Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. – Revelation 1:17-18
We don’t need to fear the death, the grave or even the end of the world because they One who created it all in the beginning will be there to bring us home in the end.
Dear Jesus, help me to remember that we will all stand before your holy throne of judgment someday. Help me to live today with eternity in mind, thinking of your holiness as I make decisions. Help me not to compromise with sin. Amen.
Thoughts for Today
- If God were to ask you why should He let you into heaven what would you say?
- What would you say to a person searching for truth who asked you about the end times?
- If there is a sin you’re struggling with, confess it to your Small Group Leader or a trusted Christian friend.
- Live today with eternity influencing your decisions.