“For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away.”

— James 4:14

Even to the most casual observer, the obituary section of the local newspaper, speaks to us all of the certainty of leaving this earthly existence. So many pass from this life every day and many are totally unprepared. Today as I write these words, I am alive and as you read them, you are alive, but this condition could change for either of us in an instant.

I guess what I am saying is, “are you prepared?”, “am I prepared?” This is a question we should all ponder seriously while we have the time and it is still called today.

Recently we were made painfully aware of the frailty of life. A friend came into our office and talked for over an hour. He was full of life, talking, laughing, and joking as usual. Less than 10 minutes later he would pull to the side of the road and die. Death can and will overtake each and every one of us. The question is, are we ready? Once the grim reaper appears on the scene it will be too late.

There are but two ways we can leave this life. We will either be righteous in the sight of the Lord, saved with no worry, or we will be among the unrighteous, lost without hope for all eternity. Sadly there is no third choice for any of us. I make no feeble attempt to judge where any individual will go after death, for thankfully it is not my job, or yours. God’s word tells us that the judgment is as certain as death. In Hebrews 9:27 we read, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Jesus will either be our Savior or he will turn his face from us and profess that he does not know us.

For certain we will be judged of the things we do in this life. “So then every one of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12) In II Corinthians 5:10, the inspired apostle Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that everyone may receive the things done in the body, according to the things he has done, whether it be good or bad.” Since we know that death and judgment are a certainty, what should we do? No less than from the mouth of God, comes the answer. While on the mount of transfiguration God spoke to Peter, James, and John from a cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son: Hear him.” (Mark 9:7) The words of Christ are the words of life, let us all “Hear Him.” Since every one of us are on this same avenue of death, should we not look to God’s word to judge if we are truly doing the will of the Father and keeping his commandments, or following the traditions of men. If we are not following Jesus Christ, we are not living in faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

Are we adding to or subtracting from God’s word? (Revelations 22:18-19). If we are guilty of either of these, then we are in danger of having our names blotted out of the book of life and losing our soul for all eternity. (Revelation 3:5) Jesus tells us in John 14:15, “If you love me keep my commandments.” Please tell me how we can go wrong by simply looking to the bible for answers to all our questions of this life and to prepare for the one to come? I pray that God will help each of us so to do. Amen.

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