Consider Your End
By: Brian A. Yeager
Prior to obeying the Gospel, I found myself considering what would happen if I were to die. When those questions arose in my mind I often dismissed them. I would refocus my mind so that I was not thinking about death, God, and eternal life/damnation. While I was completely ignorant of the Scriptures, I knew within that I was not in a good spiritual condition (though I would not have used such terminology then).
After I obeyed the Gospel, there was a period of time wherein I fell away. I was still sitting in the pew, vainly singing songs, giving, etc. During this time of apostasy, I quickly dismissed any thinking about the condition of my soul. I blamed others for my spiritual decline. Now, knowing about the consequences of sin, I simply focused harder on everything else so that I did not have to be aware of my end. In fact, I knew I was lost and I knew the consequences. I just ignored those facts.
In times prior to obeying the Gospel and in apostasy afterward, I ignored the condition of my soul during the daytime. It was when I was resting and not busy, normally at night, that I found my mind going toward my spiritual condition. I cannot imagine that I was much different than many people are right now. It is easy to focus on other things during busy days, but when you’re in bed it’s much easier to think about whether or not you will awaken in this world or in Hades. When you’re laying up at night and your mind begins racing about final things (cf. Psalms 6:3-7), don’t ignore those doubts and fears. Learn to think about these things more often than just some nights in bed. We need to spend time considering what’ll happen at the end of our lives.
God Wants Us To Consider Our End
As Christians we live this life looking forward to the end and our ultimate salvation (I Peter 1:3-9). Consider the following Scriptures, though the contexts vary, about how we should consider the end of our lives: “For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end… So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom… The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof… And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Deuteronomy 32:28-29, Psalms 90:12, Jeremiah 5:31, Luke 12:16-21). In thinking of our end, we want to find hope rather than dread.
Finding Hope In Death
We should find comfort when we think of the end of our days in this life. Notice these Scriptures: “The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death… Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus… For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you… For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (Proverbs 14:32, Acts 21:13, Philippians 1:21-24, and II Timothy 4:6-8).
Having spent many years fearing death, I now find great comfort when I consider my end. I certainly do not miss those nights of fear. Now, the fears and sorrows I have are for the souls of others (Romans 9:1-3). To get to that point I had [have] to live a life of faithfulness to be prepared for my end.
Living The Right Life Now So That Your End Will Be Eternal Life
In a parable about ten virgins, there were five prepared to meet the Lord and five who were unprepared. The five unprepared virgins did not receive more time to get ready, but were shut out of life with the Lord. The lesson of that parable is watching and being prepared for the coming of the Lord (Matthew 25:1-13). Whether the Lord comes first or if we die, we’re expected to always be doing the will of God and thus being prepared for our end (Matthew 24:42-46).
Noah is a good example of preparation. Noah knew the world was going to be flooded (Genesis 6:9-17). Noah therefore prepared for the day wherein God flooded the earth (Hebrews 11:7). We know the world is going to end (I John 2:17). Therefore, we need to spend our limited time on this earth preparing for our end (II Peter 3:9-14). If the world does not end in our time, we still have to prepare for the day wherein each of us will die (Psalms 89:48, Ecclesiastes 12:7, and Hebrews 9:27). Whether it is the Day of Judgment or if we die first, the only way to be prepared for a reward at the end is to live faithfully now (Matthew 7:21-23, John 4:36, Romans 6:22, and Revelation 2:10).
Our lives are merely vapors, which appear for a short time and then vanish away (Psalms 78:39 and James 4:13-15). In considering that life is brief, we need to spend our time here on earth being productive (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Don’t waste time ignoring your soul. Allow fear to move you to work toward a good end for your soul (Philippians 2:12). In closing, consider these two Scriptures: “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off” (Psalms 37:37-38).
Volume 12 – Issue 10 - November 27th, 2011