Your time here should be in His presence


He was a man that people admired, a leader both at home and within the community. Born into a hard-working, middle-class family, he was raised on the same American values of his parents and grandparents: work hard, treat people fairly, give God His due.

Never one to shy from challenges, he embraced new opportunities like a bird soaring across the sky. There was never really any doubt about his career path after a short stint in the military, so following in the steps of his father, he joined the family business.

Taking a wife, he settled into the American dream: work, home, family. During the first few years of marriage, he spent most of his time working, trying to establish himself among his brothers, while providing for his household. Though once his son was born, he felt maybe he should be around more, but it never seemed to happen. When his son and daughter were very young, his wife worked on convincing him they should be going to church on Sundays. He was reluctant, but his father told him it was always good for children to learn about a man like Jesus, helps them grow into good people, he said.

So, on the advice of his father, he took his family to church. He and the family were welcomed in by the congregation and soon were part of all the programs offered. By the time he had been going to services for a year he had been made a member of the finance committee and even helped with the Boy Scout troop. For a few years he settled into his role as a businessman and church leader; faithful to work, faithful to church.

As his children grew up, the distractions of their schedules, mixed with the pressures of increasing family tensions at work, made it difficult for him to unwind and relax. At some point he began missing church events more and more. When asked about it by church members, he stated that he could worship God wherever he was and didn’t need a church building. The place he started worshiping on Sundays was the lake. With a fishing pole in one hand and a beer in the other, he often bowed his head and prayed. that the fish would bite. Slowly, over time the commitment he had offered to the church began to wane and was replaced with other interests. He felt a little regret, yet not enough to reengage with church folks. With the children all grown up and moved away, he looked forward to his retirement. He had worked hard building the nest egg that would take care of him and his wife in their golden years.

Occasionally, he would even thank God. Thank him with superficial words, while he sat on the lake drinking his beer in solitude. One day as he went about his business, he stopped to see a friend. While talking to his friend a strange look came over his face. With a grimace and a look of unbelief, he uttered the words, “I’ll be damned.” And with that, he fell down dead. No warning, no second chance, just death. Instant, un-revocable, permanent separation from all he knew. As his life passed before his eyes, he realized that he had never prepared for this moment.

Then, he opened his eyes to the reality that awaited in his eternity. For a moment he thought about his time spent in church, yet that wasn’t enough to overcome this situation. A bright light shown upon him as a voice greater than many waters reverberated throughout his being. It spoke these words, “I never knew you, get away from me, for you have broken God’s laws.” There was nothing he could say or do. Into never-ending darkness and separation, he was thrown. The torment and despair endless in design, the weight of suffering unimaginable.

“If only I had known I would have prepared,” he cried in pain. “Why didn’t someone warn me?” 

The scripture teaches us that at the end of our allotted earthly life span that we will stand before our Creator. We are not guaranteed the length of our life, so each moment is precious. 

Like a dripping water faucet, our lives slip away, so we must take the opportunity while we have it to make peace with God. Because of the fall of sinful man, each person must give an account for their lives as they enter eternity. Those that have placed their hope for eternity in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ will find joy and happiness. Those that do not, for whatever reason, will be exiled from His presence.


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