You may not have long to earn an eternity in heaven

By Debra Whittington

Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James 4:13-15

Spring is finally here, although we didn’t have much of a winter with the exception of our recent snowstorm. With the arrival of spring comes the promise of new life and a new beginning. The trees are blooming and leaves emerging bring color to the landscape. In my flowerbed, perennials are emerging from their winter slumber. With spring comes hope and promise of summer yet to come.

However, as I write this column, my flowerbed rests under snow bringing moisture to nourish the plants below. It is a time to reflect that our plans and ideas are dependent on the plans of God. He is the one who is in control of the weather, not us.

I look forward to the time I when I am strong enough to once again work in my flowerbed and plant some annuals to bring their own burst of color. I am already planning how I want it to look this summer.

Recently, Natasha Richardson, a promising young actress of only 45 thought she had all the time in the world. She was taking skiing instruction when she fell and hit her head. She thought she was fine and even talking and joking after the accident. A few hours later she was rushed to the hospital. A couple days later, she was dead. People questioned how she could die when she initially felt fine.

On the other hand I think of my father-in law’s recent funeral. At age 90, Marvin accomplished much during his long life. He leaves behind tangible proof of those multiple decades. During his funeral service his long life was chronicled through his obituary and the service. Through a tribute of one of his favorite songs as a youth, we were reminded of a time as a boy he went by wagon with his parents to area dances where his father played.

We were also reminded that he suffered a terrible disease that almost cost him his leg. He went through multiple surgeries for a disease that was later controlled with a drug called “penicillin.” A medicine that we take for granted today wasn’t even invented when he was a child. Through the reading of his obituary, it was obvious he lived a long life and accomplished much with the years the Lord gave him.

On the other hand, a friend of mine shared how her niece was struggling with the death of her two month-old son. This infant who had so much promise died in his crib from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This baby was on this earth such a short time, but left an indelible mark in the lives of so many. As a result of his death, his mother is now able to help others who went through the same thing.

None of us are assured of a long life. As the snow interrupted the arrival of spring, the same can happen to our lives. Just as what happened to the actress, an accident can suddenly end our life. On the other hand, we may live a long life covering many decades.

Are you living your life as if each day might be your last? I know I have a tendency to think I have plenty of time. The majority of people expect to spend eternity in heaven, but many won’t be there because they don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

It is so sad that our churches aren’t overflowing with people but some people have never heard of Jesus because Christians haven’t shared with them. Other people are so busy with careers and things of the world that they don’t feel Jesus is important anymore. Jesus called Christians to be His disciples and He gave us instructions of what we should do. (Read Matthew 28:19-20)How many Christians are sharing this Good News with others so they too can spend eternity with Jesus Christ in heaven.

Are you ready for eternity? Don’t think you will have a life consisting of several decades. If you haven’t accepted Jesus’ promise of eternity do something about it today before it is too late.