I have been notified, by computer, that a dear friend of mine has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and only given a couple of weeks to live.
Fortunately he has hope of a bright future in eternity, though he is soon to leave behind all that he knows and loves, and has accumulated here. He will be comforted and buoyed up by this knowledge as he realizes what true friendship, with eternal values is. He has not wasted his life in the pursuit of worthless, empty and void passions, but sought always to promote the gospel truths that alone can lead to salvation and eternal happiness. He therefore has a confident hope of the future, having learned it's not all of life just to live, and though he now faces what many fear as a bleak future, he has no fear of death, or the judgment beyond, which every person must face (Hebrews 9:27).
I am very thankful that our lives crossed and that his influence on me has helped to create a hope of an eternal time of bliss together in the presence of the only One true and eternal friend any person can have.
This brings home to us, with great urgency, the need to prepare for the future that is just as certain for each of us. There is no such person that can avoid a future in eternity, but it can be determined where it will be spent. For every person who knew Jim [Everett], and what he stood for, and ignored it, will remember the opportunity they had, but for many it will be too late. Eternity is before us all, and his example will help to motivate us to prepare, as we ought, for the only time in the future that we can be sure of.
When one stops to consider the true, and transient, nature of life it is realized that one can never be certain of it continuing for any certain duration, that it can be lost when least expected. If I can say so, without being misunderstood, Jim now has an advantage that is not available to many -- he knows not only that his future is short, but what the outcome will be, and can make final preparations, if any are necessary, so that he can leave this life being fitly prepared for an endless eternity.
His life would not be considered wasted if he can help others prepare, because of his circumstances, for eternity, and nothing would make him happier. But the greatest tragedy of all will be seen in all who are not moved by similar circumstances, to think seriously of their own future.
In the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, where Jim lived while in Australia, is a treacherous place called Victoria Pass, and written in large letters on a cliff face are the words, "Be prepared to meet thy God." This would be Jim's prayer for all; there is no greater achievement any can make with his life.
You cannot avoid meeting God, but you can avoid doing so unprepared. The only way to be ready for that time -- the only time in the future you can be certain of -- is spelled out in the Bible, "repent and be baptized for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38), and then "rise to walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4).
You are now at a "Victoria Pass" in life, and the message is for you "Be prepared to meet thy God." It is hoped that these circumstances will cause many to think, like never before, of the certainty of the future they face, and use their time, strength and energy to do what is required by God.
It is very common for people to go to great lengths to make their physical future secure, and while there is nothing wrong with this, or thinking and planning ahead, it is all without eternal value if it causes them to ignore their spiritual future.
Jim is a shining example of one whose life has real worth, by having set proper priorities and values, and pursued things of eternal value, one who can say in Paul's words, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of life, which the Lord shall give me at the last day" (2 Timothy 4:8). That alone will show that life was worthwhile. Jim has striven for the same goal.
You can too. Will you be among the "many" who go the way of destruction, that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 7:13-14, or among the "few who find the way of life"?
Remember it's not all of death to die, or all of life to live.
by Max Burgin -- Via "Our Church Bulletins" (of the Cedar Park Church
Christ, Cedar Park, TX)
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