In the Bible there is a passage in Luke 12:16-20 about a rich fool who boasted of his "tomorrows". He had so much that he was going to pull down his old barns and build bigger, newer barns. BUT what did God say to him? You fool…this night your soul will be required of you. This is not only for rich people but also for the poor as well. We forget that ALL our blessings come from God. The rich man had provided for the flesh, but he had not provided for his soul.
Is this passage speaking to you? You see, sooner or later this night will come to each of us. In modern day English that means we will be out of here one day. Today may be your last day. What have you sent ahead for your soul? So, how would you live if you knew you only had one week to live? From time to time it is necessary for us to deal with our own mortality. The statistics tell us that 100% of all humans will die.
I remember reading about W.C.Fields, the old time vaudeville comic and early movie actor. A story was once told about him. Fields was dying and he had a friend who was a Christian and every day this friend would go to see him. He would tell him about Jesus and the need to give his heart to the Lord so that when he died he would go to heaven. But Fields would not listen. However, one day his friend came in the house and found Fields reading the Bible. His neighbor was excited he said to him “What are you doing?” Fields replied “I am looking for a loophole.” Many people today are looking for loopholes.
If this week were to be your last week, I would guess that many people would repent. But you see the theology in many religious circles today says that repentance is old-fashioned and out of date. It is a religious relic from the dark ages of hellfire and brimstone preaching. But it was not obsolete in the mind of Jesus because in Luke 13:3 Jesus said: Except you repent, you shall likewise perish. Isn’t it better to keep our souls on a current day-by-day basis because we never know when God will audit our books.
Some of you may be saying that this is for old people but I am a young person, I have my whole life ahead of me. Just listen, watch and read the news on a daily basis and you soon see that all age groups die. We should be reading our Bibles but study after study in the last 25 years has revealed that American Christians increasingly do not read their Bibles. They don’t engage their Bibles. They don’t know their Bibles. We are now living in a post- biblical culture. Why? Because whether it is the internet, video games, the TV, the Smart Phones, Social media, increased time spent on entertainment and sports, everything else takes up our time. Americans are spending less time between the pages of reading ANY kind of book, not just the Good Book. And it is not because we do not have Bibles; the average American has at least 3 Bibles in their homes. You can download a Bible for free or you can even steal a Gideon Bible from your hotel room, if you are so inclined.
If you only had one week to live I would guess that a person would pray. In the Bible when the prophet came to tell King Hezekiah that he was going to die, he prayed and God answered by extending his life for 15 more years. That is not always the case. Most people see praying as a last resort rather than a first reaction.
Others I guess would give up everything they owned to God. Now I will give to spreading the gospel. Our money can’t bribe the undertaker neither can it influence God to finance another heartbeat. We cannot write out a check for our breath.
Perhaps you would spend that last week in church. Some folks never come to church until the hearse and pallbearers bring them in the doors. I am quite sure that if people knew they had a week to live they would say I would make things right with everyone. Eternity has a strange way of changing our attitudes toward people. For others they would begin to think of heaven. Many times we Christians have the attitude that heaven means no urgency. Any day now I will get ready to die.
Each of us has no guarantee of tomorrow. I read a quote many years ago that said:
Yesterday is a canceled check
Tomorrow is a promissory note
Today is the only cash that you have...Spend it wisely
Especially in these uncertain days, we must each ask ourselves "how will I spend my last week"?