This very night

Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

We are each given form, shape and breath. What was of the dust becomes flesh and bone and spirit.

And to each of us, with these mortal bodies formed of the dust, it is determined beforehand the specific number of days we will walk this earth. At the end of this time, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27

Form, shape, breath.

Flesh, bone, spirit.

Days, months, years.

Death.

Judgment.

These givens are just that - given. Both in gift and in fact. They are established, unavoidable, and applicable to all, regardless of social status, demographics or ethnicity.

What is our reaction to this?

Appreciation, admiration, praise? Awe, wonder, reverence? Urgency, endurance, obedience?

Or, contempt, mockery, scorn? Indifference, ignorance, dismissal? Fear, fleeing, hiding?

We would do well to stop and ponder this for a moment. Take the time to put it into a word or a phrase.

How do we respond when presented with a list of unavoidable absolutes - especially when that list summarizes our entire lives, culminating in both our last day and the day of our judgment?

We would do well to stop and consider these things because the implications of these absolutes are massive, namely, if this breath has been given to me, then I am not my own.

I have no claim on this life.

This belongs solely to the one who gifted me flesh, bones and breath. To the One who determined beforehand the number of my days. And to the One before whom I will stand on that day of judgment to give an account.

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-12, 15

This certainty of the end of all things is not exclusive to the apocalyptic book of Revelation either. It is scattered throughout the New Testament:

  • For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

  • For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:10,12

We’ve pleaded with you already to consider your reaction today, in this moment, yet another question must be answered as well, what will be our posture on that day?

  • “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me.” Romans 14:11

  • “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead.” Revelation 1:17

Make no mistake, in that day, our strength will fail us, as will our intelligence, prestige, and possessions. There will be no bargaining, bartering or pleading of ignorance. All will be insufficient in the presence of Him from whom “earth and sky fled away.”

Our knee will bow.

We will fall as though dead.

And every man’s work will be laid bare as we give an account for what we have done with the flesh, bones, breath and days that were given to us.

“Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done; Then, in 'that day' my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat; Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.

Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be, if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee."

- C.T. Studd 1860

Would it be out of line to encourage you to consider how your posture will be on that day, and to examine it with all soberness and reverence? For this day is fast approaching and it is unavoidable.

‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ Luke 12:19-20 (NASB)

This very night. Are we ready?

In love,

Derek