Rodders gives some time to eternity …
When you were growing up, did you have a favourite pop star or film star?
My favourite artists were Billy Fury and Roy Orbison, although they are sadly no longer with us, dying in 1983 and 1988 respectively, but their music for me still lives on.
Having already passed my ‘three score years and ten’ so many of my contemporaries are no longer with us.
People often say, “I don’t know where the time has gone” and “the older you get it seems to fly by even more quickly”.
I am currently reading a book called ‘Imagine Heaven’ by John Burke. He has spent over thirty years collecting evidence from people who have had a ‘near death experience’ [NDE] and recording what they experienced whilst out of their body. There is a common thread of what it is like to be transported to heaven and meeting Jesus. Their stories are remarkable. Even children and adults who were blind from birth and who had no concept of colours and images where able to describe the glories of heaven and things they could not have made up.
F B Meyer [1847–1929] a Baptist pastor and evangelist, wrote, “God has set eternity in our hearts, and man’s infinite capacity cannot be filled or satisfied with the things of time and sense”.
One of the amazing and moving stories of an NDE in John Burke’s book is of four-year old Colton Burpo. [His story, written by his father, Todd Burpo is in a book entitled ‘Heaven is for real’ as well as a movie that was made from his story and experiences]
Over a period, Colton revealed to his family his experiences of going to heaven and meeting Jesus. On one occasion Colton said, “Mommy, I have two sisters.” His mother, Sonja, corrected him that he only had one sister. Colton repeated himself, insisting that he had two sisters. Sonja replied that Cassie is his only sister, and then asked if he meant his cousin, Traci. “No!” Colton insisted adamantly. “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” Time stopped in the Burpo household. Shocked Sonja asked her son who had told him she had a baby die in her tummy. “She did, mommy,” Colton explained. “She said she died in your tummy”. His mother, Sonja was overcome with emotion. They had never told Colton about the miscarriage. “It’s okay, Mommy,” Colton said. “God adopted her”. His father, Todd, said he could hear the effort it took for Sonja to steady her voice as she asked Colton what his sister looked like.
Colton explained that in heaven, a girl who looked a lot like Cassie, but with dark hair, ran up to him and wouldn’t stop hugging him. Sonja asked him what her name was. “She doesn’t have a name. You guys didn’t name her.” “You’re right, Colton,” Sonja said, dumbfounded. “We didn’t even know she was a she”. Colton said, “Yeah, she said she just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven”.
Many people are busy fretting over this life and cramming and squeezing as much as they can in, forgetting about eternity; because if our life span could be likened to a drop of water there are whole oceans of water ahead of us.
Job, in the Old Testament, said, ‘My time is short -what‘s left of my life races off too fast for me…’[Job 9v25 The Message Bible].
Ann Held wrote: ‘We must go fast, because the race is against time’.
The Psalmist again wrote, “Our lifetime is 70 years or, if we are strong, 80”.
80 years is just under 30,000 days. Think about that in financial terms: £25,000 will buy you a car but probably not now a down payment on a house. It’s not that much money- and it’s not that much time. None of us knows how many years we have left, but we know how many we have been given up till now.
The Bible makes it clear that God scheduled the date of your arrival on earth. The Psalmist records, ‘You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed’ [Psalm 139:16 NLT]
Secondly God’s will for your life is that He has laid out a track for you to run on.
The writer to the Hebrews records, ‘Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us’ [Hebrews 12:1].
And finally, our exit from this mortal coil is also pre-determined, for the Bible says, ‘It is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment’. [Hebrews 9v27]
For the Christian, the future [to rephrase a mobile phone advert] is bright, the future is more than orange, because there are insufficient words in our vocabulary to describe how amazing, wonderful and glorious, it is going to be.
The Bible says, ‘But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” [1 Corinthians 2v9]
As this life is very short in comparison to living forever, it is vitally important we know where our eternal destiny is going to be; as the Bible makes it clear it is our decision now whether to choose to go God’s way for we will not get a second chance after we have passed over.
So the Thought for Today is, may we not be those who reject God’s offer.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. [John 3 v16–18]