If today you met God, would you be prepared? Many times we live our lives as if we will live in this present condition forever. This short-term perspective on life leads us to make decisions that are not always in line with the good life that God wants for us. We take for granted the gift of time and we never come to fully appreciate that one day, “like a thief in the night,” we will meet our maker and we will have to give an accounting of the life which He has given us.
The Bible indicates that there are two types of judgments rendered by God: one for unbelievers and one for believers. The judgment of unbelievers is found in Revelation 20:11-15. There it tells us that those whose name was not found “written in the book of life [were] thrown into the lake of fire,” which is considered the second death. Our relationship with Jesus is what allows our names to be written in the book of life. The Bible is clear that there is a real distinction between knowing about God and truly knowingGod through a personal relationship. James 2:19 states “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” In other words, simply believingin God is not enough to escape the penalty of Hell. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:21-23 that what gains us entry into Heaven is not our beliefsor our good works, but whether or not Jesus knows us! Jesus knows all of us, but the question is whether He knows us as family. The Message Bible gives us an understanding what Jesus is getting at: “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance— isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills” (7:21). Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:50 that those who obey the Father are His family. If we are family, then we will receive the inheritance of eternal life (Romans 8:17).
If we are in the family of Christ, we will stand before a different type of judgment which is described in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. This judgment does not involve the penalty of being dismissed from God’s presence; rather, it is the judgment of what we did with the life that God has given to us. Each of us will stand before God and give an account on what we did with the gifts He has given us. Did we invest our lives in Kingdom priorities and dare to do the impossible? Jesus tells us that those in His family of faith, “will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). In Acts it tells us what Jesus did during His life: “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing goodand healingall who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (10:38). We should be making the most of this life by doing good and helping others through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We should be living our lives with a Holy enthusiasm. The Apostle Paul reminds us that we should be running the race of life to win the eternal prize before us: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24). Running for the prize involves zealously using the life and talents God has given us. The parable of the talents reminds us that God wants us to invest our lives in Kingdom priorities. As we invest in the Kingdom, we will generate good fruit. We will be judged and rewarded based upon the quality of the fruit of our lives.
Hebrews 9:27 reminds us of the reality that we will all die and face judgment. This is the reality through which we should make our decisions. This world is not our home. In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus teaches us that we should store up “treasures in Heaven” because everything of this earth will pass away. In verse 21 He states, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Our heart should centered on God and in Him we should find our delight. It will be that delight that will carry us throughout eternity after the cares of this life have long passed away.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). When He becomes this for an individual, we will be filled with a hope that does not disappoint (Romans 5:5) and live our lives in a way that glorifies God by making the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:16). We are given this one life and no day is a guarantee. Amos 4:12 tells us that we should live our lives prepared to meet God. Are you living your life prepared to make your maker?
I want to end with a quote from Star Trek(yes, I am a nerd- but it makes a good point):
“Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives, but I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived.” – Captain Jean Luc Picard, Star Trek
Do not put off until tomorrow what you should do today, because tomorrow is a not a guarantee and today is a gift that is expected to be used wisely!