Give me a word, Lord: TWO THINGS ARE CERTAIN

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,

Hebrews 9:27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  We had a bit of a winter storm here yesterday. It probably wasn’t much of a winter storm for those who live in the northern climates, but for us folks down here in the deep, deep south, it was significant. We aren’t prepared for weather like this with frozen roads and ice everywhere. As a precaution, many businesses closed early yesterday, including my clinic, and we are even having a late start today to allow the sun to come out and hopefully melt away a bit of the ice. So what is a girl to do with a few extra hours off on a freezing cold work day? Oh, I know! Let’s gather up all of the information for our taxes and get everything ready for our accountant. That’s always so much fun…NOT! It is actually a bit of a chore. We don’t have simple household taxes. We have our personal income, rentals, farm expenses and income, and we have to gather all of the information from all of these ventures once a year because as I said earlier, two things are certain in life: death and taxes. Preparing everything is a chore, it isn’t very fun, but it can thankfully be accomplished in one frosty cold afternoon. If you work in these United States of America, you must pay taxes…some years more than others. It’s inevitable. Although it is a bit of an aggravation, we are accustomed to the process, and we only have to gather all the receipts and paperwork up once a year.

But what about that other certain thing: death? How can we prepare for that? That isn’t really something we can prepare for only once a year, nor is it something we can just ignore. No, my friends, unless Jesus Christ returns beforehand, we will all ultimately die. In fact, from the day we are born, we begin the process of dying. Our body forms cells, and cells die continually. It is inevitable. We can’t stop it. There is no fountain of youth that will give us eternal youth. We can color our hair, slap on some wrinkle cream, and try to appear younger than our years, but the body will continue to age. Yes, we will all die some day, but the thing is, we don’t know when that some day will be. Will we die young? Will we live to be 102? Only God knows the answer to this question, but we can rest assured that one day our days on earth will end and eternity begins.

Life is short. Death is certain. Eternity is forever. And where we spend eternity depends on how we prepare while we are still living. Peter gives a little insight in I Peter 1:17:21, Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Our life on earth will end in physical death, that death is followed by judgement, and judgement is followed by eternal life.

We all get to live, and we all get to die. We will all be judged, and we all get an eternity after this life on earth. The big question is, “where will you spend eternity?” I pray your answer is heaven, and I pray that you know this without a shadow of a doubt. How can we know for sure? Well, we can’t gather up all of life’s receipts of our good deeds and turn those in. That won’t work. No, my friends, it is very simple. Too simple, in fact! We must only accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Believe that He died for our sins and was resurrected, and confess that He is our Savior. It is then after we ask Him to be the Lord of our hearts that our eternity is assured. Then, all those good works come naturally. The good works won’t get us to heaven, but it is because of our faith in Christ that we begin working for Him.

Get those taxes together in case Jesus doesn’t return by April 15, but even more important than those taxes, get yourself together today. Just remember this fact. If you owe taxes, you have to pay taxes, but with death there is a loophole. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but the gift of eternal life is free! Jesus already paid the price. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23) Make sure that you know where you will be spending eternity. You may have until April 15. You may have fifty years left on this earth. You may only have today. There is no better time than now to choose Jesus!

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