What If Next Year Never Comes?
By sis Ong Siew Siew
UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE
The past year has been horrible due to the pandemic. People all over the world are looking forward to a year with a vaccine or cure for COVID-19. Most people are afraid of death, yet how many people understand that after death comes judgement, which has more reason for fear? Is the world prepared for it? How have we as Christians helped to prepare the world for this event that no one can escape from?
Forecasting astronomical events that could impact the end of the world may be part of the job for the scientists at NASA, but it has also become a hobby for some. The year 2029 has been predicted to mark the end of humanity when the Asteroid Apophis would come breathtakingly close to Earth. It will not be accurate to say that the end of the world will happen in 8 years’ time, as it is written in the Bible that no one will know since it will happen like a “thief in the night” (1 Thess 5:2). However, I cannot help but to ask myself, “What if next year or tomorrow never comes? Will I still live the way I live today?” Time is a non-renewable resource given by God, hence we call it the “Present”. Are we devoting our time in the right areas such that we can say to ourselves, “I have no regret even if I am called to be with the Lord today?”
CERTAINTY OF GOD’S COMING
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” - 2nd Peter 3:9
Will I make the mark to enter Heaven? If I give my own assessment, I would say that I pale in comparison to a lot of other Christians. Sometimes I do shrug it off, consoling myself that everything will be fine as God’s grace will tide me through on the last day. But such thinking is the scariest of all because it breeds contempt and slackness on our part. Salvation is indeed a gift of God but we cannot take God for granted. No one likes to be taken for granted. God has emotions too as we can see from the Bible. So, should we just keep trampling on God’s grace and mercy (Hebrews 10:29) by sinning wilfully, and keep thinking that God should “close one eye” and receive us on Judgement Day?
In James 4:17, it states that, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” I often wonder, if I know that I could have done much more for God in the area of evangelism, but I do not perform my best, am I falling short? Could this be the case for all of us?
CALL FOR ACTION
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” - Romans 14:12
We are answerable for our own faith and salvation on the last day. Jesus laid down His life for us over 2000 years ago. He had made the first move to sacrifice himself, not just by dying on the cross but also in living a sinless life so that He could be that perfect sacrifice for the whole world and bear our sins. What can we do on our part to “make our election sure”? (2nd Peter 1:10) Look around ourselves and consider our loved ones. Do we bear to see their souls in Hell? Imagine the person that you dislike most and picture his or her soul in Hell for eternity. Do we even have the heart to continue being upset with them? Love shall conquer all fear and bitterness. God loves the soul of man, and so we should love the soul of man as well. Even if we cannot do so, our obedience or fear towards God should push us to further the spread of the gospel. Let us, in our own capacity, think of ways to contribute to evangelistic efforts and heed the Great Commission spoken by Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:16-20).
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” - 2 Peter 1:10