Admit it – we can’t wait to get to Heaven. We can’t wait to get there and be with God to spend eternity praising and glorifying God’s name. It will be awe-inspiring and amazing and everything that we could ever imagine it could be. But not until we actually get there! When our time comes and we cease to be, a paradise of existence and an oasis of dreams awaits us, but that time will only come when our time here on earth is over. However, until that day comes, and our very last second on this earth expires, we are here, living a life of that is happy in it’s own right, filled with service to God and happiness with each other. Why waste it?
There seems to be a mindset among Christians today, that there are times when we can “check out” of our service to God, a retirement of sorts for those who have given 50+ years to Christ. Talk of the “church of the future” (referring to the young people) comes into play, and others step to the side, content to watch from the sidelines as other people take charge of the duties. While this may not be a conscious act from those that practice it, the mindset does creep into the hearts of our members. “Let the young people do it,” one may say, or “I’m too old to get around like I did when I was 30.”
Paul said, and rightfully so, in Philippians 1:21, that, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Certainly there awaits us that home in Heaven when we pass from this life. But isolating that verse alone misses what Paul’s ultimate point was. Understanding that the life to come is infinitesimally better, Paul still saw the need to continue on in this life, so that he may fulfill the work that he has left to do here, saying in verse 25: “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.” He saw a duty to fulfill his service to God, not just for the next few years, not even for the next 20, but to do as much as he could, for as long as he could, and the same should go for us as well. God didn’t give us a time where we could “check out” which means as long as we have breath in our lungs and a beating heart, we are obligated, by God, to stay working.
Sad to say, many believe that once they become older, that there is nothing useful for them to do. “I live in a retirement home. I get pushed around the halls three times a day with an IV attached to my arm, what can I do?” The answer? Plenty. Reading Titus 2:1-8 provides good guidelines for Christians of all ages to exercise their duties, but also pay attention to the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:7: “Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you.” Older people have a responsibility, not just a privilege, to inform younger people of the world and to provide invaluable experience to us. True, physically, older people may not be able to do what they once were able to. But is that really what’s most important (Ecclesiastes 10:8-10)?
The beating heart of a Christian lies not in the blood vessels keeping this mortal body alive, but in the soul of a man that tests his willpower against all adversities. And the greatest adversity we will ever face is staying strong in the path of perseverance. Age can be a tool of satan just like any other, and the second he’s got us believing we’ve done enough to warrant Heaven, that we can just sit back and wait, he’s got us beat. A true Christian is one who never quits no matter how much they’ve done or how much they feel like they deserve it. There may come a time when we feel like we can’t do much, that we might as well just sit back and lay low, but Paul would disagree. As he told the young evangelist Timothy: “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Do you still have that spirit?Last modified: January 22, 2019