Home » District Presidents, Headline

When your time is up

September 6, 2016 No Comment

by Thomas Prachar

President Thomas Prachar

President Thomas Prachar

“There’s an app for that!” With a sigh of relief you can now undertake just about any task you weren’t sure how to handle. Someone else has made it easy for you, outlining what to do step by step. Want to know which star you’re looking at in the night sky? There’s an app for that! Need to get blood stains out of your rug? There’s an app for that! Want to build a boat? There’s probably an app for that, too.

Want to know when you’re going to die? I don’t know about an app, but there is a website to inform you of just that: deathclock.com. All you need to do is feed in some information about yourself: date, month and year of birth; sex; mode (do you have a “normal, pessimistic, optimistic, or sadistic” nature?); BMI (body mass index); and whether you are a smoker or non-smoker. After all that, just one click of your trusty mouse and you will be told that the date for your eventual demise will be…April 21, 2034—a Tuesday, no less. (I wonder if anyone has ever completed all the information, and then been told that their death was last week?)

Of course none of us really knows the day of our death. Only God knows that information, and He’s not sharing. Sometimes in the Bible, God indicated that a person’s time was up. To Moses God said, “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo…and die on the mountain which you go up, and be gathered to your people” (Deuteronomy 32:49-50). There is also the interesting account of King Hezekiah, who became sick. He was told by Isaiah the prophet, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover’” (II Kings 20:1). Then, after some fervent praying, Hezekiah was told by God, “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you…and I will add fifteen years to your life” (II Kings 20:5-6).

God has not promised us similar advanced notice of our death. And that’s probably a good thing; otherwise we might lament, “Woe is me!” and become so fixated on our departure that it pushes everything else aside. “Why bother telling others of Jesus, or even being kind to my neighbour, because my time is too short.” Others might see it differently. Now that they know the day of their death, they can press on with renewed vigor to complete their “bucket list” before time runs out.

While we do not know the day of our death, we do know the One in whom we believe and put our trust when that time comes. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we now see death not just as the terrible end of a sin-filled life, but as a door that leads to an eternity with our Saviour. We look forward to resurrected bodies that will not die because sin and death have been conquered by Jesus once and for all. As our Lord said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.”

While we do not know the day of our death, we do know the One in whom we believe and put our trust when that time comes. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can see death as a door that leads to an eternity with our Saviour.

With the apostle Paul and all the saints who have gone before us, we boldly confess: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:54-57). Amen!

——————–

Rev. Thomas Prachar is President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada.