Maybe you think you have a long life in front of you. Maybe there are many things you would like to accomplish. There are still things I would like to accomplish. James 4:13-15 “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” Your life is even a vapor that appears for a little time. You need to make your eternal destination secure rather than putting all of your energies for this life.
The older I get, the more I think of our eternal home with Jesus, God the Father, the holy angels, and the redeemed believers. 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” Your body is but the earthly house of your soul. It is like a tent that you use for a short time. You have experienced illness and health, hunger and food, pain and pleasure, the glory of a sunset and the smell of flowers, the love of family and the loss of loved ones. One day, your body will be destroyed. Whether because of illness or accident or the return of Jesus, the time for your physical body will end. The good and the bad things that you experience in your physical body will be finished because you are mortal.
The description of our habitation which is from heaven is wonderful. Revelation 21:3-4 “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’” All the negative things of this life will be over. No more evilness; no more illness, or pain or sorrow. Revelation 22:1-5 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” What a promise! What a wonderful life to look forward to!
It is appropriate for you to desire to be absent from you physical body and to be clothed with your heavenly body and to be with the Lord. Your heavenly house is so much better than what you have here. Here you are burdened; there you will have no burdens. Why hold on so tightly to this life when you can have eternal life? Eternal life is a gift from God; you can’t earn it. But it is conditional. It is conditional on you fighting your good fight, on you finishing your race, and on you keeping your faith. The apostle Paul described his situation near the end of his life. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” If you give up on your fight, if you give up on your race, or if you lose your faith, what promise do you have?
My encouragement to you is to eagerly desire to be present with your Lord and to receive your crown of righteousness. Don’t give up the fight; don’t give up your race; don’t lose your faith.