Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Until He Comes!

1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

How to Get Depressed without Really Trying
Last week I had a couple of depressing experiences.  The first was when I got together with some of my family at a convenient (and reasonably inexpensive) restaurant.  As I sat there and looked at each of those present, I couldn’t help but think that when we were young we used to go visit “the old people” in our family—old people like us!  There is nothing wrong with getting old.  It is better than the alternative, but what happened to the time and to the dreams?  Did we really make our mark in the world and are we leaving it better off than the way we found it? 

Then I had another experience that really emphasized the futility of this life.  I signed up for the website that has been developed for my graduating high school class.  When I did, I noticed how many have died.  My best friend in high school died at age 59.  Some of my classmates died shortly after graduation.  Many of us are still around even though most are retired, and we have likely accomplished most of what we are going to accomplish.  We were the class that was going to change the world.  I hate to be a cynic;  but if we changed the world, we didn’t do a very good job!

Most of us think we are going to do great things when we are young planning our future; but, actually, we do just what everyone before us has done.  We are born, we spend years getting ready to do something great, we spend forty years trying to accomplish that, we retire; and we die.  Along the way, many of us have children and raise a family and they go through the same motions.

No Profit Under the Sun
No wonder Paul said that if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable.   Paul was probably thinking that the troubles and persecutions of Christians in his day were meaningless unless there was hope beyond the grave.  He was not talking about hoping to be saved, he was talking about having something to look forward to because he was saved.  We all need to have something to look forward to or life becomes meaningless and depressing.  Paul was looking forward to the future when the resurrected Lord would return and set things right.  He was looking forward to a future that was much brighter than the present

While Paul may have been referring to the persecution of Christians, I have thought that taking the “hope” of the Christian away from him would leave believers with nothing.  We get up every morning with the confident expectation that whether we are sick or poor or friendless or homeless, we have a better future prepared for us, and it is for eternity.  Take away that hope and life becomes the life of the preacher in Ecclesiastes when he said all is vanity and vexation of spirit.  He considered life to be chasing after the wind.  The preacher in that book had experienced about everything that could be experienced.  He had partied like no one else. He had gained wisdom, he had built things, he had acquired lots of possessions.  And yet, he came to the conclusion that there was no profit “under the sun.” 

So while it is true that there is a cycle to life and that cycle means that we live, we reproduce, and then we die.  Because of us others live and reproduce and then die.  That cycle would be so meaningless if there was not something more to anticipate.  We who are saved live with that hope every day.  If that hope were to be taken away, we would certainly be of all people most pitiable.  We would have been living a lie.  Since most Christians live for eternity and do not get their fulfillment from “this life under the sun”, we won’t even have the toys to leave behind to our children.

I really don’t know how those who think that this life is all there is, manage to get out of bed in the morning.  I don’t care how many toys a person acquires, how much power a person has, or how much success a person thinks he has, it all ends when this life is over.  A person might get a footnote in a text book somewhere but since nobody reads books any more, what will it matter?

Until He Comes!
I am spent time with a group of Christians this weekend where we took a loaf of bread and a cup of wine and we ate of that bread and wine together.  We did this in order to show the “Lord’s death until He comes (1 Corinthians 11:26)!”  UNTIL HE COMES!  I am a believer, and that keeps me from getting too depressed when I realize that most of this life is behind me.  There is HOPE! 

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of August 16, 2015

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