Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Unfinished Business

Meditation for the week of October 11, 2009

Isaiah 38:1
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’"

If an actual prophet were to tell us that we were about to die an early death, we would probably see our lawyers so that we could leave a current will.  We would probably make funeral plans. We would probably want to say goodbye to those that we love.  We might get all the bills paid up to date and we might even do some repair work on the house so that our family wouldn’t have to do that after we were gone.  The problem is that prophets have told us that we are going to die; however, none of us believe that it is going to be today or tomorrow.  Therefore we do not make adequate preparation for that day. 

If the prophet told us that we were going to die but that we had a month to get our houses in order, what would we do in that month?  In addition to those things already mentioned, some would travel, some would spend time with friends and family, some would give away their money.  Some would want to make sure that they were right with God and with any in this world that they might have wronged.  Correcting wrongs might involve making restitution for things that they had stolen or perhaps making apologies for offenses that they had committed.     Some would certainly be searching the Bible to make sure that they were depending on the promises of God for eternity rather than on the opinions of man. 

There are some sad statistics associated with death.  So far as I know,  nearly 100 percent of us die.  There are only two records of people In history that did not die.  One was Enoch in Genesis 5:24.  The other was Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11.  The reason I have said nearly 100 percent of us die is because these  two men went to heaven without dying.  Others died and were raised from the dead but so far everyone who has been raised from the dead has died again and so there are ONLY two that have not died.  We who are saved are looking for the Lord to take some of us directly to heaven when He returns at the end of this age.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:51, “ Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–.”  Sleeping in the Bible is the way the Lord describes the bodies of believers who have died.  So not all believers will die.  That again will reduce the percentage of those who die after they are born into this world.

One thing is certain, all of us will have met our Maker in less than 100 years.  Most of us will die, a few may be caught up directly into heaven when the Lord returns.  But in 100 years we will all be history.  So shouldn’t we recognize that what the prophet said to Hezekiah, he also said to us?  Hezekiah got a 15 year reprieve, but he still died.  We may have a way to go as well, but we should set our houses in order for we will die and not live unless we are believers when the Lord returns.

So the challenge is, are we living today as though this might be our last day on earth? Very few people really want to die.  But we may die, and we may die suddenly.  Would we have our business affairs in order and our funeral plans made?  Would we have any unfinished business with God to take care of if we knew our end was coming quickly?  Would we know for certain that we were “saved”, “born again”, “forgiven”, and “reconciled to God.”  Would we have done everything humanly possible to make sure we were not leaving behind unreconciled problems with our fellow man?

As an unbeliever the best thing we could do to set our houses in order would be to repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15).  As believers hopefully we would be confident that we had done everything possible to live our lives being “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32).”   

Bruce Collins

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