James 4:13-16 says, "Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.” Here, the apostle James seems to elaborate on the single verse in proverbs: “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth (Prv 27:1).”
Do these verses mean that we should not plan for anything? Is it sinful to have a day planner? Of course not. God’s Word tells us to write the vision and run with it. The Bible tells us to provide for our family. God commanded the Jews to keep the seven feasts of Israel. All of this requires planning. No, what God is saying, is that we should not arrogantly go through life just assuming we’re going to wake up in the morning. We do not know what will happen before the day is out. Your number might be up. We must live prepared to die. We must have our spiritual bags packed and by the door - ready at any moment to meet our Lord Jesus.
Thomas Kempis wrote, “Very quickly there will be an end to you here in this world; look after what will become of you in another world ~ Today the man is here; tomorrow he has disappeared. ~ And when he is out of sight of man, he will soon be out of mind of man. ~ Oh, the foolishness and hardness of man’s heart, which only thinks on the present, and is not rather concerned for what is about to come! ~ You should order yourself, in all of your thoughts and actions, as if today you were about to die. ~ If you have a good conscience, you would not greatly fear death. ~ It is better to live prepared to die, than to try and flee from death. ~ If you are not prepared for death today, how will you be prepared tomorrow?
When it is morning, know that you may die before night fall; and when evening comes, don’t assume that you will rise the next morning. ~ Therefore, always be ready; and lead your life in such a way, that death may never take you unprepared. ~ Many die suddenly, when they are not looking for it; and the Son of Man will come at a time, when we least expect it. ~ When that last hour comes, will you begin to have a far different opinion of your whole life that is past; will you be sorry that you have been so careless and negligent?”
Job said his days were swift, his life as wind, swifter than a runner, fleeing, passing as a ship, as an eagle flies towards it’s prey, of few days, a shadow, a flower that is cut down (Job 7:6-7, 9:25-26, 14:1-2). Indeed, in light of eternity, our life is a blink of the eye. It is fragile.
Psalm 39:4-7 says, “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.” See also Lk 12:16-21, Ecc 3:1-2, 19-20.
Kempis continues, “The present time is very precious; now are the days of salvation, now is the acceptable time! ~ What waste! That you should spend your time so idly here, when you should seek to live eternally hereafter. ~ The time will come, when you will desire to change a day or an hour - and it will not be granted to you.
Oh, how happy and wise is that man, who strives to be such a one in his life, as he wishes to be found at the hour of his death! ~ A perfect contempt for worldliness, a burning desire to excel in purity and morality, the love of discipline, the discomfort of repentance, the readiness to obey, the denial of ourselves, and the bearing of afflictions for the love of Christ Jesus patiently; these will give us great confidence that we shall die happily.”
We will all die. We will all exist for eternity. The question is, are you prepared - right this moment - to die? At your death - perhaps today - will you wake up in the arms of your Savior, looking at Jesus face to face? Or will you enter into eternal darkness, confined to the suffering of the damned in hell fire? You mustn’t trifle with this issue! You must be sure! You must be born again! You must live eternally minded! You must be ready!
I pray all who read this will give their life to Jesus Christ if they have not already done so. I pray that those who have, will draw closer to God, and strengthen their resolve to live for Jesus. I pray those who are suffering would be comforted with God’s peace. I pray this article has caused at least one person to receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen.