December 11, 2017

Journey to Eternity

By Andy Alexander

Most people engage in some type of travel during their sojourn in this life. It might just be a visit out of town for the weekend with friends or a business trip or an extended vacation in other parts of the country. Whatever type of trip it may be, most people will make some preparation before leaving home.

An avid quail hunter will take care to see that his guns are cleaned and ready for use. He will pack food for his dogs and make sure that they are ready for the hunt. He will allow plenty of time to reach the hunting lease. In fact, he will spend a great deal of time in preparation for a seemingly short period away from home.

Some travelers may not take a great amount of time preparing. They have the attitude that if something is forgotten, it can be obtained later, during the trip. They may not be too enthused about the idea of traveling or it may be that they have not traveled very much and are ignorant about some of the things needed for a trip away from home. Whatever the reason, they are just not pre-pared.

Those reading this likely know where this is leading. We are all going to take a trip some day. We are not sure of the day, but we are sure of the trip. That trip, of course, is the journey beyond this life  the journey to eternity.

The time for preparation is now (2 Cor. 6:2). There are some like the avid quail hunter. They are preparing in this life to make the journey beyond. Others apparently think that if there is an afterlife, they will have the opportunity to purchase what is needed while they are on their way. They will be looking for the corner market that sells righteous lives. Quickly, they will learn that no such store is available.

God has provided us with ample information about our journey to eternity. He has told us how long we will be gone: for eternity (Matt. 25:46). He has revealed to us what we should wear: white robes (Rev. 6:11; 7:9-14). These white robes indicate a righteous life; a life made righteous by being washed in the blood of the Lamb. This clothing is available to all and the price for this clothing has been paid.

The Bible presents two classes of people: the saved and the lost. We could just as well call these the prepared and the unprepared. Each of us chooses one of these two categories to be in. If we were to ask the general population which class they were a part of, the overwhelming response would be the saved class. However, if we were to talk those who claim to be saved, "How do you know you are saved?"; the answer would likely vary with the majority using some kind of subjective reasoning. Their reasons may sound something life this, "I feel it in my heart," "I just know it," or "Look at all the good I've done," or they may point to the absence of evil in their life. Few, if any, will pick up a Bible and show with book, chapter and verse the reasons they believe they are saved.

This type of subjective reasoning illustrates how ill-prepared most people are for taking their journey to eternity. This is the most important trip they will ever embark upon and they will not have spent as much time preparing for it as they would if they were going across town.

The true child of God walks by faith (2 Cor. 5:7). Our knowledge is objective, not subjective. Our faith in God and the hereafter is based upon the revealed will of God (Rom. 10:17). The word of God is given so that we can have a real hope and also that we may know that we have eternal life (Heb. 6:19; 1 Jn. 5:13).

We know that we will journey beyond this life (Eccl. 12:7; Heb. 9:27). The time we live in this realm is uncertain (Jas. 4:13-14). We may delay departure through healthy living and exercise, but we are going to travel to eternity: Preparation for this journey is optional. The parable of the ten virgins teaches that we have a choice to make (Matt. 25:1-13). We can make the prudent choice and be ready or we can choose foolishly and be unprepared, but in either case the choice is ours.

Most of us will prepare for a relatively short journey in this life. It would be wise if we would spend this life preparing for the next. The principles in the previous paragraph are reasons why we should not delay our getting ready. Added to those reasons are the people we influence who need to see our good example and hear the same message of preparedness from us.

Yes, there are just two classes of people on this earth: the ready and the not ready, or the saved and the lost. Which class are you in? And, cay you prove it by the written word of God

Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 15, p. 13-14
August 5, 1993

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