Solomon, the wiseth man who ever lived on earth other than Jesus Christ, said in his writings in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “To every thing there is a season” and in 3:2 he said, “A time to be born and a time to die.”
We are continually mad e aware of when we were born by celebrating our birthday .
Fortunately we do not know when we will die. One man asked his doctor when he would die. The doctor answered him, “that will be the last thing you will do.”
Nearing my 90th. Birthday, I anticipate that death is relatively not to far away, but know the time is in God’s hand.
The Bible reminds us in Hebrews 9:27,”it is appointed unto men once to die.” — no escape. It will happen unless God intervenes as he did with Enoch and Elijah.
As we scan our newspapers, in the obituary column we have writeups and pictures of people of all ages who have died.
A friend of mine who had spent considerable time in the hospital and who was in his 80s was fully aware he could not live much longer asked one day how do you prepare to die, I never have done it before?
In 2 Kings 20: 1 and 2 we read. “and in those days was Hezekiah sick unto death.
And the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amos came to him and said unto him, Thus said the Lord, set thy house in order for you will die and not live.”
In other words, prepare to die and meet God.
As a result, Hezekiah prayed and God in His mercy healed him and he lived for another 15 years.
Part of preparing to die is to make sure that your have taken care of your earthly responsibilities, bills paid, reconciliation with your neighbor who has wronged you or you have wronged him and so forth.
But there is still another thing.
Paul writes in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
It is necessary to ask God to forgive us our sins.
All of us must do it before we die.
I visited a man in the hospital with a terminal illness.
It would only be a brief time until death would come.
Over the next few weeks I urged him to confess his sins and be at peace with God.
One day later I visited him again and his response was “I have lain here a long time and I have had much time to think of what you said”.
I thanked the Lord that he was pondering what to do, I went once more and I asked him if he was ready to ask God for forgiveness and he said “yes”.
Together we prayed and he knew God heard his prayer and he was prepared to die and to meet God.
The Bible states it is appointed unto man once to die and then judgment — no escape. If found guilty there is eternal punishment So God says prepare now.
Who knows how or when they will die.
They may go to bed feeling very well but in the morning may be dead, They may go on a trip, everything in good order, but by accident or sickness may never return.
Because we live in a very sinful world and of unknown tomorrows, it is well for us to pray as David, the psalmist did, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
Bill Annett was the pastor at Oriole Park Missionary Church (now known as Crossroads Church). He and other members of the Red Deer Ministerial Association share their personal views on Sundays and Mondays in Red Deer LIFE and Central Alberta LIFE, and encourage comments and questions from readers. These can be sent to LIFE.