It is often said that there are (only) 2 things certain in life – death and taxes. At least with taxes, we know when we must pay them. With death, we never know. We never know when our time “is up.”
This week, Hollywood was all "a buzz” with another passing. No – it wasn’t a drug overdose, or, a suicide of another nature. It was a freak accident of a wife and mother of two young children. The news media were busy reporting about the unexpected (“untimely”) death of Natasha Richardson, a gifted and attractive 45 year old woman. The wife of actor Liam Neeson, experienced what was first thought to be a minor skiing accident. Little did the actress know that her refusal to seek immediate medical attention would result in an “epidural hematoma, which causes bleeding between the skull and the brain's covering.”
On Monday this well liked, young, vibrant, physically active, well known Hollywood actress was alive and well, skiing on a beginner’s slope. On Wednesday, the plug was pulled, as she had become brain dead.
Baring suicide, and acute terminal illness, death comes, suddenly and unexpectedly
I never was much for poetry. But in high school I did memorize a few notable lyrics. The one that was an easy one, because it was so short, was: “The fog comes on little cat feet." [Robert Frost] I thought about that short poem this past week as I heard the news of the Hollywood actress’ untimely sudden life departure. I thought of my father’s letter to me while in college. He related his busy week as pastor and the one funeral with which he officiated. His aside comment was: “We never know when we will die; it is so important to be prepared.”
Here today; gone tomorrow [Psalm 103:15-16 ; 1 Peter 1:24] - that is the description which the Divine Revelation of the Scriptures, give to us. We share the same fate as the animal kingdom. Psalm 49:1f
Most people will be careless with their most important appointment:
The Scriptures teach that, "....it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." [Hebrews 9:27] We will not avoid the inevitable. Everyone who is born, dies, unless he or she are present at the Second Coming of the Lord Christ [1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55] Christ’s parables of the Rich Man and Lazarus and, The Wise and Foolish Virgins, illustrate the truth of the Gospel Words of Christ -- building our lives upon Him, and, upon no other. Matthew 7:13-29
We cannot forecast our own death – but we can prepare for it
Our Creator God does not leave us without a clue. He has given us the Written Revelation of the Scriptures. He instructs us what to do. [Proverbs 1:20-33 ; Psalm 9:12] As the Scripture teaches, those who die expecting heaven above, must be clothed in the Righteousness of Christ, -- [Philippians 3:7-12] whose birth, life, suffering, death, and resurrection from the dead was [and is] for our present and priceless eternal benefit. Mark 16:14-20
It is estimated by Biblical scholars that Christ’s physical life on earth was short, by modern standards. He was only 33 years old when he met the torturous fate of Roman spikes upon a cross. Old Testament Hebrew Scripture prophesied hundreds of years before His birth, that Christ would be “cut off out of the land of the living.” [Isaiah 53:8] Yet it was [and is,] God’s perfect plan, to offer by Christ’s blood bought sacrifice, the forgiveness of personal sin, (thereby) sparing us from the just wrath and eternal punishment of Holy Creator God, who cannot allow unredeemed souls into His holy heaven. He must punish sin and the sinner to the fullest extent, unless, of course, there is acceptance of His Christ packaged gift of forgiveness and life. John 1:1-18 ; John 3:14-21
May all who have ears to hear – actually listen, and "number our days" in keeping with the Divine perspective. Psalm 90:12
Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:
Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins
Psalm 49:1f -- The vanity of trusting wealth. No one can take it with him. Death is the common experience of all -- Our lives in light of the Triune God's governance
Philippians 3:7-12 - The necessity of being clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Please note also: the one parable of Christ about the man who had no wedding garment - Matthew 22:1-14
Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Please note: Topical Messages, by subject
Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
Please also note:
The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.