How quick we are to forget! As Emerson walked by an open casket, he gazed into the face of a life long friend and said: “He was a lovely soul but I forgot his name.” All of us have limited memories, at best. And most of us are prone to forget. Forgetfulness is brought about by having the mind preoccupied, with too much to do in a short time. It is due to the fact of the fast pace of life which we live. As we get older forgetfulness invades the mind like a dark cloud, moving across the sky on a clear day. One poet expressed it this way: “This is the age of the half read page. The quick hash, the mad dash. The bright night and the nerves tight. The plane hop and the brief stop, The lamp tan in a short span. The big shot in a good spot. The brain strain and the heart pain. The cat naps till the spring snaps, and the fun gone.”
Some people have mastered the art of memory. Themistocles had a magic memory. On one occasion he reclined their name of 20,000 citizens of Athens. Sir Walter Scott, once repeated a poem with 80 verses which he had heard only once three years earlier. According to Historians, Cyrus could repeat from memory the name of every soldier in the Persian army. One of my favorite preachers, Charles Spurgeon had 12,000 volumes in his library and because he had total recall, could pull out any book at random and tell you what was un it. Most of us however, are prone to forget. Of course many things are worth forgetting. But there are five Facts of Life that we must never forget.
First of all we must never forget that life is short: According to the Bible, Methuselah was the oldest man who ever lived. He lived to be 969 years of age. According to some scholars, the earth could be as old as 40 million years. (It depends upon whom you’re talking to) If this figure is even remotely correct, the age of the oldest man is no more than an invisible dot on the scale of time. But even if one lives to be older than the oldest man who ever lived, his life in God’s sight is but as yesterday.
The Psalmist said: That “life is like a sleep.” When one has a normal night of sleep, it seems as if the whole night passes in only a few seconds. Our short life is like the grass that flourishes in the morning, and withers in the evening.
One may be happy, healthy, vigorous in the morning of their life, but in the evening of their life, pale, cold and lifeless. As a man nearing the end of his life at the age of 80, he discovered this: He spent 26 years working, 21 years eating, 6 years being angry, 5 years shaving, 228 days scolding his children, 26 days tying his tie, 18 days blowing his nose, lighting his pipe 12 days, and laughing only 46 hours. Remember life is short!
We must never forget that death is sure: When he was 89 years of age Michelangelo wrote, “I have reached the 24th hour of my day, and no project arises in my brain, which hath not the figure of death graven upon it.” As sure as we live we die. Whether we like it or not, one day death will knock on our door, for death is no respecter of persons. Death is like a giant flood. It does not choose shanties and shacks and ignores mansions, it sweeps all away in its path. It takes the beautiful, the ugly and the young, the old, the famous, the infamous, the rich, the poor the sinner, the saint. Death is as close as a stray bullet, the bumper of a car, a crumb in the throat, a germ in the blood stream, a drop of blood on the brain. Death catches many unawares. Raphael died when his last picture was half finished. This picture was carried in his funeral procession as a mute reminder, of the uncertainty of life. Sir Walters’s last words in his journal were” Tomorrow we shall…”” but he never lived to finish the sentence. Franz Schubert left hiss unfinished symphony, and Charles Dickens, laid down his pen in the middle of his last novel to die.
All of us could well pray the Psalmist’s prayer. “Lord, teach us to number our days, that we might apply out hearts unto wisdom.” Life is short and death is certain, and it is utter folly to fill our lives with mere trifles that have no eternal significance.
Thirdly, we must never forget that judgment is sure: The Bible reminds us that: “It Is Appointed Unto Man Once To Die, And After This The Judgment”
Milton once said, “The spirit of man which God has inspired, cannot together perish, with this corporeal clod.”
To those who have not received Jesus Christ as the Savior of their lives, the judgment will be a time of condemnation, and a time of determining there digress of punishment in hell. The Bible tells us that God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world: and that Jesus Christ shall “judge the quick and the dead at His appearing.”
Fourthly, we must never forget there is a hell to shun: Just because some clergymen have taken hell out of their preaching, that does not mean that God has not taken it out of the Bible…some men say that all the hell there is, is on this earth, others say that hell is the grave. However the Bible says that hell is a literal place, a place of separation, a place of darkness, and eternal judgment.
Does God send anyone to Hell? Certainly not, “God Is Not Willing That Any Should Perish.” The Bible says.“That All Should Come To Repentance.” But if men deliberately shun Jesus Christ, the only one who can take away their sins: not God! But men, send themselves out into a lost eternity.
Fifthly, we must never forget, that there is a Heaven to gain: Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. No one can go to Heaven who has not prepared for it, in this life. When asked at the end of his life if he was prepared to die, Socrates said: “Know you not, I have been preparing for it all my life.” There is only one way to prepare for heaven, and that is to ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart, and become your own personal Savior.
Yes! Life is short, Death is sure! There is a Judgment to face. A Heaven to gain and a Hell to Shun. These are the Five Facts of Life no one ought ever to forget. And only in Jesus Christ do these things become fond memories. Only Jesus Christ gives meaning to the shortness of Life: “I Am Come That You Might Have Life.” He means life eternal.
Only in Jesus Christ can one find Victory in death. He said, “I Am The Resurrection And The Life” He That Believeth In Me Though He Were Dead, Yet Shall He Live.”
Only in Christ does Judgment become a promotion instead of demotion: Because “He That Believes On The Son Has Everlasting Life.”
Only in Christ Jesus can Heaven be gained and Hell shunned: “For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son, That Whosoever Believeth In Him Should Not Perish But Have Everlasting Life.”
Come to Christ today: By Faith ask Him to come into your heart and save you. Say an eternal yes to Him now! This is the most important thing in life for you to do. And long after men have forgotten your name, and all remembrance of you has perished from the earth – God’s Love will be yours, and Heaven will be your Home.
He’s Only a Prayer Away!