Some people think we live, we die, and we are buried–end of story. Accordingly, they don’t concern themselves with anything beyond the grave. But this perspective on life and death is far from the truth. The Bible declares that things don’t end at the grave. We will spend eternity somewhere. Our relationship with Christ is the sole determinant of where that place will be.
A funeral I attended just over a week ago got me thinking about this. The deceased was an acquaintance of mine. In fact, we worked together for many years. He was 18 years older than I am. I did not know him well enough to say we were friends.
So I got this call a couple of weeks ago from a former colleague. He asked me if I knew the now-deceased person was under Hospice care. I told him I did not. The caller was not sure if the person in Hospice was the one we knew, or if it was someone with the same name. The next day he confirmed that it was who he thought it was. I told the caller I would go and see the person. I was not sure of his relationship with Christ. We had spoken about church or religion a couple times, but not in any depth. I was looking forward to an opportunity to inquire of his relationship with Christ.
Anyway, two days later, on the morning of the day I planned to go and see the man, I received a call informing me that he had died the night before. I was shocked. I had seen him about six months earlier in the waiting area of a doctor’s office. There, we talked about 30 minutes. He seemed fine. He had his usual sense of humor. He did mention that he had some swelling in a leg that would not go down.
This man was a nationally known runner. I was told that for his age bracket, he ranked number three in the nation. He used to bring in news clips from different newspapers to show colleagues. He loved running against someone younger than he was so he could boast about how he smoked the person around the track. At the funeral service, there was much talk about the bragging he was known for.
But what stood out to me was the fact that there was no mention of any church affiliation—even in this man’s youth. He was very accomplished at work. At the peak of his professional career, he was one step from the highest position in our large Engineering Division. And he was a nationally known runner.
Of course, being a preacher, my main concern was with his relationship with Christ. I have no idea of what that relationship was at the time of his death. But given his many accomplishments in life and the total silence with regard to his involvement in church, I could not help but entertain this most sobering fact: No matter what we accomplish in this life, our relationship with Christ is the only thing that counts after death.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.