|Posted by DrRaj on April 10, 2009 at 9:34 PM|
Life is Eternal
A patient of mine once asked me this question before he underwent life saving surgery. He was asking whether he would survive the operation. I gave him some hope by telling him that I would do my best, and the rest was up to God.
But as I scrubbed up for surgery, I thought that he really would have had peace in his heart if his hope had been exclusively on God, for I was just another human being, blessed in this world to be a surgeon..
"Is there hope?" This question affects our very soul, and our destiny. Read what the following passage from the Bible says:
1Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
3Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
4For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
5Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
6In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
7For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
8Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
9For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
10The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
If we are to spend eternity with God, we have to acknowledge Him to be our dwelling place forever (Ps 90:1). God created us and He is the everlasting God (v.2). This truth is a great comfort to those of us who wonder why we are here on earth. Can we take anything with us from earth when we die? The answer is no.
Yet we struggle so hard to earn money, to seek fame, or to create a “legacy”. But is any of these what we can take way? Do we really think we are indispensable? We will all die one day. That is a certainty that no one can deny (v.3). All men will return to destruction, with their physical body of this time and space returning to dust.
So many people live today thinking they are indispensable. “How will things be if I am not around?” they ask. Yet, as De Gaulle said, “The graveyards are filled with indispensable men”.
To God, the time that we are on earth is but a fleeting moment (v4). A thousand years are but a moment to Him. Too us it seems such a long time - these 70 years on earth (v.10). Yet, all our possessions and deeds will remain here on earth.
What will stay with us in eternity is whether we have set our hearts right before God (v.8), seeking to please Him in our lives. Doing good is a great thing, and is a virtue that cannot be undermined. But in and of itself, good works will not save us forom the penalty of sin. Knowing that we can never do enough good works to reach a Holy God, Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins. He took the burden of our sin on His shoulders. If we do not accept this free gift, we will spend all our days under judgment (v.9). But if we trust in Jesus, and accept His free gift of forgiveness of sins, we will spend eternity with Him.
As I continue to contemplate on the topic of death, it amazes me how little people (doctors, patients and public at large) around me think of the life after death. The Psalmist rightly says that we are like the grass that flourishes in the morning but withers and dies in the evening (v.5-6).
What is the purpose of life? Is it not a preparation for the life to come? The eternal life, with an eternal body? Think deep and hard, for whatever we decide to do, we must decide. To decide not to decide is a decision that will also have consequences.
I enjoy life in this world to the fullest. I have lots of time to spend with family, friends and God. But I know that this is also not the end, but the beginning. I enjoy the hope and know that it is so much better to be cognizant of the fact that life here on earth is the first phase of our life, the next phase being eternal life with Jesus.