Chapter 2 is tough.
Thinking about death is no fun, especially your death; my death.
Especially poignant in chapter 2 is the story of the death of Stan Gerlach. He was delivering a eulogy and spoke the words “You never know when God is going to take your life. At that moment, there’s nothing you can do about it. Are you ready?”
He sat down.
You probably don’t remember Harold Camping. Harold was an evangelist and radio pastor who broadcast out of California and his messages went to 150 radio markets throughout the US. Harold specialized in messages about the “end times” and he made a bold prophecy in 2011, that the world would see Jesus again on May 21, 2011 whereupon the saved would be taken up to heaven in the rapture, and that there would follow five months of fire, brimstone and plagues on Earth, with millions of people dying each day, culminating on October 21, 2011, with the final destruction of the world.
Pastor Harold was wrong of course but he got lots of media attention due to his prophecy.
I remember where I was on May 21, 2011.
I was in Chicago attending my son’s graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Pastor Camping was on my mind for some reason. He had garnered a lot of attention from national media outlets.
We had attended the graduation ceremony and it was time to tour the Senior Art Show, where all the graduating seniors got a chance to show an example of their best work for parents and the public to see.
As we toured the show, the galleries were packed with lots of what I would call “cutting edge” art. For the most part, the seniors were young people and their enthusiasm about their skills led them to try to do new things.
Some of the pieces were shocking.
I came to one gallery and my wife and I were looking at a multi-media display. The artist incorporated video into the piece. As we watched the video, it was a couple having intercourse.
We were a bit taken aback but tried not to be too flustered. The gallery was full of people who were probably more “worldly” than we were.
I turned to Susan and commented, “ I hope the world does not end at this moment. I would be watching this video as the last thing I did on earth.”
It made for a good joke because Pastor Camping was not accurate in his prophecy.
But what will you be doing?
Stan Gerlach was telling people about Jesus.
His son said about him: “I’m so proud of him. My dad died doing what he loved most. He was telling people about Jesus.”
Chapter 2 is designed to make us think about how we are spending our time. Are we wasting it? Are we using it for good purposes?
Pastor Camping was incorrect in his end time prediction but everyone has an end time.
Where Will You Be? What Will You Be Doing?
Pastor Chan cites Matthew 10:32-33 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” You know those words brought a lot of comfort to Stan’s family.
Stan Gerlach’s family was heartbroken that Stan had to leave them but they knew Stan was in a good place, a place that Jesus refers to in John: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.…”
The assurances are there but what are we doing with our time?
Are we wasting it? Are we using it for good purposes?
There’s no better purpose than living life for our Lord and Savior.