by Jefferson David Tant
There is something that I believe comes into the minds of every living being from time to time. And that “something” is “What is in the future for me — tomorrow, next week, next year, ten years?” Some seeking to know, go to fortune tellers who are good at guessing. Then there are some who carefully make plans for their future.
For many young people, the future may simply involve what’s going to be done during the summer vacation, or what career should be pursued, and obviously of importance is the question concerning who to marry.
But far and above all these questions is the question “Where will I spend eternity?” That is the ultimate “future.”
I’m afraid that far too often, eternity is not in the minds of many young people. If they have any interest in eternity at all, it is something for the future, when they get older. There are three serious problems with this thinking.
- Some young people don’t make it to their older years. I can’t count the number of young people in their teens, or even younger, who have died and gone to their eternal reward, and sadly, some may not have been prepared to die. Oh, they may have intended to become a Christian and serve God someday, but “someday” never came. It’s not on the calendar.
- Another problem with delay is the fact that at times they get so caught up in the world that they cannot escape its hold on them. It may be that Satan has so enticed them with sin that they cannot seem to break loose. Or it may simply be that things of the world that may not be sinful in themselves, whether riches or earthly pleasures consume their thoughts and time, so that there is little, if any, time for God.
- The end may come at any moment in time. We are not told when the world will come to an end, but it will happen. And when that moment comes, it will obviously be too late to make any preparation.
Wise King Solomon wrote some words of wisdom in Ecclesiastes 11:9: “Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.” Obviously, it is not wrong to rejoice and experience pleasant days, but be sure that the course you pursue is in keeping with God’s guidelines.
This is not to say that there will not be any days of trouble or discouragement that will come. Satan doesn’t give up easily.
Christ told the story of a rich man who had everything he could want, but his riches did not provide for his eternity.
"Then He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions." And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man was very productive. "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?' "Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."' "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?' "So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:15-21).
The rich man may have been thinking, “I have it all. I’ve got riches and a good life. What else would I need?” Sadly, he found out what else he needed, but it was too late. It would have been good if he had heeded the words of wisdom that God’s Word has given us.
"Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that" (James 4:13-15).
The young man or woman who is not committed to Christ may be thinking, “I’ve got plenty of time. I’ll get my life on the right track later.” But as James said in the preceding verses, you don’t know for certain what tomorrow, next month, or next year will bring. There are two things that could happen.
- You could die from some unexpected disease or accident, or
- Christ may return.
Remember that He said that the end would be sudden and unannounced. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:35-36).
The words of the wise Solomon should be taken to heart, as he encouraged young people to “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, 'I have no delight in them'" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
You can’t go wrong in following Solomon’s admonition.