Death is not the end

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Psalm 90 gives us confidence for the future

By James Epp

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12, ESV

I’ve been thinking about death lately. Not in a morbid way, but rather about the inevitability of it for everyone—as well as the reality of my own inevitable demise. Part of this thinking was brought about by the death of my father. He was 84 when he died. I was 40. A couple of years later I realized that I was half the age of my father at his death. So theoretically, if I live as many years as my father, I was already half done. 

The implications are sobering. Is it possible that I’ve been alive for more days than I have left, as though a clock that had been ticking up has begun ticking down? Is there a clock somewhere in eternity that is ticking down the years, the months, the weeks, the days, the hours, the minutes and the seconds to my last breath? I wonder. 

I would despair if death were the end. But death is not the end. My father is very much alive today. God is not God of the dead but of the living. My dad is more alive than at any time during his earthly journey. I am profoundly thankful for the heritage that my earthly father left me. He loved the Lord. He served the Lord. Generations of my forefathers knew Jesus and followed him. I am at the receiving end of the promise of love “to a thousand generations.” 

Psalm 90 gives me great confidence. God has been our dwelling place in all generations. He has always existed, and in the beginning he created the world by the power of his might, speaking the world into existence. He then breathed life into man, a living soul.   

We are dust … wonderfully animated and living image bearers of our Creator. When we die, we return to dust. Eighty-four years or a thousand years makes no difference to God; they are but a watch in the night. In a moment we are swept away and our place remembers us no more…like a dream…like the grass…like a flower…like the evening that fades into darkness…and then the end.

But death is not the end.  When we lay down this temporary dwelling, this broken and sinful body, life will have just begun. How can we be sure? How can we be certain? Jesus! Jesus is alive. Jesus died for my sins on the cross. Jesus conquered death by rising from the dead. Jesus satisfied God’s justice and righteousness. And now I know that I will live forever, even as Jesus is alive forevermore.

We have a limited number of days. Live well and make your days count for eternity.

James Epp is the pastor at Crossroads Bible Fellowship, the USMB church in Balko, Okla.

 

 

 

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