Life is short. Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. Two episodes ago, I told of 2 recent deaths that happened 5 days apart. Both men died of the same thing — their hearts just stopped. Both men had plans for their tomorrows. My cousin, who was 67, had plans to see his 6th grandchild be born. My colleague, who was 76, probably had a mentoring session with a budding entrepreneur that he was eager to help. In an instant their lives were over.
The shortness of life is Solomon’s next topic. Let’s dig in…
This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor. 2 The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t.
3 It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway. 4 There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”
5 The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. 6 Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth. 7 So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! 8 Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!
9 Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. 10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.
Thoughts on Wisdom and Folly
13 Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works. 14 There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it. 15 A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him. 16 So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.
17 Better to hear the quiet words of a wise personEcclesiastes 9 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
than the shouts of a foolish king.
18 Better to have wisdom than weapons of war,
but one sinner can destroy much that is good.
Wow! Those last 2 passages are powerful. Read them again. Who do you listen to? The wise person or the foolish leader? And, verse 18 can be applied to any of the wars of the few centuries.
More Points to Ponder
- The moment you die, you forfeit any possibility of changing your eternal destination — forever.
- Die without Jesus and you’ll live without Jesus forever.
- Die with Jesus and you’ll live with Jesus forever.
- Now’s the time to repent — once you’re dead it’s too late.
- Nevertheless, while you’re still on this earth…
- Time and chance happen to all. Under God, there are no coincidences.
- Only in and through Jesus do we have Eternal Life. Outside of Jesus we have eternal damnation.
A Tale of Two Men
Where my cousin and colleague are spending eternity are probably 2 totally different places.
In my colleague’s case, I’m sure the moment he died, his body fell to the floor, but his soul was in Heaven with Jesus. I have that assurance because he was born again. Years ago, a born-again, Christian employer told Him about Jesus, and he accepted God’s Grace and Life Eternal through Jesus.
My cousin, however, was a lapsed Catholic. Now, I don’t know if before he died, he happened to look on Facebook, saw one of my posts and ended up on the page that says, “How to Invite Jesus into Your Life“. I don’t know and it makes me sad.
I believe there are many Catholics & Progressives and, yes, “woke” people in hell crying & asking “Why?” They did what society, false preachers, popes and priests told them to do. They went to church and went through the rituals. They called themselves Christians. More than that, they did good works, volunteered and served. Yet, they missed the crucial step of repentance and acceptance that leads to salvation through Jesus Christ only.
That so separated them from God, they will never get an answer.
With that said, it’s not too late for you!
While you are still in this world, you can make the crucial choice of where you are going to spend eternity: Heaven or hell.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…