Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Perishing: The Peril of Procrastination

image from thesmartpreppers.com

“Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."”       Luke 13:1-5 NASB

We have studied these verses for the last several days. (Links to previous posts in this series are here: Remembering 9 11Unless You RepentThe Difference Between the Crowd and Disciples, and What Does it Mean to Repent? Click on the link to read)

Our series winds down with a look at apollymi, the word translated as "perish". apollymi comes from two root words meaning separation and destruction. Vine's clarifies this word as "not extinction, but ruin, loss, not of being, but of well-being."

"Perish," then, means our existence as a spiritual being does not end. Instead, we are separated from the God who loves us and our well-being is completely destroyed. We spend eternity in torment. It is an ongoing perishing; not a one-time death.

I don't know about you, but neither separation from God nor eternal torment are appealing to me. Either option alone is enough to make me want to change my ways. 

Our refusal of godly repentance (the kind of repentance that results in changed mind and changed behavior) can only result from one of three things. Either we want eternal torment (which seems unlikely) or we do not believe God is serious about hell or we believe a loving God will give us another chance later.

After three decades as a physician, I can say with absolute certainty that life is fragile and length of days is not promised to us. Our lives can end in an instant, when we least expect it, and any hope of another chance will be gone.  

If there is something I hope to do, a goal I want to accomplish, a relationship I hope to restore, now is the time, for I may not have tomorrow.

If we want to have eternal life,    than eternal perishing, now is the time to repent and turn to God, for we have no assurance of tomorrow's ease. Just as the Galileans in the passage above were unexpectedly killed as they stood in the temple, we, too, can meet death when we least expect it. 

I need to live ready, prepared to meet God at any moment.

The "prepper" movement is very popular right now. In anticipation of a coming collapse of life as we know it, people are preparing with alternate energy sources, stored food and water, and survival gear. Prudent preparation is certainly wise, as the American lifestyle may not be sustainable in the long run, but storage of temporal supplies is not the only preparation we need to make.

How tragic it would be to prepare for earthly survival, but fail to prepare for that which matters most of all - eternal survival.

Stop and consider your spiritual condition. If your life ended today, would you be prepared to step into eternity with our Lord? Are you a part of the crowd or one of His disciples? Is our Lord a word in a book or a friend in a precious relationship?

Today is the day. Stop procrastinating about that which matters most. Make sure you're prepared for eternity. 

Live ready.
Our Father, forgive us for our procrastination. Help us to repent, changing both our minds and our behavior. Turn us to You and prepare us for eternity. In Jesus' name, Amen.

#disciple #JesusChrist #Bible #procrastination #repent #prepper #eternallife