Borrowed Truths

The Final Marker

the finasl marker
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The Final Marker

The best realization of the passage of time is not the incidentals that we fill our lives with, or that life encompasses us with, it is not watching as your children grow into adulthood, or as that puppy turns into a dog, it is death.

Death is the great marking point, it is the marker on the path of all that lives that reads, “This far, no further.” For the majority of people, it is only hope that keeps them from falling in fear of this unavoidable moment, for those who know Jesus Christ as Lord, it is an anticipated event, one of longing, one of the assurance of hope (Heb. 6:11) not some notion of it that cannot find rest when the last marker becomes visible.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55) Gone, the sting of death is fear, fear of the unknown, fear of no real assurance, it is hope without an anchor, floating on the sea of life, with no shore in sight.

In days gone by, when I believe assurance was more of a truth with our brothers and sisters now resting in heaven, crossing over Jordan was how they saw the last day, that marker that all living things must come to. There was assurance in Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” There was assurance in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” With that assurance came a confidence, a peace that passed all understanding, (Phil. 4:7) the manner of their death here mattered little to them, only that in their passing over Jordan they would not in any way dishonor His Holy name.

Today far too much emphasis is placed on remaining on the earth in the flesh, on healings, on self, and the topic of conversation for most is rarely that last marker. With the presence of persecution for the name of Jesus Christ, when Philippians 3:10 becomes truth, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” becomes a reality, the thought of death becomes a reality, not a thought only, but an event that will occur.

How we handle those thoughts of our final moment says quite a bit of how we are and have lived our lives for the glory of God. Few I believe in these last few decades have much in common in this area with either the first century Christians, or those who will know Jesus Christ as Lord in the days of Tribulation, those who will not love their lives to the end. (Rev. 12:11)

The fear of one’s own death has always been one of the most honed tools in Satan’s arsenal, he was and is so sure of it that he even said to the Almighty, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” (Job 2:4) And for the majority of mankind he is correct. Nearly anything that mankind can do to avert the inevitable marker on that road of life he will do, the masks and injections of the recent past show these words to be truth.

Everyone knows for a fact that they will one day draw their final breath, most will do all they can to prolong this life, few know no fear of that day. But even amongst those who are indeed our brothers and sisters in Christ, the subject is almost taboo, seen as morbid, and not something to dwell upon. They do not have the assurance of the perfect love that 1 John 4:18 speaks of, they see the Jordan River as a raging flood, not a trickling stream, much less one parting for them to walk on dry ground over.

It does not bother me in the least to offer this verse to those who still know this fear, to those who want just one more day, just one more minute, but claim a desire to be with the Lord, for I believe it stands in judgement against all who call themselves by the name of Christ, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) The first part they will agree with, the second, not so much, at least not while contemplating the final marker on the path of life.

How and when it arrives is irrelevant, what your actions and words are in that moment could possibly say quite a bit about how you have viewed Philippians 1:21 in this life.

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