What a shame, we start our lives out being taught the knowledge of the world, math, science and the arts, we seek social structure in sports and other worldly activities, in friendships of other people in the world, we seek entertainment in every imaginable way from the world. We leave our parents’ home, or the place that cared for us in our youth, and set out to seek the things of the world on our own, a spouse, children, one or perhaps several employment options, entertaining ourselves with the things of the world along the way. Anticipating a long and fruitful life.
In our mid-sixties, seventies and even beyond for some, we still sit at the desk, pouring thru the papers upon it, hoping to still find our place in the world that is quickly leaving us behind. We look forward to different forms of entertainment, ones not so strenuous, not so demanding upon a body that is now beginning to deteriorate at an alarming rate. The visits to the gravesites of friends becomes commonplace, we have lived a full life with all the expected highs and lows that accompany great age, and then it is our turn to leave, nothing to look forward to but the past, memories and the waiting to leave fill our final days. We have gained the whole world, (Matt. 16:26) or as much of it as we could, and we will take none of it with us but those memories. What a shame.
A life lived without Christ is a sad, sorrowful life indeed, a life filled with the buried deep knowledge that it will someday come to an end, and that it will end in complete hopelessness, no known future beyond the grave can be comprehended, only possibilities with no truth to back them up. Holding onto as much of the world as they can, needing to constantly feel needed, by their employer, their family, their friends, by anyone, “When I am no longer needed, I will be useless.” These vessels fitted for wrath, these lost souls that the wrath of God abides on, (John 3:36) are the most among men to be pitied. They have served only one god for the entirety of their lives, and not even this god when they reach the final days of their life will be useful to them. At best, they have based that small, hidden voice within them on the hope of works, the scale they hope will fall in their favor, the good has outweighed the bad, and they will be granted entrance into the imagined afterlife that they have concocted within their own minds.
Perhaps the religious order they have occasionally frequented has promised them continued prayers, prayers to appease the one who sits upon the throne of that religions imagined place of rest, more works that need to be done so that the “good man” will not see suffering. A life filled continuously with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) has been accomplished, all for self and the sake of the continuance of the human race, and now the rewards of a job well done are expected, for they have proven themselves worthy, with little to no fault in their own eyes. What a shame, so sad.
They were kind, polite people thinking only of others, seeking the best for the poor and indigent, giving up much of their own free time in the service of their fellow man, seeking to assist all they could to reap all the happiness that the world could provide. Depriving themselves so others might have, going out of their way to provide for the needs of others, while depriving themselves regularly of these same needs, seeking only the welfare of those who are hurting. They imagine their rewards to be great, all that they have sacrificed will be returned to them in untold amounts, for they have served man well and with much loss to themselves.
Their reward for serving man will be the same reward that the one who served the world will be, and my friends, if you are serving your church, your religious organizations for any other reason than to glorify God and lift up the name of Jesus, if you have not been saved by the grace of God thru Jesus Christ, you will spend eternity in the same place that the kindest, most gentle person who ever lived will be that never accepted Christ. There are individuals in nearly every single church on this planet who show up on a very regular basis, many who have read the Scriptures thru several times who will not be in the presence of the Lord until the great white judgement throne. They know our Lord with their lips only, but their heart is far from Him. (Matt. 15:8) A close examination of their works will show them to have all stemmed from and for the world, God is in church, and that is where they keep Him, they serve men and themselves, and their works for the world of man is seen by them as proof of their salvation. They have preached in His name, they have cast out demons, but their heart is far from Him. (Matt. 7:22) They seek a crown of glory, but will remove themselves at all cost from a crown of shame or suffering.
These have given nothing of substance to the Lord, their lives have born no fruit, they have memorized words from the Scriptures, but never placed them in their heart, they are good, church going people, ones you can always count on to help with the things of this world, and that is the only place they will ever receive a reward. These are all the same in the eyes of the Lord, the one who serves the world fervently for his own gain, the one who serves man for his own needs, and the individual that serves his church while deceiving himself that he is serving the Lord. They are all lost. What a shame.