“I live now on borrowed time, waiting in the anteroom for the summons that will inevitably come. And then – I go on to the next thing, whatever it is. One doesn’t, luckily, have to bother about that” (Agatha Christie, British writer – novels, short stories, and plays, September 5, 1890 – January 12, 1976).
I suppose the first portion of this quote by Agatha Christie is, for the most part, accurate – it is inevitable that we will all one day experience death and be summoned to a life that follows our life on this earth (unless, of course, we are alive at the time Christ comes again, but only God knows when that will be – Matthew 24:36). Unfortunately, the tone of her words is troubling and, sadly, shared by many today. Although I admittedly know nothing of Ms. Christie’s religious beliefs, it would seem that she gave little thought as to what would happen to her after her life on this earth was over.
Ms. Christie said she would “go on to the next thing, whatever it is.” Yet, because the Bible gives us a glimpse of that “next thing,” we don’t have to wonder what it is. First, the Bible tells us that the end of a person’s life on earth is not the end of his existence. The Bible tells us that Abraham gave up the ghost, died of a good old age, full of years, and went to be with his people. (Genesis 25:8). Man has a spirit that will exist throughout all eternity. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Solomon’s words do not indicate that all will return to God to spend eternity with him, but that all will one day return to God to be judged by him. Second, the Bible tells us that those who do not obey the gospel will experience everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:41; II Thessalonians 1:8) while those who righteously follow after God’s will can experience everlasting life (Matthew 25:46).
Why would anyone think that “luckily, they don’t have to bother about that?” Friends, we need to give attention to our future! We must never take on the attitude of Felix who, when he heard Paul’s preaching concerning righteousness, temperance, and judgment, replied, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee” (Acts 24:25). We must never allow the gospel call to go unanswered! We must never wait until tomorrow to seek God’s forgiveness (II Corinthians 6:2). We must always set our affection on things above, rather than on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2). We must never surrender to Satan by becoming lazy or apathetic in regards to our Father’s business. Too many “Christians” think the measure of their faithfulness consists merely of “sitting in the pews” and have allowed themselves to become lukewarm (Revelation 3:16)! We must never bury the talent God has given us (Matthew 25:26-30). I see too many Christians who have left their first love (Revelation 2:4), have simply quit laboring in the kingdom and have for all practical purposes “buried their heads in the sand.”
The eternal destiny of your soul is far too important for you to feel that “luckily, you don’t have to bother about that.” On the contrary, give your soul all the attention it deserves!