The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(a repeat from 2011)
"I wonder if our obsession with longevity is really healthy?" - Christopher Buckley.
The Biblical answer to Mr. Buckley's question is yes and no.
"He hath set the world (eternity) in their heart" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
"What is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).
Only the fool emphasizes the quantity of earthly life rather than quality. We have no guarantee of threescore and ten, no guarantee of tomorrow, and no guarantee of even the next earthly moment. We have this moment, along with its great and looming issue: am I living right now for the glory of God, the fulfillment of His will, and the furtherance of His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus? Born again believers in the Lord Jesus must devote themselves to this quality of existence, which alone defines our lives as genuinely life. "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).
A place remains, however, for quantity of life as a valid desire and hope. This includes our present life. The Bible speaks of the hope for "length of days" regarding our earthly sojourn (Proverbs 3:2;16). Even more, however, eternity is in our hearts. The eternal God formed in us our desire for eternally permanent consciousness and experience. Through Christ, He makes possible - and actual in those who believe - an eternity of Heavenly life with Him. Emphasis upon this longevity is a very healthy thing, even as it presses us toward focus on the matter of quality in our present earthly lives. We live today in the light of forever, experiencing the life that can be found only as we realize that "How well?" must guide us rather than "How long?"
"Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:17-18).
Every human being will exist forever. However, not every human being will live forever. Nor will every human being presently breathing live today. The Lord Jesus Christ is the issue. "I am... the life" He declared, the life for this day, this lifetime, and eternity to come (John 14:6). The quality of our lives is determined by how consistently we know, trust, love, obey, and exemplify Him to our world in example and word. Quantity, the real quantity of eternal life, flows from emphasizing the quality of God's devotion to us, and ours to Him. Our "obsession with longevity" is therefore very healthy as long as the life on which we maintain primary focus is Heavenly rather than earthly.
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.