Episode 1. The Day is Coming
We pretty much want to believe that life as we know it is going to go on for ever. That’s what we’d like to believe, but it’s not true. And at the end of this life, there is going to be a day of reckoning. There just is. Most people live their lives as though […]
We pretty much want to believe that life as we know it is going to go on for ever. That’s what we’d like to believe, but it’s not true. And at the end of this life, there is going to be a day of reckoning. There just is.
Most people live their lives as though things will be okay. You know the story, chugging along, chugging along. A few little ups, a few little downs but basically same old, same old.
See, by and large, we don’t plan for disasters. We don’t plan on there being a tsunami, silent and deadly, hitting us tomorrow and 9.41 am. We don’t plan on having a heart attack or a stroke. We don’t plan on losing our job. We don’t plan on our children disappearing or our marriage falling apart. We don’t plan on a stock market crash wiping out half our wealth or, if not our wealth, then the wealth of the companies that employ us and the consumers whose spending keeps us in a job. We don’t plan on our house burning down or a war breaking out.
And above all, above all we don’t plan on dying. Kind of know that one day I guess we will but surely, surely that’s a long way off. We don’t plan on those cataclysmic events hitting us. But here’s the thing, a sure as God made little green apples, some of those things, not all of them, but some of them are going to hit you and me in our lifetimes.
Bit of a gloomy way to start off a week, isn’t it? But you get what I’m saying, right? Beyond perhaps having house insurance or car insurance or life insurance, those who can afford it and those who have things worth insuring, we don’t plan on cataclysmic events hitting us and impacting us and robbing us of the plans we have for life.
And after all, aren’t our plans, good plans? We plan on bringing up our kids and having them succeed. We plan on this and that. Good things, things that we look forward to.
You know there are people listening to this program, people living right in the middle of a war zone. People living in extreme poverty and given all the places where this programs heard, there are more of those people listening today than there are in the wealthy west, I have to tell you. Those people, if you’re one of them, you have good plans for peace. Enough money to feed your children. A roof over your head and maybe even clean drinking water that you don’t have to walk miles for.
It doesn’t matter who we are or where we live or what colour our skin is, we have good plans for our lives. And most of us kind of live in this delusional state as though our lives, here on this earth, are going to go on forever.
I know that I don’t give an awful lot of thought to dying. I just don’t. I’m planning the next program, the next series, the next book. I’m working hard as though I’m going to live forever on the one hand. But on the other, knowing that one day I am going to die.
That second part is much more in the background. There’s a real danger here. If we live only for today, as if the good things in our lives are never going to end, one day, one day we’re going to get a very rude shock.
The stock markets such a great case in point. I’m no expert but here’s what I see. The stocks start off low. They go up, they go up. Company profits go up. People who are in the market are getting richer and richer. And all of a sudden greed cuts in.
“Hey, lets borrow lots of money and buy shares.” It’s called margin lending. “Let’s buy big houses and have lots of debt. After all, look how wealthy we are. Look at the value of our share portfolio.” And then, almost like a thief in the night, the stock market crashes. Lots and lots, of men in particular, commit suicide because their hopes and their dreams are dashed when their security has gone. It’s a familiar cycle. It’s a cycle that repeats itself every few years in fact. The market goes up and up and up and up and up. How long can it keep going up?
I don’t know but lets keep believing. Let’s keep believing that it’s going to keep going up and up and up. But there is always, always an end to that bull Run. Either a small correction, a major correction or a crash. As sure as God made little green apples.
Yet people spend and create debt and live out their greed as though that won’t happen. Even though, wait for this, it’s an absolute certainty that it will.
I’m interested in two quotes from so-called experts on the 1987 stock market crash. Have a listen to these. On the one hand, Robert Hagstrom in Investing The Last Liberal Art writes this:
The market crash of 1987 caught most economists, scholars and investment professionals by surprise. Nowhere in the classical equilibrium based view of the markets so long considered inviolate was there anything that would predict or even describe the events of 1987. The failure of the existing theory left open to potential for competing theories.
So, what he’s saying is that it was completely unpredictable. But have a listen to George Soros in The Alchemy Of Finance. He writes:
Technically the crash of 1987 bears an uncanny resemblance to the crash of 1929. The shape and the extent of the decline and even the day-to-day movements of the stock prices track very closely.
That’s why I’m always looking for one-armed economist because they’re always telling on the one hand but on the other. See, one guy here, one expert says it was completely unpredictable and the other expert is saying it was completely predictable.
What do you think? Well, you know, of course it was completely predictable. Maybe not the exact timing or the extent but stock markets can’t always keep going up. Sometimes, sometimes they have to come down.
And there’s something else in life that’s completely predictable, with absolute certainty. One day, one day, maybe today, maybe tomorrow or maybe in fifty years time but one day my life and your life on this earth are going to come to an end. Bang! Finished!
The statistics are these. Out of every 100 people, just pick a random sample of 100 people alive on this planet earth. Out of the 6.5 billion pick 100 people. Out of that sample of 100 people, precisely 100 are going to die at some point. Would you agree with that? And the only way that’s not going to happen is if Jesus comes back before they’re due to die.
But either way their lives here on this earth are going to be over at some point. My life, your life, are going to be over at some point. It’s absolutely certain. So let me ask you this, when that happens, not if, there are no if’s or but’s about it – when that happens are you ready to face eternity? Well, are you?
Or are you so busy living life for today? So busy believing the stock market’s is always going to go up and up and up, that you’ve lost sight of the absolute certainty of death.
I’m sorry to be so direct but this is so important. It demands directness. Listen to this, John 3 verse 36:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever disobeys the Son will not see life but must endure God’s wrath.
That’s the reality. That’s the certainty. And that demands our attention. So, for the next few weeks on the program, this is what we’re going to be talking about. I’ve called this series, “If You Die Tonight, Would You Be Ready For Eternity?”
So let me ask you, if you died tonight, are you ready for eternity? No “if’s”, no “but’s”, no “maybe’s”, are you ready?
Are you ready to stand before God and give an account of your life on that day? Because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.