The older I get, the more I am aware that many people I once knew are no longer living. I remember a time when I once thought that people much younger than I am now, had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. Yet in my mind, I don’t seem that old. Many of you would see me as old. Some of you would see me as not so old, or even young. Those of you my age and older will understand exactly what I am talking about. The rest of you will eventually find out.
I remember well my great grandfather and great grandmother on my Dad’s side of the family. I recall so well the smell of his pipe tobacco and her flowers in the front yard, but they both passed away many years ago.
I had the privilege of knowing both sets of my grandparents very well. The memories are priceless. Now, they too are gone, as well as my parents.
I have now moved up to take their place, first the dad, then the grandfather, and who knows, maybe even the great-grandfather, if the Lord delays His coming and allows me to live long enough.
As we age, there comes a time when we start feeling our vulnerability with life and death, totally unlike our childhood when we seldom, if ever, thought of death.
Many on both sides of my family are gone. Most of those, who are left, have moved up to fill that senior position.
I can remember so many good times when growing up with my brother and sisters. It seems the little things we experienced back then, mean so much to me now.
Several of those who were my fellow classmates in school are gone. I can hear the laughter now as we played together, but only for a short time in my mind. Now there is quietness, and the crowd keeps getting smaller. Those who knew Jesus as their Savior, I will see again.
There are a few websites on the Internet where you can see the listing, and often an accompanying photograph, of famous people who have died. Many of the “movie stars”, especially those who played the cowboys, were such a part of my make-believe life. You would be surprised at the odd feeling you get when viewing those famous names, who were once a part of your life, and are now gone. Many made their mark in this world in areas such as acting, music, politics, religion, poetry, authors, comedy, business, etc. Now I find, for example with the “movie stars”, that I have no idea who many of these young movie actors are. Where did all those go who I watched so many times, so many years ago? They’re gone. How many of them knew Jesus as their Savior? I’ll just have to wait and see.
In Hebrews 9:27 the Scripture says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” If we have been fortunate enough to grow old physically, this verse really comes alive. Did you know that when we are born (physically), we also start dying (physically), and when this life (physical) is over, we all will face God, either as our Judge or our Savior? “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
Something else that I am discovering as I grow older is that I don’t fear death as you would think I should. Now don’t get me wrong. I have no fondness of dying, anymore than the next guy. It would be nice to skip that part, and go to Heaven via the Rapture, but that may not happen for me. However, with David, I know that, “… though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) I don’t take that verse lightly. It means more to me every day.
As I think back on all the people I have known, whether family, friends, or those I have only known via the media, one thing stands out. None have ever taken anything with them. The awards are up in the attic, stashed away in some old dusty boxes. Someone else is living in the house. The cars have been sold off, as well as the furniture. The money they earned now belongs to someone else that did not earn it. Someone else is wearing the jewelry. Even the clothes have been trashed or given away. The fame and renown is fading away in some old newspaper and in the memories of those who also will soon die.
They have left this world with less than what they had when they entered it. Did you realize that? We enter this world as a soul that has an earthly body. We leave this world as a soul without an earthly body. It, the body, goes back to the earth. By the way, many think we are a body with a soul, but that is not true. We are a soul with a body. Every soul will stand before God totally naked, not even a body to cover them, with the exception of those who have called upon Jesus, by their trust in Him, to stand in their place.
Far, far too many lived for the temporary, and went out facing that which is eternal. Only those in Jesus Christ are now in eternity with Him enjoying life everlasting. The others will live forever, but in a state of eternal death in Hell, then the Lake of Fire. Our earthly bodies will live but only a few years, but our souls will live forever, either with God, or apart from Him.
Where are they now? It all depends upon their relationship with Jesus Christ prior to exiting this world. Do you know where you will be when your body dies? Now would be a good time to know.
It really doesn’t matter how much we own or accomplish while living upon this earth. We will not be taking anything with us anyway. It will all go to someone else. Even the fame we may accomplish while here, will eventually fade away. I have read of so many “movie stars”, for example, who accomplished so much while living, but where are they now? All those who have died without Christ would give it all away, if they could come back and have just one more chance to choose wisely for Christ.
Even if their accomplishments are still being displayed for the world to enjoy, and their name is now revered in the annals of history, where is their soul? The body has gone back to the dust from where it came, never to rise again in an earthly state, but where is their soul? Where are they now?
More and more people today are proclaiming to be atheists or agnostics, but I can assure you that there are no atheists or agnostics in Hell. They are all now staunch believers, but it is too late.
Over the past few years, I have wondered about the eternal fate of many people, especially those I only knew through the fame they may have achieved in this world. How many of the names on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, are named in Heaven? How many of the names from the millions of books that have been written, are written in Heaven? How many faces posthumously seen on the movie screens of this world, will be seen in Heaven? Where are they now?
Where will you be, when family, friends, and others who knew you or knew of you, remember you in the past tense?