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Now and Hereafter (published in The North Weld Herald, 3/3/11)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:16 PM by Fccea Webmaster
A banker approaches the Pearly Gates struggling with a heavy suitcase. Saint Peter greets him, "Lose the suitcase and come in." "No way!" barks the banker. "I have to bring it in." "What could possibly be so important?" asks Peter. The banker opens the suitcase revealing 50 gold bricks. Peter's jaw drops: "You brought pavement?" Gold bricks -- a waste material in eternity!

I love high schoolers. I was with a group the other day and asked, "How long do you think you will live?" We figured about 75 years on average -- give or take. Then I asked, "How long will you exist?" It was like a light bulb went on.

If I could get any result by waving a magic wand, I'd want everyone in the world to realize there's a "hereafter". Given that, there is a high probability that most of us are wasting our "now". We just dont think beyond that 80 years we think we are owed.

We'd never go on a month-long trip to Europe and only plan out our first day. We would have every day scheduled out as much as possible. So, why so little thought beyond your 80 years of "now", given the eternity to follow?

Either we don't really believe there will be a hereafter -- or we don't believe that anything we do now has relevance to that hereafter.

Jesus believed in "hereafter". He taught that faith in him "now" is deeply relevant to entering heaven "hereafter". He said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

He also taught that what we do as believers "now" impacts our "hereafter" dramatically. He said, "And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward" (Matt 10:42). It's not gold that counts, it's giving.

Is it possible that you are storing up nothing? Shortly before he died, Lord Byron, an unbeliever to the end of his 36 dissolute years, wrote "My days are in yellow leaf,/The flower and fruit of life are gone;/The worm, the canker and the grief/Are mine alone." On his deathbed he said, "Shall I sue for mercy?" After a long pause, he added, "Come, come, no weakness; let's be a man to the last. Good night."

Contrast that with the Apostle Paul who though beaten, scarred, scorned and eventually martyred went to his death with these words, "I have fought a good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day."

"Now" has a lot to do with "hereafter".

By His Grace, Pastor Dave