The one who initially asked it was eighty years old; thus, it
certainly was appropriate for him. But then it is for everyone irrespective of
age, for no one has the slightest idea of how long he will live on this earth.
Death visits the members of the human race at all levels, from infancy right
through to the most advanced stage of life. Therefore, it is appropriate for you
to ask yourself this moment—"how long have I to live?"
A Most Alarming Question
Since you do not know the extent of your life, you should be
alarmed lest it suddenly end, and you find yourself unprepared for the world to
come. It is a clearly attested fact in Scripture that however long a person’s
life may be, the close of it in this world does not bring his existence to an
end. The soul lives on forever. Hebrews 9:27 states: "...it is appointed
unto men once to die, but after this the judgment".If you are still
pursuing a life of sin and neglect of your soul, how alarmed you should be lest
death come unexpectedly and your soul be plunged into the torments of hell. Luke
16:22,23 "...the rich man...died...and in hell he lift up his eyes,
being in torment..."
An Awakening Question
It is designed to awaken you to see the
need to prepare for eternity. Because you do not know how long you have to live,
and since you are presently without Christ, how essential that you take serious
steps to prepare to meet God.
What are those steps? To begin with, recognize that there is only one way
of salvation. Christ said: "I am the way...no man cometh unto the Father
but by me" (John 14: 6). Understand also that there is only one means of
entering upon that one way as Ephesians 2:8,9 make clear: "By grace are
ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of
God, not of works lest any man should boast." Clearly, then, sinners are
saved through the means of faith – Luke 18:42, "Thy faith hath saved
Just what is that faith that saves? Saving faith convinces a
man of his guilt and inability to save himself. Paul declares in Romans
3:19, 20 that "all...become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the
law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight...." Until you realize
your guilt and helplessness you can never be saved, for Christ "...came not
to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mark 2:17).
Furthermore, saving faith believes that God has provided
salvation through His Son Whom He sent into the world. Galatians 4:4,5 —
"...God sent forth His Son...to redeem them that were under the law...."
Therefore saving faith believes that Jesus of Nazareth alone is the promised
Saviour. 1 Timothy 2:5 — "For there is one God, and ONE Mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus...."
But, being convinced of all these truths, saving faith then
rests on the all-sufficiency of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is "...able
to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him" (Heb. 7:25). In
other words, His sacrificial death is an all-sufficient payment for sin, fully
satisfying the holy demands of God’s law. Throughout the Gospel, sinners are
urged and commanded to trust in this all-sufficient Saviour: "Believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). The one who truly
believes ceases from works to obtain salvation and rests whole-heartedly
on Christ alone, understanding that His work on the Cross is sufficient to save.
Finally, saving faith assures all who trust in Christ alone that all of
His righteousness is applied personally to them. Romans 4:7,8 — "Unto
whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose
iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." This assurance can be
yours if you will but "repent...and believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). I
urge you to do so today. Then, no matter how short your time may be, you will be
saved from sin, hell and the wrath to come. Isaiah 55:6 — "Seek ye the Lord
while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near."