Summary: How will you die?
There is a country song by Toby Keith that says, "We're all just killin' time until the Good Lord takes us home and the best that you can hope for is to die with your boots on." The phrase die with your boots on has been around a long time and has been used to describe good guys and bad guys dying in some other manner than natural causes or asleep in their bed usually as a result of a violent act.
Many preachers express a desire to die with their boots on meaning be active in some phase of ministry. I know of one pastor that actually died in the middle of a sermon. He paused and at first the congregation thought the length of the pause was for emphasis until someone went up and felt his cold hand. He died standing up in his boots. An envious position to say the least. Others have died as a martyr and died with their boots on even if they were barefoot.
2 Tim 4:5-8
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. KJV
The Apostle Paul and many men in the Bible died with their boots on. They were doing God's will right up to their last breath whether they died of the illness they died of like Elisha, sawn asunder like Isaiah, stoned like Stephen, by the sword as James, the brother of John, crucified like Peter or beheaded like Paul. There is a rather long list and even a generic list of martyrs in Heb 11. Very few hoar heads went down to their grave in peace. They seemed to have missed the prosperity message preached today.
Too many want the crowns and accolades, but not the good fight. They want to kick back under a magnolia tree in their lawn recliner with a iced sweet tea and a soft breeze awaiting the Rapture. They are AWOL or think they are on permanent R&R. We are Ambassadors until our King calls us out by death or Rapture. We are soldiers in battle until our dust off when our wounds are healed and our valor rewarded.
Souls are dying every second. We have no time to be goldbricking. We have a course to finish and a faith to keep. We have comrades to exhort and defend. It is high time to arise from our sleep. Reveille has long sounded. The battle is hot. The crowns go to those who die with their boots on, not the ones lounging about in their bunks. No more malingering! Get up, Soldiers! It is a great day to die to self and if need be to die for Christ. Don't die ashamed or a coward! Die with your boots on the ground! Maranatha!