Summary: This sermon was designed to direct its audience to the reality of death and how living in the light of death will serve to keep our lives focused and our priorities in order.
Our Days Are Numbered
May 5, 2002
A man went in for his annual checkup and received a phone call from his physician a couple of days later.
The doctor said, "I’m afraid I have some bad news for you."
"What’s the news?" the man asked. "Well, you have only 48 hours to live."
"That is bad news!" said the shocked patient.
" I’m afraid I have even worse news," the doctor continued.
"What could be worse than what you’ve already told me?" the patient stammered.
"I’ve been trying to call you since yesterday."
Death. The mere mention of the word causes many people, including Christians, to shiver. It’s been said that people will talk about nearly anything these days, but the one taboo left in America is the topic of death. Preacher John Lares said in his message, "Good News for a Weeping World":
Do you know what the modern taboo is? I read an article recently that said that we now wear on our T-shirts what we used to keep secret from our closest friends. Isn’t that the truth? Look at the messages on some T-shirts. How open our society is about so many things! When I was young, you didn’t talk about a lot of those things, especially in mixed company. Now, it seems that anything goes--except for one subject. You know what the modern taboo is? Death, don’t talk to people about death. They don’t want to talk about it.
Well John you’re right. Generally speaking, people don’t want to talk about death. Oh, it’s true enough that we are aware of its inevitability. Most of us are honest enough to admit its going to happen to us one day. But the fact remains that we still don’t want to have an honest discussion about it. It’s morbid. It’s depressing, It’s too morose. Granted, it can be these things, but only if we separate death from life. You see from God’s perspective, death is merely the beginning of real life. Real life, that is, if we have openly accepted the gift of His Son Jesus Christ into our hearts.
It’s just interesting to me that death was never part of the big picture. When our original parents, Adam and Eve, were created, they were created perfect. This means that they were created to live forever. Well, the first few days went smoothly enough, but then the train got derailed. Here’s how it really happened…
And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetable of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.
And Satan created McDonald’s. And McDonald’s brought forth the 99 cent double cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?" And Man said, "Super size them." And Man gained pounds.
And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that Man so admired.
And Satan brought forth chocolate. And woman gained pounds.
And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."
And Satan brought forth ice cream. And woman gained pounds.
And God said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them."
And Satan brought forth chicken fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained pounds and his bad cholesterol went straight through the roof.
And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.
And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2. And Man gained pounds.
And God said, "You’re running up the score, Devil." And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.
And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.
And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery and gastric bypass surgery.
And Satan created HMO’s.
Seriously though, God’s original creation was perfect in every way. Adam and Eve were originally designed to live forever. But then Satan got involved and the whole wonderful party was crashed. Sin entered into mankind’s history and severely affected his relationship with God. Since then we have had to deal with death. It’s fascinating to me to read the story of Lazarus. Just before Jesus raised His friend from the dead, did you know that Jesus wept? I know, many of us know this to be the shortest verse in the Bible, but in my humble opinion it is also one of the most profound.