Summary: To walk with the Lord in this life, is to walk with him in eternal life.
- A reporter named Karen Jordan who recently walked along the main street of a College University and asked a most profound question of those who were passing by: "If today were your last day on earth, how would you spend it?" She reported the following answers: Tony said, "I would get drunk, do as much dope as I can, and be with two pretty women. That’s my dream." Chris responded, "I would spend it in the desert or a very peaceful place. I would just try to enjoy every moment and get connected to God and nature." Vera, an older woman, said, "I would phone my family and visit my friends." Lou Ann said, "I would ride around in my new, old convertible. I just bought a 1968 250 SL." And finally Jacqueline said, "I would spend my last day with Gene."
- Well, what about you. How would you spend your last day on earth? What would be your priority? Your main mission? I am sure if I went around the room this morning and asked each of you that question, we would get a wide range of answers. Perhaps it may seem like a dismal topic, but I think it is important for each of us from time to time to remind ourselves that we are not immortal. That the end will come for each of us, some sooner and some later.
- Now I don’t know if you are aware of a recent popular book series that is sweeping our country. But, for the first time in quite a while, there are Christian non-fiction books which have made it to top of the New York Times Bestseller list. The books are written by Tim Lahaye and one of the more popular books of the series is entitled, "Left Behind." And whether or not you agree with the theology of the books, which I do not, the one thing that can be said about them, is they are causing people to think about their life with the perspective that someday it will end.
- With this thought in mind it takes us now to our last story of Elijah found in II Kings 2. It has been quite a ride up to this point, and now it is about to come to a glorious end. Listen to the first 6 verses of chapter 2....
- Now you can imagine the thoughts that are running through Elijah’s mind as he makes his farewell tour. As he goes to each of these important cities, first to Gilgal, then to Bethel, and finally to Jericho. Each time meeting with the school of prophets in each of those cities. And each time asking Elisha to stay behind. But Elisha continues, knowing that his masters time is almost up. Can you imagine what was racing through Elijahs mind.
- Why I can imagine he was thinking back to that moment when he confronted King Ahab and told him there would be no rain or dew in the land for years. I can imagine he was remembering the Ravine where the Lord hid him, with food coming from the Raven and water coming from the brook. I’m sure he remembered that widow who housed him for several years, and her son who he brought back to life.
- And as Elijah walked from city to city, he probably went back to that day when the Lord sent fire down from heaven to consume the altar. And then a frown comes on his face as he remembers those difficult days when he ran in fear and frustration. And God came in a gentle whisper to remind Elijah that he is always at work in his people. But then, as Elijah thinks back, a smile comes to his face as he thinks about Elisha. The understudy who refuses to stay behind. And Elijah can remember that day when he went and chose Elisha to follow him, to learn from him, to raise him up as a great prophet. And now the roller coaster ride is about to come to an end. As all things do!
- As you look back on your life. What images come to your mind. What thoughts do you conjure up? How will you be remembered on that last day? What will your kids say about you, your spouse? If you knew today was going to be your last day on earth, as Elijah did, wouldn’t you take time to reminisce, to remember the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. Where you came from, how you became who you are today? And as you reminisced, as you looked back on your life, what would be the one thing that could be said about you?
- Whenever I sit down with family members and friends who have lost a loved one. As we plan out the funeral service, and as I prepare my funeral sermon, there is a question that I always ask the family... "How would he or she want to be remembered?" And so as Elijah travels from town to town, school to school, with Elisha by his side, the thoughts race through his mind. What was my legacy? What was my imprint on time?