Monday evening I was meeting with two young men as we are working through the Baptist Catechism and discussing the things of the gospel. One of the guys mentioned to me, "Aaron what do you think of the shootings at Virginia Tech?" I explained my great feelings of sorrow for what others have had to endure and what they are experiencing. I pray that I may never have to know that pain. However, my advice to the young man was this. Let this be an occasion to prepare for our own death. For we have not been promised tomorrow, and someone could very likely take our lives the very next day. Therefore consider tonight whether or not you are born again and when death comes for you, you will be ready to joyfully meet the one who made you.
The Lord recently has given me several opportunities to discuss similar situations with others...and I pray that all of us might consider this great situation. If life is here today and gone tomorrow, where is our sense of urgency for the "good evidence" of conversion in our lives and in the lives of those whom we love?
I have learned so much from reading about the life of Jonathan Edwards and feel that my thinking about this matter has been shaped by him in so many ways, therefore please allow me to quote from a much recommended book "A God Entranced Vision of All Things." The book is edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor. The publisher is Crossway (http://www.crossway.com). You can purchase it at http://www.desiringgod.org
This family (Edwards' family) who had hardly tasted death, yet they were very aware of its constant nearness. How easily might a woman die in childbirth. How easily might a child die of fever. How easily might one be struck by a shot or an arrow of war. How easily might a fireplace ignite a house fire, with all asleep and lost.Here is the call, let us make our preparations.
When Jonathan wrote to his children, he often reminded them--not morbidly, but almost as a matter of fact--how close death might be. For Jonathan, the fact of death led automatically to the need for eternal life. He wrote to their ten-year old Johnathan, Jr., about the death of a playmate. "This is a loud call of God to you to prepare for death....Never give yourself any rest unless you have good evidence that you are converted and become a new creature." (73-74)
Tom and Mike, thank you for our time in worship and celebration this morning. Grace and Peace!!!
In all things...Christ preeminent!