Many of us have read the following that should cause all of us to stop and think soberly about the future. On graduation night a father asked his son, “What are your plans?” The boy answered, “Dad, you know I am going to college.” His dad replied, “That’s right, but what then?” His son replied, “Well, I’ll get a good job and hopefully get married.” The dad said, “That’s good, but what then?” The boy said, “Well, I don’t know. I guess I’ll grow old and die.” The dad said, “That’s right. What then?” And his son dropped his head as he realized that he had made plans for everything here on earth, but had not planned for life beyond this world.
Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3). However, in order for us to inhabit those mansions some day, we too must make preparation. The invitation has been sent out. Jesus instructed, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). His personal invitation is also given in Matthew 11:28-30 where he says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Just before John laid down the pen of inspiration, one last invitation is sent forth. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. and let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).
It is great for us to go to school, get a job, and make a life here on earth. But it is vital that we make preparation for tomorrow after we cease to exist on earth. Death is coming to all (Heb. 9:27). The only exception to this rule will be those still living when Christ returns, and they will all be “changed” (I Cor. 15:51-55). When Paul informed us of these things, he expressed, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:57). It is vital that we understand that as a result of these truths just stated Paul urges, “Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58). Notice the word “therefore.” This shows that what is said here is connected to what has been previously said. Preparation involves stedfastness here.
Far, far too many of us are too busy making a life here and we forget to prepare for eternity. Just as the faithful have “mansions” prepared for them, the wicked also will inhabit a place that has been prepared. However, that place was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). Jesus urges us to “Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).
How about you? Are you making preparation for eternity? It seems that most people believe that all are going to heaven. No matter how evil or how immoral one may have lived, we hear someone speak of their “looking down” on us after their death. But that just isn’t so. There are two places spoken of in eternity. One is a place of “everlasting punishment.” The other is a place of “life eternal” (Matt. 25:46).
Jesus’ questions still ring true today: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (John 16:26).
Make the proper preparation now before it is too late.
Paul M. Wilmoth