Life Cut Short 1 Jn. 5:16-17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This broadcast is titled Life Cut Short because it deals with the question of whether your life will be cut short by sin. A radio listener asked, “I have always thought 1 Jn 5:16-17 teaches that if our flesh starts interfering with our saved soul and spirit then God will take us home early. Is this correct? Do you think the Bible teaches that we have a pre-destined time and date for our death? Or, is it that we go home when our work here is done?”
In answer to these questions we replied with the following. I believe the Lord is careful to take a fellow home when he is ready to take him [Heb 9:27]. But there are mitigating circumstances. David said we get 70-80 years [Ps 90:10] but it doesn’t always work out like that. I had a 97-year-old friend who was a faithful soul-winner and he believed God kept him around because he continued to lead people to Jesus. But then, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy and Adrian Rogers were all faithful to their calling and very interested in winning souls. They died in 2007. They didn’t make it out of their 70’s. A friend of mine died at 92 and said his long life was given to him because he obeyed his mother and father (Eph 6:1-3). Who knows? Many obeyed Mom and Dad and were faithful servants of the Lord and they died young of cancer, other illnesses, or accidents, and some were even been martyred. Right now, in the Philippines, men are getting saved and dying at the hands of Moslems while they are still very young.
So, there is no guarantee that a faithful man will have a full life. He may and he can certainly thank God for it. But then again, he may not and yet he should be just as thankful as the man whose life spans many years. Each man has an appointment with death. This we know. Unless we are raptured out of here by the Lord before we die [1 Thes 4:16-17], we will all die. We just don’t know the appointed time.
Now, regardless of when God is ready to take someone home, his life can be cut short by sin. Ananias and Sapphira can testify to that [Acts 5]. They lied to the Holy Ghost and dropped dead on the spot. Rom 8:1, 13 are good verses to show us that a person who lives after the flesh will die. Alcoholics, cigarette smokers, and dope addicts, for instance, may be saved and yet may cut their lives short through psoriasis or lung or bladder cancer or drug overdose. Then again, some of them live full lives.
In 1 Cor 5:1-5, Paul prayed that the devil would kill a young man because of his fornication. In 1 Cor 11:30, people were dying for taking the Lord’s Supper unworthily. 1 Cor 10:5-10 were written to warn us that God could end our lives early for doing some of the same things the Jews did in the wilderness [1 Cor 10:11].
Ps 55:23 says in part, “bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days.” Ps 102:23-24 say in part, “he shortened my days.” Prov 10:27 says, “The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.”
And on the list goes.
Men can certainly cut their lives short through sin. So, we should do what we know God wants us to do and be ready to go when he is ready to take us home. We should always be ready to give the testimony of Paul when our time comes [2 Tim 4:7]. The way to live like that is to live like Paul, who said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” [Phil 1:21].