What If Today Were My Last Day?

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Late last year, people were gripped by predictions that the world was going to end on December 21. We were informed over and over again, with seemingly ever-increasing loudness, that according to the Mayan calendar, December 21, 2012, was to be the last day of human history. But the day came and went, and the world has continued until today—well into the year 2013.

It was not the first time such a prediction had sent the world into a panic. As the year 2000 drew near, it was said that computers would fail to handle the three zeros in the number 2000, and thus there would be a catastrophic meltdown of civilization. Again, the day came and went, and here we are in the year 2013.

The Lord Jesus Christ told us that the world will end one day. He said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14).

However, Jesus made it clear that the precise date of this apocalyptic end is a secret that only God knows (Mark 13:32). God holds the cards of history very close to His chest.

Yet, let us pause for a moment and ask, “What if today is my last day?” What if I am about to be ushered into eternity with everyone one else on the planet? What difference would it make to me?

Such questions do not represent unnecessary speculation because we do not know when we will come to the last days of our lives. A few years ago, a car overtook me on a highway, but an hour later I found it involved in a traffic accident, and the driver was dead at the wheel. I discovered later that the driver had just rung his wife on his cell phone, asking her to cook his favorite meal because he would be arriving home soon. He never did.

One day, you will wake up in the morning, and it will be your last day on earth. How must you live so that you will not regret it when that day comes? You must ensure that you are reconciled to God through repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ (Acts 20:21). You must also ensure that you are living each day in active and loving obedience to His Word, because a life dedicated to God in true holiness is an inevitable fruit of salvation. Without holiness, no one will enter into a blessed eternity (Heb. 12:14). And without being justified by faith in Christ alone, no one will be holy.

In his famous list of resolutions, Jonathan Edwards left us a good example of the way we should live. His fifth resolution states: “Resolved never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life or before the last trumpet blew.” 

First published in Tabletalk Magazine, an outreach of Ligonier. For permissions, view our Copyright Policy.