I may never see you again. But I pray that this one, short, message, will find its way into your heart, before it is too late. “Too late for what?” you ask? Before it is too late to even decide on the decision that is being presented to you in this short pamphlet. Please, take the time to read it over. It could, and I suspect, will, mean ‘everything’ to you, as you ponder it over carefully. It is given to you in love, and I hope that you will take the time to respond appropriately to it. Will you do that, right now?
Have you ever thought about the fact that human beings spend most of their earthly lives saving up for, and planning for, retirement? Ads on television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and just about everywhere emphasize the need to save up for our retirement. Constantly, we are being bombarded by messages urging us to “save while we can”. You have probably seen charts which show that if we start saving when we are 40 or 50, then we will have a more difficult time saving up for our retirement than if we start when we are younger. No one argues with this logic. It makes sense. Saving “little by little” is a strategy that works! Trying to save up everything “at the last minute” is a strategy that is doomed to failure. Because of the truth of this message (and we all know it is true), we are persuaded to “do” something about our financial situation. Have you begun saving RRSPs, or other savings, with the thought of planning for your retirement? Then you have been persuaded by the message. You have “bought” into it! Your actions “speak” quite clearly, and say that you are “serious” about planning for your future.
But I have a question for you. How long will all that savings last, in the end? Maybe ten, or twenty, or thirty, years? If you are very fortunate, you may end up being able to take advantage of your retirement savings for as much as 40 years — that would put you in a rare category, but that is possible! Some people have even gone beyond forty years — that is, indeed, a very rare phenomenon. Forty years. You may say to yourself, “That would be a lot of time to spend on retirement. If I were healthy, and had the means to support myself, and enjoy my retirement years, I would really enjoy spending 40 years in retirement. Yes, I would like to do that!” Well, we are all agreed that that would be a good thing to do, and no one is arguing against this. If you can do this, then that is great. By all means, go ahead and do that. I pray that you would thoroughly enjoy your retirement years — years which, I’m sure, have the potential of being among the very ‘best’ years of a person’s life on the earth.
Now, having said all this, and if you are indeed persuaded that planning for your retirement is a good and wise thing to do, and that it will yield a good result in the end, and that you will be all the better for having done it — that is, you will be more blessed, and happier, as a result of it — may I ask you, what are you also doing to plan for a retirement which is ever so much more important than the first one? That is, your eternal retirement, the one that extends well beyond your years here on this earth, and will, according to the Bible, never ever end? I am not talking about your ‘guaranteed’ eternal retirement, as though this was something to take for granted, as though it was ‘in the bag and secure’ without you having to do anything at all! Why, is your retirement here on this earth ‘guaranteed’ and ‘in the bag and secure’ without your having to do any work at all? Even as this retirement is not ‘guaranteed’ and ‘in the bag and secure’ without your cooperation, so, too, your cooperation is needed in order to ‘secure’ your retirement after you die — that is, to secure your place in heaven.
Think about it. Most of our lives are spent planning for a retirement that will, by comparison, only last a few short years. But who gives a thought to a retirement which will last forever? Is not something wrong in this scheme? Is something not out of balance here? I would like to suggest that it is, and that, if you have never done so before, NOW is the time to begin planning for your retirement BEYOND the grave, if you have never considered this before.
The Bible says there is a hereafter. There is a heaven, and there is a hell.
The Bible says that we can CHOOSE which place we will end up in! The Bible says the decision is OURS! The Bible commands us to repent and believe the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. Specifically, that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, rose again the third day, and ascended to be with God the Father in Heaven. He will give eternal life to all who call upon his name, to those that receive him, according to John 1:12: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”. Again, in 1 John 5:12-13, we read, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”.
Again, in John 3:36, we read, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Wow! Heavy stuff! But what it means is that you can choose to let either God take your burden of sin, by putting that on Jesus, or you can try to take that burden of sin yourself! That’s what it means when it says, “The wrath of God abideth on him”. It means that the wrath (or punishment for sin) abides on the person who does not repent of their sins and turn to Christ to save them! The one who relies upon themselves will, themselves, have to ‘bear’ the burden for their sin! But the one who relies on Christ, will have Christ to bear the burden for them! And that’s what the cross of Jesus Christ is all about! It is about Jesus taking upon himself the ‘burden for sin’ so that we would not have to do that ourselves. That is why we read, in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [Jesus].” In other words, Jesus suffered for us, so that by believing in what he did for us in dying on the cross, we might be imputed with (or bestowed with) the “righteousness of God”, as it says in this verse.
Again, we read, in John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” It all hinges on the word “believe”, which sometimes, believe it or not, is equated with the word “obey” in Scripture. I believe the reason that “believe” and “obey” are treated as “equals” in Scripture is because, if we really believe the message, then we will seek to obey God in every area of our lives — we will take him seriously! We will start to read our Bibles every day! We will find a good, Bible-believing church, and begin to get serious about getting involved in a Bible study, where we can grow and learn about God and what he expects us to do with our short lives here on this earth.
Believe it or not, it’s all there — in the Bible. And that’s what I mean when I talk about “planning” and “preparing” for our eternal retirement, beyond the grave. It only makes sense, don’t you think, that if we are going to spend so much time and effort planning and preparing for our ‘earthly’ retirement, that we should at least give the same amount of time and energy preparing for our ‘eternal’ retirement?
I may never see you again, but I trust that the time you have spent reading this pamphlet has been worth your while. I pray that I might, one day, see you in heaven because of it. May God bless you richly!