When we look around, there are many people who continue to delay coming to God until later, while acknowledging the necessity of believing in God. They usually say, “Now I want to live my life to the fullest. I will have a religion when I get older,” or, “I need to take care of something urgent right now. Let me believe in God when I get some free time.” However, no one can guarantee that tomorrow, which they plan and dream for, will surely come. Such is life.
There was once a strong earthquake in Indonesia, which killed over 5,000 people and injured tens of thousands of people. Since the earthquake occurred early in the morning while people were sleeping, it caused great damage and loss of life.
Seeing that such a terrible disaster occurred and a whole region was totally destroyed overnight, we come to think that it is foolish to postpone things till tomorrow: ‘I will do it when I wake up tomorrow,’ or, ‘Since I’ve not finished it today, I will finish it tomorrow.’ Those who lost their lives in the earthquake must have fallen into a deep sleep with many plans for the next day. However, the tomorrow they had dreamed of did not come to them.
If there is something right and good that you have to do, you’d better start it from the moment you decide to do it, instead of putting it off until later. It is because no one can boast about tomorrow.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Pr 27:1
There are many reasons why humans cannot promise “tomorrow”—all kinds of accidents and natural disasters that happen in the blink of an eye, unexpected diseases, and many more. Through a parable, Jesus has also taught us how foolish the people are who do not seek God but rely on their possessions for their future.
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” Lk 12:16-21
If we forget that God, who has control over life and death, can demand our life from us this very night, we may also fall into foolishness like the rich man. The span of human life is finite. Come to think of it, all the famous people, who had made great achievements on this earth or controlled the world during a certain period of time, have now vanished like a handful of dust. Like an actor who disappears from the stage when the play ends, they do not exist anymore in this age we are living.
No one knows how many days are left in their life. Everybody is to leave the world when their mission on this earth is finished, as preordained by God. After that, they will all stand before the judgment seat of God (2 Co 5:10). At that time, what would you answer when God asks you, “What have you done for Me while living on the earth?” “I had decided to start giving praise and glory to You tomorrow. I had been thinking about being baptized and starting my life of faith tomorrow. I had been trying to enjoy my life to the fullest till today and to start something tomorrow.” If you answer that way, what would God say?
Tomorrow is never promised to the person who puts everything off till tomorrow and plans only for tomorrow. Before the time given to us goes by, we should realize what is truly necessary for us, and if we need to do something for that, we should start it right now, today.
What is the most urgent thing for human beings who cannot even boast about tomorrow? It is salvation. God has come to this earth with the good news of salvation and eternal life for His children who have lived only for things of this world, without knowing there is the eternal world they will return to. Taking pity on us, humans, who are doomed to fall into a death trap after living an empty and vain life, God has come to give us a correct understanding.
What must we, humans, understand and do while living on this earth? We were sinners who had committed sins in heaven and deserved eternal death. Now we have come to this earth, the city of refuge, and are living a life of repentance for the time given to us temporarily. So we must not waste our one and only life—a limited time—for our sinful desires but live a faithful life, realizing what our duty is.
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecc 12:13
The Bible tells us that it is the whole duty of man “to fear God and keep His commandments.” We should always think about how to truly fear God and keep His commandments fully, and try to live our lives today more faithfully according to the word of God.
God showed Apostle John in advance the people who would be saved in the last days. Through this revelation, let us think about how we should live today.
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads … And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. Rev 14:1-4
The 144,000 standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb! They are God’s holy people who do not conform to the world but only follow God and live a life pleasing to God, always pursuing God’s will. The author of Psalms wrote about them as follows:
Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Ps 24:3-4
The above verse says that those who do not lift up their souls to an idol may ascend the hill of the LORD. They are the very 144,000 standing on Mount Zion. God’s people do not set their minds on worldly things—they do not pursue the sinful desires of the flesh.
We, who keep the feasts of the new covenant of God, are now standing on spiritual Mount Zion (Isa 33:20; Heb 12:22). So, we must not seek out falsehood, but live for the salvation of souls as God wants us to, as the holy citizens of heaven.
The goal of our life is totally different from that of people in the world. Since the people of the world have an earthly citizenship, they are living only with earthly hopes and desires. They want to get a higher position than others and to become more powerful and rich than other people, so that they can be revered and served by people around them. However, we have a heavenly citizenship and live for things above, keeping in mind that it is our whole duty to fear God and keep all His commandments, for the eternal glory that we will receive in the kingdom of heaven. For us who put this into practice, the most important time is right now, today, not tomorrow.
The following is a notice that was once posted on the door of a beauty shop.
“50 percent off starting tomorrow!”
When the notice was posted, even the people who were planning to go to the shop that day postponed going there until the following day. The next day, those who visited the shop gave half the usual price to the owner after having their hair cut or permed. However, the owner of the shop said that they should pay the usual fee. Hearing her say that, the customers started to complain.
“Did you not advertise that you would cut the fare by half from today? So we came here today.”
“I think you did not read the notice carefully. Please read it closely again. What does it say—starting when?”
“Right. Starting tomorrow, not today.”
Finally, the customers had to pay in full.
It seems like a trivial thing, but through the story we can see the scheme of Satan who tempts us with the words “starting tomorrow.” Satan makes us put off till tomorrow what we have to do today, and when tomorrow comes, he tempts us by whispering,“When did I say ‘starting today’? I said, ‘starting tomorrow’!” By tempting us this way, Satan ultimately tries to bind us tight with his fetters, so that we cannot do anything.
The person who only plans for tomorrow cannot gain anything, just like the boy in a fairy tale who only chased rainbows all his life; the boy climbed over a hill to catch a rainbow, but the rainbow was still far away, and he climbed over hills again and again to catch it until he got old.
We must put the word of God into practice right now—starting today, not starting tomorrow. Since God is pleased with our immediate action, He also wants us to receive baptism, which is the first step to salvation, right after we realize the truth. In our everyday life, we should continuously carry out the will of God as diligent and wise children of God, not boasting about tomorrow and not having our minds set on worthless things.
Among many things God has asked us to do, there is something that is truly worth doing right now, today.
… Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said,“Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time,“Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said,“Feed my sheep.” Jn 21:15-17
The first thing Jesus asked Peter to do was to find the lost lambs of God and feed them with the truth. His second and third request was also to feed the sheep of God and teach them correctly, so that they would be able to reach the kingdom of heaven. This is God’s earnest request not only to Peter but to all His disciples who truly love God.
If we truly love God who loved us even to the point of death, we must not forget God’s earnest request to take care of His little lambs. Just as a mother needs to eat enough food first in order to breast-feed her baby, so we have to fill ourselves with the word of truth, which is the spiritual food, in order to feed God’s sheep as God has earnestly asked us to do. And we should express and show our love to God by taking great care of our brothers and sisters.
We, who are living in the age of the Holy Spirit, have to share the truth with all people on the earth and to feed them with the word of God. In order to do so, we need to prepare enough spiritual food and earnestly ask God in prayer to send many gospel workers who will go to five oceans and six continents to convey the truth—the spiritual food—to them. If we earnestly want to follow God’s will and ask God for help, God will surely grant our desire.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt 28:18-20
In the work of preaching the word of God to all people in the world, those who boast about tomorrow will never be able to have an opportunity to fulfill their plan. If the person who has received one talent buries it in the ground and just plans for tomorrow, how can he or she gain more talents? Those who bury and hide their talents can never gain more.
Jesus said, “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light” (Lk 8:16). If the light does not spread out but is confined in a small space, it has no meaning as the light. God’s children are to shine the light of the gospel bright all around and lead many people, who are walking in darkness, into the arms of God, as “children of light” (Eph 5:8).
Time does not wait for us. Regardless of age, gender or circumstance, we must all participate in the work of saving the souls who do not know what a day may bring forth. Let us think carefully about how to guide those souls to the truth and salvation, how to lead them from Babylon to Zion. For this work, we should put our minds together and help one another while praying earnestly to God. Let us all join together to save souls, working as God’s fellow workers in our given circumstances, even though we are lacking in many ways.
From this moment on, we should diligently strive to lead people around us to the way of salvation instead of just looking at them indifferently, so that they will not be deceived by Satan and not fall into destruction. We must throw away the thought, ‘I will do it, starting tomorrow.’ No one knows when his or her life will end—whether after an hour or ten minutes. Let us examine our faith again, so that we can live our lives today without any regrets and stand before God without blemish or defect even if our lives on this earth ends right now. I earnestly hope you will all live a life without regrets by glorifying God and declaring the praises of God to our neighbors and to the whole world.