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(24 HOURS) SCRIPTURE - ST. LUKE 12:20                                               MAY, 1994

Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee !!


Imagine this. One day, you go to your doctor's office for a scheduled, routine check up. You walk in, all smiles. Your day has been perfect so far. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and everything is just as you hoped it would be. You are feeling fine.

The doctor comes in and asks how you are doing. You respond, 'just fine doctor.' He says well, let's get started. He asks you have you been feeling any pain, or sickness, you answer, 'no.' He pokes here and there, listens to your heart, and all the other things that doctors usually do. Then he decides to run a few more tests. When he is finished, he asks you to wait in his reception area until he gets the results of your test.

You go into the reception area, and have a seat. You see some kids playing on the floor, and you reflect on your own kids and how much of a joy they are to you. You think about your spouse, and how you are the happiest person on the face of the earth. You think about how you plan to spend your vacation in a tropical paradise, this summer. You are financially well off, so you can plan for things for the next few years and not have to worry about money. Yes everything is coming up roses for you.

Suddenly, the receptionist calls you, and tells you the doctor will see you now. You get up, and walk to his private office. You can't wait to get the results, and leave, so you can meet with your spouse for lunch. You walk in, with that smile on your face, and you expect the doctor to smile back, but, he doesn't. You ask him if anything is wrong with him, figuring that he may not be feeling well. He looks up at you and says, the test results that he has, indicate that you have a condition that is going to end your life, in about 24 hours. You at first drop down in a chair, in disbelief. Then you say, 'this must be a mistake, I am feeling fine.' But, he convinces you that it is no mistake. In one day, 24 hours, you will be dead, and there is nothing he or anyone else can do for you. He suggests that you go home, and start getting your affairs in order.

After sitting there, for what seems like an eternity, you get up and walk out of the office. You don't see anything. There are no kids, the sun is not shining, there are no birds chirping, and nothing appears for the future, because, the future has just been reduced, to 24 hours. You meet your spouse and reveal what the doctor has told you. Both of you are devastated. There is no time for lunch. You have to get your affairs in order. You get home, and start making sure that the insurance papers are in order. You tell the kids and your other relatives. You make arrangements for your funeral. All financial papers are in order. You have done everything that needs to be done. Then the time comes, and you pass from this life. Then all of a sudden, you wake up, and discover it was just a dream. WOW!!! That was scary. You thank God, and go on with your life.

Now you might ask, 'what's the point?' The point is, that here is a person, that had everything going for them, that suddenly was brought face to face with a knowledge that they were going to die, at a specific time and date. Now as bad as that might seem, this person was blessed, in that they knew the date and time of their death, and therefore, were able to get their affairs in order. This is what happened to the rich man, in the story of the preceding verses to the subject verse. And, my point is this. Unlike this person, none of us knows the day or the hour that we are going to leave here. This is why, we are told so many times, to have our affairs in order, so if anything happens to us suddenly, there will be some preset plan, that will aid our survivors to carry on with as little headache as possible. It is wise to have your will drawn up, a planned funeral and such. With these things in order, you are all set, right? Well, maybe not. You have made arrangements for things to happen after your death, but what about the arrangements for your soul? Just as surely, as you are going to die, your soul will have to go somewhere. After all, when you die, it leaves your body. This is why God said, "your soul will be required of thee."

Many times, I have talked to people about getting saved. And many times, people give me the impression, that they are too young to be getting all that religious stuff. They want to wait until they are old and feeble, where they can't do anything else, then they will get saved. My question behind that is, how do you know you will live that long? That notion, is as foolish a notion as can be. The way things are going in this country and the world today, you may not live past the next 30, 20, 10, or 5 minutes, let alone 40 or 50 years. And when you leave here, you go straight into your eternal state, which is either damnation or to be with Christ. That choice, is left up to you. Many of us, if we knew exactly what time and date we would die, would probably live like hell until just before our time was up, then run and get saved, but thank God He didn't do it like that. For if He did, there is no telling how much misery we would put on others. Sin would be the order of the day. But God says that the sinner will be eternally punished. Are you a sinner? You are, if you are not saved. But the good news is, you can be saved, if you will simply repeat this prayer, meaning every word, from the heart. "JESUS, I AM A SINNER, AND I AM SORRY FOR MY SINFUL WAYS. WILL YOU COME INTO MY HEART, AND CLEANSE ME FROM ALL MY SIN, AND BE LORD OF MY LIFE. I ACCEPT YOU AS LORD AND SAVIOR, AND WITH YOUR HELP, I WILL LIVE MY LIFE FOR YOU. I BELIEVE THAT YOU DIED ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS, AND WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD, FOR MY JUSTIFICATION." Congratulations!!! You are now saved. The next thing you should do, as an act of your obedience to Christ, is to be water baptized, in Jesus' name, and seek the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which will empower you to live the life God wants you to live. But, as of right now, your eternal destination is secure.

If you didn't pray that prayer, God may be saying to you, "THOU FOOL, THIS NIGHT WILL THY SOUL BE REQUIRED OF THEE.' What are you going to do then???