The Brevity of Life James 4:13-17
A. The passage that deals with the subjects of our future and death.
B. If the Lord does not come soon, we that are older will face the last enemy: death! An enemy already conquered by our Lord Jesus Christ. Turn with me to 1 Corinthians, chapter 15: the resurrection chapter.
1 Corinthians 15:19-27 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (24) Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
C. Death is simply the cessation of life as we know it here on earth. A place of appointment; a place of destiny.
D. The Brevity of Life.
1. King David is a great example of the brevity of life. Though the Bible does not give David’s age at death, we do know that he lived a long, full life here on earth. Psalm 37 was a Psalm of David and, in the later part of the Psalm, David reflects back over his life and the brevity of it.
Psalms 37:23-26 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. (24) Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. (25) I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. (26) He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
2. King David had a purpose for living and an appointment with death when his work on earth was done.
1 Samuel 17:26,29 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? … And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? (King David had a purpose for living and an appointment with death.)
2 Samuel 23:1 Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, (Never more on this earth would we hear from the King of Israel, David the Beloved.)
3. Job’s take on Life. No age is given but, through the Scripture, we know that Job lived a long life. The Book of Job is said to be the oldest book in the Bible so we know that his generation possibly lived for hundreds of years. He lost his first children but God gave to him 7 more along with 3 more generations of grandchildren. He lived 140 years more after Job, chapter 1. Though long in the sight of man, Job’s life was swift and short.
Job 42:16-17 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations. (17) So Job died, being old and full of days.
a) Swift Days – Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope. (I was once young and now I am getting old. My generation is swiftly passing off the scene.)
b) Few Days – Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. (As the days pass so quickly, I realize more than ever the brevity of life.)
c) Troublesome Days. Job had to endure much hardship in the early years of his life.
4. Jacob’s take on Life. According to the Bible, Jacob lived to be 147 years old. Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
Psalms 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
- What is your life? It is short at best and shorter at worst! The Bible says, in Psalm 90:10; threescore and ten or fourscore by reason of strength. Some live longer than 80, but on the other side of the coin, some do not live until they are 70. This is what James says: do not worry about tomorrow because for you and me, tomorrow may never come.
Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. (As we now place flowers on the graves of our loved ones, someone soon will place flowers on ours.)
Bonus days: Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
6. The Surety Of Death.
a) We Will Die – Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (My day is coming and so is yours. I have watched as many have died and each time have wondered what it is like to know death.)
b) Our Bodies Will Decay – Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (These old fleshly bodies wear out; these fleshly bodies will go back to the dust from whence they came. No physician or mortician can stop the process.)
c) We Will Not Return – 2 Samuel 14:14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him. (Pay no attention to the “Out of the body experiences.” When you die, it is like water spilt upon the ground.)
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
- The Big Change
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Victory Baptist Church 11 May 2022 victorypalmetto.com