JAMES 4:14

In the fourth chapter of the book of James, verses 13 and 14, one of the most important questions in all the world is this. ''For what is your life?'' We read, Go to now you that say, today or tomorrow we'll go into such a city and continue there a year and buy and sell and get gain: Whereas ye know not what will be on the morrow."

My friend, I'd ask you this hour, where are you going, where are you headed, where do you aim to get to? You say, right now I'm trying to get myself a bite to eat so I can hurry back to work and work till quitting time this evening. Then what? What are you going to do after you quit work this evening? Well, you say. I'm going out and have a good time and enjoy myself, and live it up tonight. What are you going to do after that? Well I'm just waiting for the time when my paycheck comes so I can go out and buy some of the things I've been wanting to buy and have myself a good time. What are you going to do after that? You say, what are you talking about?

Did you ever stop to consider that you're just on a whirlpool of activity going from one moment to the next? Working on the job today, going home and getting a little sleep, waking up tomorrow and going back to work in order that you might get a few nickels and dimes to buy you a few things. What's it all going to lead you to? Where are you going to get off this whirlpool that you're on? The BIBLE says, "Stop and consider." You're thinking, well, today and tomorrow, everything is going alright. I've got it made for a year now and after that I don't care what happens then. But you need to recognize that your life is the most important thing about you and the devil will not allow you to take time to think about your life.

The BIBLE says that your life does not consist in the abundance of the things you possess. If you've got a little money now, you'll want more later on. If you've got a thousand dollars, you'll want two thousand. If you've got one car you'll want two cars. If you've got one lot, you'll want two lots. You're never satisfied with wanting and life is not made up of the abundance of the things that you've got. There is one thing for sure. To every person there is coming a time when everything you now have shall be laid aside. Somebody else will spend your money. Somebody else will take care of your houses and lands, and look after your lots, because you'll not be around to take care of them. James said your life is like a vapor. It appears for a little time and then it's gone. It's vanished forever. Have you ever watched a cloud for a little while and while you were watching, it vanishes into thin air. James says your life is like that. You are living down here for just a little while. The book of Psalms says your life is like a shadow. You see it for a moment and then it's gone. He said it's like a sleep and you wake up and it's over with. He said it's like a flood that suddenly washes away all the driftwood and debris that is in a river. It washes them away and you don't even remember that there was anything in the river before.

You're headed for the graveyard and you're headed there just as fast as you came into this world. You're headed there today. You may be hurrying back to your job but you're hurrying out of life just as fast and you'll be out of it before you know it. While walking thru a graveyard in Texas one day, I ran across this sign that I've not gotten away from since that hour. The statement on the tombstone was this: Halt stranger, halt. As you are, I have been. As I am, you will be. Meet me in eternity.

It's a point of reason to stop and see your life. If you live three score years and ten (70), It's over before you've had time to think about getting started. If you live to be eighty years old because of good strength as the book of Psalms says, before you know it, it's over and done. What are you doing today that will have any benefit a hundred years from now? You say that is a foolish question. Nobody is doing anything that will have any benefit then. But, everyone who by Faith receives JESUS CHRIST as personal SAVIOUR will be enjoying the abundance of life and will still be in its fullness a hundred years from now. If you do not know JESUS and you are going on your way today and taking life one day at a time as it comes, a hundred years years from now you will be in HELL burning in the flaming pit forever and forever. You need time to consider your life. It is a vapor that appears for a little while and then it's gone.

The 39th Psalm says, "LORD make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am." Have you considered how frail you are? You may not even finish this days work. Some accident on the job may snuff your life out. It takes just the cutting of one artery, just the stopping of the heart beat to end the life. Your life is fragile, it's frail, and the least little thing can come and put it out of its existence.

If you have lived out the total number of your days, what have you accomplished? If you have become a millionaire, if you have gained great popularity, what have you done? On the other hand, you may say that you are not interested in any of these. You are just interested in having a good time. All you want is a drink of whiskey and a woman to spend the night with. My friend, there will come a day when that will stop and you will take your last drink and go out with your last woman. The last opportunity for a fling in this world will be over. And then what will it all be worth? What worth is that whiskey? What worth is that living as you are living and having life as you want it, if suddenly it will be taken from you? Herod had himself a big time, as did Pharaoh. All the ungodly leaders and dictators of this world had their day, but it is over now. They are lying in the cold ground but their souls have gone to HELL to spend eternity without GOD and without hope. You need to remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 90, verse 12: "So teach us to number our days that we might apply our hearts unto wisdom." You need to number your days today. You need to stop and consider that your days are numbered. By that I mean, you've lived one day less in the last twenty four hours than you'll ever live again. Life's going to be over before you know it. Before you have time to consider it's gone. Every year that passes gets swifter and the hours tick on closer, and the least little thing can take it away.

You may say, "Well, what can I do about it?" My friend, if you have not prepared to meet GOD, you better get prepared. The prophet Amos said, "Prepare to meet thy GOD." You are going to meet GOD when the number of your days runs out. Your life won't be over, when the number of your days runs out, for you have got an appointment with GOD ALMIGHTY. You are going to stand before GOD, and He is going to ask one thing: "Where is the BLOOD?" One thing GOD is interested in is: Have you been washed in the BLOOD? The book of Revelation says "In that hour the books will be opened, and another book will be opened, which is the BOOK OF LIFE, and the dead are judged out of the things which are written in the BOOK." But He is looking in the BOOK and your name is NOT written in the BOOK OF LIFE. The BIBLE says, "Whosoever was not found written In the BOOK OF LIFE was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE." You may say that you have not murdered anybody or treated anybody wrong as far as you know, but if you have not trusted JESUS as your personal SAVIOUR, you have left GOD out of your life.

You were made to serve and glorify GOD and if you've left GOD out, you have left out the only ONE in life that gives any meaning and significance to life. What you need to do today is to come and let the SON OF GOD come into your heart, change your life and prepare you for death and all eternity. If you die without JESUS CHRIST, you are without hope and you are without GOD. You will leave to go into a bleak world in unGODliness and darkness, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. You need to consider your days and number them. You may say you are not worried about it and have plenty of time to worry about it later. Have you plenty of time? James says stop and consider if you think you have plenty of time. I don't know very many people who know when they are going to die. Do you? Little do they know when death is coming for them. I had a preacher friend who preached the other Sunday and had one of the best days he ever had. He got ready the next morning to go down to breakfast but instead of going down to breakfast, he went out into eternity. His life was over. His record was finished. GOD said it's over as far as your concerned. I may be preaching to someone today that before this hour is over, your life will be gone. You will have been snatched out of this life. Then where will you go? Where will you be then? You'll tell GOD you wish you just had a little more time. GOD says TODAY is the day of salvation, NOW is the accepted time, NOW is the hour to get things right with GOD and get things settled with GOD.

You may say that you'll take your chances and trust in your heart. Proverbs 28:26 says, "He that trusted in his heart is a fool." If you are trusting in your heart you are a foolish person. GOD calls you a fool. You may say, what can I trust? You can trust THE WORD OF GOD. John 1:12 says, "As many as receive HIM, to them gave He power to become the SONS OF GOD, to them that believe on HIS NAME." My friend, the only way you'll ever get saved is to receive JESUS CHRIST as your personal SAVIOUR. John 3:18 says, "He that believeth on HIM is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten SON OF GOD." Your life isn't worth anything now or for eternity if you don't have JESUS. In fact you have a ticket for HELL right now. The only thing that keeps you from going there right now is the goodness and mercy of GOD to let you breathe another breath and let you have another heartbeat.

You need to number your days, young man, young lady, older person. You're not going to stay on this whirlpool of activity forever. Your days are numbered. This day may be, could well be, the end of the road for you. But you say, "Well what can I do about it?" Get off the whirlpool of it NOW. Stop what you are doing NOW. You may say that you have a date tonight that you cannot break, that you're going to have a big time tonight. My friend, remember what the BIBLE says in 1st John 2:15 to 17. "The world passeth away." The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life and all that is in the world, is passing away and shall pass away. You may ask for another fling tonight, but that may be the fling that will put you in eternity without GOD and without hope.

You are not given one bit of a promise for tomorrow. You are not given assurance of another hour or another moment. Now is the acceptable time. You may say that doesn't bother you. Well, let me say this, whether you ever get saved or not. You will be responsible for your own life. GOD will never force HIMSELF upon you. If you want to go on without HIM and take your chances, you can do it. Multitudes have, Millions and millions have. JESUS said if you want to get saved, you had better strive to enter in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate that leadeth to destruction. Many are on that road. You'll have a lot of company with you on your way to HELL. Many are on that journey. You may say that you don't mind going there because all your friends are there, but take advice from someone who's down there. He said go tell my brothers not to come to this place. Don't let them get here. Why? Because they will discover too late that this isn't the place to be at. There will be a great gulf betwixt the two, Lazarus and the rich man, Luke 16: 19 to 31. You don't want this and you surely don't need this.

My friend, I warn you, I beg you, I'd do anything to save you, but there's only one thing that will save you and that's the BLOOD OF THE SON OF GOD. You are a sinner, you're lost, you're without GOD,  you're without hope, and there's nothing in this world that can save you, but the BLOOD OF THE SON OF GOD. Without the shedding of BLOOD there is no remission of sin. Hebrews 9:22. In Matthew 26:28 JESUS says, "For this is my BLOOD of the NEW TESTAMENT, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." The life of the flesh is in the blood. GOD'S only begotten SON had to pour out HIS BLOOD on the altar as an atonement for your soul. If you'll receive JESUS today, you'll he washed whiter than snow. If you receive HIM right now this moment. you won't have to live out the rest of your life wondering where you will go. It will be settled that moment.

Twenty-six years ago, on a Tuesday morning in the third week of July, I met JESUS and I found HIM to be SAVIOUR sufficient to save me. HE redeemed me. HE lifted me from an horrible pit. HE lifted the fear of HELL from me. HE lifted the fear of the grave off me. HE lifted all the fears away. More than that. HE transcribed my name into the BOOK OF LIFE. HE has placed it where HEAVEN has a record and it shall be there when one day I stand before GOD. It will not be with any dread. It will not be with any fear because I have already numbered my days and I have counted them and I have given my life and my soul to JESUS CHRIST. As a result of that and for all eternity, everything is settled in my case. Wont you let JESUS settle your case. NOW? Won't you let HIM come to you and be your SAVIOUR and change you and transform you by HIS GRACE?

Estus W. Pirkle
Locust Grove Baptist Church
New Albany, Mississippi

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