As we live our lives from day to day, we generally make plans for what we intend to do tomorrow, next week, next month or later. Whatever the plan may be, we fully intend to carry it out and generally we do so. But sometimes we are forced to change our plans because circumstances arise that were not anticipated.
None of us are able to foresee the future so things such as an accident, illness, death of a loved one or other unforeseen situations may cause an interruption in our plans, so we have to rearrange our plans.
It is because of the uncertainties of life we are warned, “Boast not about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” Prov.27:1. James, the brother of Jesus, writes, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit,’ whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘if the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that” Jas.4:13-15.
These scriptures are not teaching us not to make plans, but they are teaching us to be careful as we plan. “If the Lord wills” simply means if the Lord permits. He is the one in control and we need to realize that sometimes things happen that we cannot control. We just have to accept what happens and make the necessary adjustments to our lives.
While we understand that many things in life are uncertain; and in most cases plans can be changed to adjust to the unforeseen circumstances there are some things that cannot be changed or avoided. These things have been predetermined by God and they will happen regardless of circumstances.
For example, anyone who lives in this world must first be born, and then one day must die. How long one lives before he dies is not predetermined, but it is certain he will die. Just as certain as life and death is the Day of Judgment Heb.9:27. It cannot be avoided because God has appointed it Acts 17:30-31.
It is also certain that on that Day all who have ever lived and died, prepared or not, will be raised from the grave Jn.5:28-29 to stand before God. At that time each person will give account for how he lived 2.Cor.5:10. Some have the mistaken idea that the Judgment Day will be a day of trial where one will be able to make a defense to plead his cause as to why he lived as he did. This is not so. A person determines his guilt or innocence while he lives. The Day of Judgment is the day when the sentence is announced. At that time, depending on how one lived and made preparation for the Day, one will be rewarded with heaven or condemned to hell.
Have you planned for that day? Are you prepared? Which way will you go? Are you sure? 2.Cor.13:5. <Tommy Thornhill>
I’ll Do It Later
The best time to do something that needs to be done is “now. Saying, “I’ll do it later” is man’s way of evading a duty that needs to be done now. An important thing put off until a future time generally ends up never being done. Delay is an enemy of progress. It keeps programs from being finished, and resolutions being kept.
Even more so, “I’ll do it later” is an enemy of the soul. The delay concept is one of the devil’s best schemes to keep lost people lost. He may never destroy your belief in the love of God or the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, or belief in His word. He doesn’t even care if you believe you are lost and in danger of hell. All he has to do is persuade you to keep putting off doing what you need to do to be saved until later.
While it is true that hell will be populated by atheists, infidels and agnostics I am persuaded that there will be an even greater number of people in hell simply because they kept saying, “I’ll do it later” until it was too late.
Paul reasoned with Felix about “righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now, when I have a convenient time I will call for you!’” Acts 24:25. He was saying, “I’ll do it later,” but as far as the record goes Felix never found a convenient time. Will you? <Tommy Thornhill>