God knows the exact moment when each man is to die

Published 9:00 am Thursday, March 12, 2020

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Why do Christians use scare tactics to frighten people into belief in God? — D.S.

Dear D.S.: Life is like a shadow, like a fleeting cloud moving across the face of the sun. King David said, “We are aliens and pilgrims… as were all of our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow” (1 Chronicles 29:15). The world is not a permanent home for anyone; it is only a temporary place to dwell physically. The Bible tells us that the days of mankind are numbered.

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When English patriot Sir William Russell went to the scaffold in 1683, he took his watch out of his pocket and handed it to the physician who attended him in his death. “Would you kindly take my timepiece?” he asked. “I have no use for it. I am now dealing with eternity.”

Time slips away for everyone. Long ago, a friend went for a ride one day, never dreaming it would be his last ride on earth. He swerved to avoid hitting a car, ran into another car, and was thrown from his vehicle and killed. The news reports such instances daily; stories of death coming suddenly to those who had no idea that they were living their last moments on earth.

It is reasonable — even responsible — to ask how people would live if they knew it was their last day on earth, for one day it will be!

The Bible teaches that God knows the exact moment when each man is to die (Job 14:5). There are appointed bounds beyond which we cannot pass. When a person is prepared to die, he or she is also prepared to live. The primary goal in life, then, should be to prepare for death. Everything else is secondary.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)