“In the 2007 film The Bucket List, two terminally ill men—played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman—take a road trip to do the things they always said they would do before they ‘kicked the bucket.’ Before the film’s release, Nicholson was interviewed by Parade magazine. Reflecting on his personal life, Nicholson said, ‘I used to live so freely. The mantra for my generation was “Be your own man!” I always said, “Hey, you can have whatever rules you want—I’m going to have mine. I’ll accept the guilt. I’ll pay the check. I’ll do the time.” I chose my own way. That was my philosophical position well into my fifties. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to adjust.’
“But reality has a way of getting the attention of even Jack Nicholson. Later in the interview, he adds, ‘We all want to go on forever, don’t we? We fear the unknown. Everybody goes to that wall, yet nobody knows what’s on the other side. That’s why we fear death.’”
One of the greatest fears which humans have is the fear of death. Coupled with that fear is the fear of the unknown. What’s on the other side? Thankfully, we have the Bible to guide our thinking and belief about the other side, but we’ve still never been there. All we know is living and breathing. The idea of stopping breathing is hard to think about. However, we believers can have hope now as we contemplate our “end.” Our end although is just a beginning. The Apostle Paul wrote, “We don’t want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you won’t grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For we say this to you by a word from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 CSB).
Believers have a wonderful future even if it includes death. Non-believers, however, have a horrible future even if they have all the money, power, and prestige that the world can offer because death begins a tremendous and timeless torment. Believers, can endure suffering because it’s momentary (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) compared to the forever celebration on the other side with Jesus, so as you contemplate your life, remember that death is not the end.
This week you’ll read…
Jeremiah 29-42: “You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29 CSB).
Lamentations 5: “Bring us back to you, God—we’re ready to come back. Give us a fresh start” (Lamentations 5 MSG).
Nahum 1: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him” (Nahum 1 CSB).
1 Thessalonians 2-5: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4 CSB).
2 Thessalonians 1-3: “For we hear that there are some among you who are idle. They are not busy but busybodies. Now we command and exhort such people by the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and provide for themselves” (2 Thessalonians 3 CSB).
- October 15 (Tues):
- October 16 (Wed):
- October 17 (Thurs):
- October 18 (Fri):
- October 19 (Sat):
- October 20 (Sun):
- October 21 (Mon):
MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.
CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.
NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.
 Dotson Rader, “I Want to Go on Forever,” Parade (December 9, 2007)