On one of my trips to Haiti, Rubens, one of our translators, told our group about the great earthquake of January 2010. He talked of the sights, the sounds, and the smells of that tragic day. As we stood on the edge of the burial ground where over 100,000 are believed to have been buried, he shared how bodies were dragged to the street where dump trucks picked them up and dumped them where we were standing. He then said, “In this field, there are rich people and poor people. There is no difference when you are dead.”
Those words and that story have always stuck with me. As I was reading in Job 21, I was reminded of them. In verses 23-26, Job said, “One person dies in prosperity, completely comfortable and secure, the picture of good health, vigorous and fit. Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life. But both are buried in the same dust” (NLT). Someone later said, “Death is the great equalizer.” When we die, these corruptible bodies go back to the dust which they were made from.
Where this body ends, eternity begins. I Corinthians 15:53 says, “For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us, this nature that is capable of dying] must put on immortality (freedom from death)” (AMP). We will shed these bodies like a cocoon and put on our incorruptible bodies. What we have done in our time on earth will be put through fire. Only what’s been done for the glory of God will last. Anything that’s been done for ours will burn.
We are here but for a short time. Our time should not be spent trying to build our own legacy. The things we do for ourselves will burn in that fire like wood or hay. Hebrews 9:27 says that it is appointed that each of us will die and then face judgement. Even Christians will face a judgement in Heaven. We are not exempt. Our words, our deeds, and our actions will be tried. Paul said if a believer’s works are burned up, they will still be saved, but only as someone who barely escaped hell. Today is a great day to do something to advance God’s kingdom in this temporary world. What we do in this life matters in eternity.