The Last Day


      The last day of the year is a day to remind us that everything comes to an end. Each year has a beginning and an end as does each month, each week and each day. The new year is only the beginning of twelve months that end on December 31. Life is expressed in the cycle of time that has a beginning and has an end. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

    As we begin to reflect upon the new horizon of 2019 we should also pause to reflect the sober reminder that we are mortal creatures that have a beginning and at least on this earth – an end. Yet the irony of this message is that we still exist beyond death. Our ending here is a beginning in eternity and upon the frail time of space we share in life eternity depends. “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

    The last day of the year is a day of reflection. It reminds us that time does not stand still. We grow older with each passing year and draw nearer to our eternal abode. Paul looked at his life near its end and said, “For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day: and not only to me, but also to all them that have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). He looked back on his life and forward to the life to come. The apostle had confidence in his life in service to Christ. His last day was fast approaching and he could see the fight coming to an end; the race nearly completed; the maturing of his faith in God as nearly complete. Can we have the same hope as Paul on this last day?

    He also looked forward to a new day coming. This hope was built upon faithful service to the Kingdom of God. Paul knew that his last day on earth would propel him to that eternal home with God. What vision to live with faith in this life that will guide us across the final day. The final day for the Christian is the beginning of the eternal day with the Father. The last day of mortality will be the beginning of our immortal joy. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

    The last day is a day of victory. It will be a time when all the grace of God is revealed and the joy of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ will be revealed in the resurrection. The last day of this year should be a time of victory to see how we have grown in our faith toward God - looking forward to that final last day of our life; whether in death or in the glorious coming of our Savior. December 31 – the last day! What a great day to reflect and enjoy the blessings of God. The new year gives opportunity to strive with more zeal to live for the last day. It will not be a day of sadness but a day of awakening. The last day is a day that will last in eternity when we are found faithful. 
—Kent Heaton