Word of the Week: Transcendence

Our days are numbered

I heard an Adrian Rogers sermon several years ago that stayed with me. He talked about how people delay their decision for or against Jesus, thinking they have lots of time to go into that. Rogers shared three deaths that were unexpected, sudden, and odd that shows we don't have the time we think we do. One was when a man was lawnmowing and ran over a nail, which the mower threw up and it went into his heart. The other was a woman walking by a building at the same time a person sitting on the edge of the sill nudged a plant pot and it fell out the window onto her head. His point was, decide now, today, what you will believe.

There have beem some equally odd deaths this week that brought his sermon to mind again.

Woman Split in Half by Subway
"A New York City woman died when she fell on the subway tracks. According to reports, a 21-year-old was killed after she passed out and fell in front of a New York subway train. Witnesses stated that she was was standing on the platform of the Upper East side station when she fainted. The unconscious woman tumbled onto the tracks as the oncoming train was pulling into the station when she was cut in half. Police said was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman has been identified as Fatoumata Binta Amina originally from Ghana, who had been studying at Borough of Manhattan Community College."

Rock Thrown From Mower Kills Passing Woman
"A freak highway accident left one woman dead and the Georgia Department of Transportation trying to answer questions. A Georgia DOT crew was mowing the grass on the side of a sparsely-traveled rural highway. At the exact same time, a car with five passengers passed by."(The mower) ran over a rock. The rock was a pretty good-sized rock. But it was launched from the side of the bush hog," said Sgt. Chad Mann, of the Troup County Sheriff's Office. Annie Lee, 58, was sitting in the back seat with her family when the volleyball-sized rock smashed through the windshield, grazed the driver and killed her instantly. Police said it was a shocking incident, but not one that could have easily been prevented or one that would happen again."This was an isolated freak incident," said Mann."

The woman was sitting in the back. The rock went through the windshield, missing the driver and the passenger, and hurtled toward Ms Lee, and she was killed.

On June 3, 13-year-old dies after getting hit by pitch"
"13-year-old Little Leaguer Hayden Walton, from Winslow, AZ, was killed Tuesday when a baseball hit him in the chest as he was attempting to bunt. “He took an inside pitch right in the chest,” Winslow Little League official Jamey Jones said. “After that he took two steps to first base and collapsed.” He died Wednesday morning at a local hospital. Paramedics said the cause was commotio cordis. His heart stopped after he was hit by the pitch."

Just like that. Tragic.

Think about it, one moment you are standing on the train platform and the next second you are in hell. Or heaven. One moment you are laughing with your family in the back seat of the car and the next second you are in heaven. Or hell. It happens that fast. Paul didn't leave any time for there to be limbo, or to hang around and wait for the Ghost Whisperer to show up. He said if you are absent from the body you are with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8) The rapture takes place in the blink of an eye, where your bodies are transformed from flesh to eternal in 1/150th of a second. The same happens with many people in the way they die. It happens instantly, just like it did this week for Ms Lee and Ms. Amina.

The bible says our days are numbered. "Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." (Job 14:5). David cried out, "Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life." (Psalm 39:4). As Matthew Henry explains, He prays to God to make him sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of life and the near approach of death (v. 4): Lord, make me to know my end and the measure of my days. He does not mean, "Lord, let me know how long I shall live and when I shall die." We could not, in faith, pray such a prayer; for God has nowhere promised to let us know, but has, in wisdom, locked up that knowledge among the secret things which belong not to us, nor would it be good for us to know it. But, Lord, make me to know my end, means, "Lord, give me wisdom and grace to consider it (Deu. 32:29) and to improve what I know concerning it."

Do you have the wisdom and grace to consider your end, and the courage to improve what you know concerning it? It could happen any time. Repenting after death is too late. Now is the acceptable time. Now.


  1. Oh, wow, those are such strange circumstances. I am loathe to say "accident" because God is always in control, but with our fleshly eyes, we could, I guess say, "accident." But still.

    It's a powerful illustration that we do not know if we will get that next breath until it has already been breathed.


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