[forthright] How Long Have You Got?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 10:43:10 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: FINAL PHASE

How Long Have You Got?
 by J. Randal Matheny, editor

The Galapagos land tortoise can live, under optimal
conditions, up to 193 years, the bowhead whale, up to
200. The hardy carp can reach 100. Then, some lowly
bugs and insects count their lifespans in days.

Man was meant to be eternal. After the Fall, his
lifespan began falling, from what the biblical record
tells us. Methusalah made it the furtherest, but it was
all downhill from there. So much that Moses tells us
the average is 70, at most 80 (Psalm 90:10), this from
a man who reached 120.

Today, Japan has the longest life expectancy at 82.6
years. But in much of the world, people live, on
average, 39-40 years. In the U.S., it's 78; in Brazil,
72.

Man has always searched for the fountain of youth.
Prolonging one's time on earth is considered a boon,
and even Scripture provides motivation for it (see, for
example, Deuteronomy 6:2; Proverbs 10:27).

We often think of eternal life in terms of quantity,
although Scripture defines it as knowing God and his
Son (John 17:3). Hell will also be eternal (Matthew
25:46), so it's not merely the eternality but the
nature of that life that makes the difference.

Hezekiah discovered that adding years to your life
wasn't necessarily a blessing. In the extra time he'd
been granted, he lost the kingdom for his descendants.

So what can we conclude from a life expectancy of 70 to
80 years?

* Life expectancies are averages. Nobody's guaranteed
any time at all. 
* Porn publisher Hugh Hefner has beat the odds, but that 
doesn't mean he's had a good life. A man's life does not 
consist in number of years he's able to live. 
* Planning for the future is good, but planning for 
eternity is better. 
* Christians live best in the present because they live 
in the knowledge of the brevity of life.

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we
may grow in wisdom" (Psalm 90:12, NLT).

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