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Tag: In Light of Eternity

In Light of Eternity . . .

living in light of eternity

“The surest thing in the world is not death and taxes, it’s death and eternity. Yet, we’re so unconcerned.”

“This life is a dressing room for eternity – THAT’S ALL IT IS!”

“Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?”

“The surest thing in the world is not death and taxes, it’s death and eternity. Yet, we’re so unconcerned. What are you going to do when you get to eternity, if you can’t stick in an hour with God down here?”

Leonard Ravenhill, 20th Century Evangelical Revivalist

On Sunday, my wife, Polly, and I, along with our oldest daughter, went to Defiance to buy supplies for upcoming home improvement projects. Afterward, we ate lunch at Sweetwater Chophouse and then drove out to Independence Dam to watch the eagles. From there, we drove along the north side of the Maumee River, crossed the river, and then drove along the south side of the river back to Defiance. We then stopped at Lowe’s to buy an electrical cord for the new freezer we would have delivered on Tuesday. Polly also bought some flower bulbs.

As we returned to our automobile, the following discussion took place:

Polly: Are you ready to go home, old man?

Bruce: I didn’t even want to get out of bed today. (I’ve had a string of bad days, I mean really, really, really bad days.)

Polly: But look at all you did today!

Bruce: In light of eternity . . .

Polly: Pfft, laugh . . .

Bruce: laugh . . .

I am sure some readers are trying to figure out what was so funny about what I said, “in light of eternity.” Those who were raised in Evangelical churches and were pastors, evangelists, missionaries, college professors, youth pastors, youth leaders, and devout, committed church members see the humor in what I said. You see, our Sunday jaunt was of no consequence. Just a short road trip to get Bruce out of the house; a nice meal with family. There was nothing that happened that had eternal import. Just another moment in time with the love of my life and my daughter.

Back in our Evangelical days, we were driven to live our lives “in light of eternity.” We devoted our lives to the ministry; to winning souls; to teaching and building up the people of God; to homeschooling our children, preparing them to be warriors for Jesus. We had little time for the mundane things of life. We would go to dirt track races in the summer and take road trips on occasion, but the rest of our time was spent with our shoulders to the plow, working the fields of the world for God. We had no time for date nights or vacations. How could we? “Life is short, Hell is real, and death is certain,” we told ourselves. “Work for the night is coming when no man can work” and “prepare to meet the Lord thy God,” the Bible told us, words that motivated us to devotedly and selflessly work day and night for Jesus.

I was particularly taken with the Apostle Paul’s devotion to the gospel. He lived for the “sake of the gospel.” I thought it was my duty and obligation to do the same. That’s why I lived in beautiful southeast Ohio and never saw the sites. That’s why I lived in San Antonio and never visited the Alamo or walked the River Walk. Oh, I preached in front of the Alamo and stood above the River Walk raining words from the Bible down upon people’s heads, but no leisurely visits with family or friends. And that’s why I lived in Arizona and never saw the Grand Canyon. How could I bother with such trivial things when souls were dying and Jesus was coming soon. Even on the rare occasions we took “vacations,” we never took a vacation just for the sake of relaxation. In the 1980s, we took a trip to Cape Cod/Boston. Sure, we visited a few sites, but I was there to preach. We took numerous trips so I could preach at a church or conference. We saw wonderful scenery and sites along the way, but our goal was always the same: to preach the gospel and challenge the saints.

Hopefully, that explains to readers why we laughed when I said, “in light of eternity.”

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser