This past week, the National Museum of Brazil burned. The destruction was catastrophic. The measure of all that was lost in the fire has not yet been fully determined. “The losses are ‘incalculable to Brazil,’” said Michel Temer, the country’s president, on Twitter. ‘Two hundred years of work, research and knowledge have been lost.”
How very tragic when we hear of massive losses for anyone at any time. Cities hit with hurricanes or tornadoes. Flooding that destroys neighborhoods. Forest fires that ravage residential as well as forested areas.
It is even more heart breaking when we hear of a car accident that kills a family. We are growing weary of hearing of senseless mass bombings, shootings, or cars used as murdering machines to kill masses of unknown people for no reason.
How much more tragic to learn that someone died and stepped into the vastness of eternity with no knowledge of God, no relationship with Him, and no hope of life eternal with Christ as their reward? That is a loss that is incalculable. It is irreplaceable. And, it is irreversible.
If we consider the greatness and the glory of the life we shall have when we have risen from the dead, it would not be difficult at all for us to bear the concerns of this world. If I believe the Word, I shall on the Last Day, after the sentence has been pronounced, not only gladly have suffered ordinary temptations, insults, and imprisonment, but I shall also say: “O, that I did not throw myself under the feet of all the godless for the sake of the great glory which I now see revealed and which has come to me through the merit of Christ!” (Martin Luther).
More and more, we see the apostasy that we read about as a sign of the last days. Men’s hearts are growing cold toward God. Recently, I read an article that addressed what people are most likely to seek to find when they Google. Of the top 100 most requested information sites, not one had any connection with God. There were numerous hits for pornography, health issues, and money matters. No one was seeking information about anything having to do with the One Who made us and before Whom we will one day stand.
It is a most lamentable thing to see how most people spend their time and their energy for trifles, while God is cast aside. He who is all seems to them as nothing, and that which is nothing seems to them as good as all. It is lamentable indeed, knowing that God has set mankind in such a race where heaven or hell is their certain end, that they should sit down and loiter, or run after the childish toys of the world, forgetting the prize they should run for.
Were it but possible for one of us to see this business as the all-seeing God does and see what most men and women in the world are interested in and what they are doing every day, it would be the saddest sight imaginable. Oh, how we should marvel at their madness and lament their self-delusion! If God had never told them what they were sent into the world to do, or what was before them in another world, then there would have been some excuse. But it is His sealed word, and they profess to believe it. (Richard Baxter).