James H. Cagle
The Bible (KJV) says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jms. 4: 14b).
Man has both mortal life and immortal life. He has natural life and spiritual life. He has life on planet earth and life in Heaven of Hell. He has only his short life on earth to choose where he will spend eternity in either Heaven of Hell.
The shortness of man’s life and how quickly it passes away is compared to a weaver’s shuttle, the wind and a cloud (Job 7: 6, 7, 9), a flower (Job 14: 1, 2), a dream (Job 20:8), a shadow (1 Chron. 29: 15), a vapor (Jms. 4: 14, a sleep and a sigh (Ps. 90: 5, 9), and as grass (Ps. 103: 15, 1 Pet. 1: 24).
Though the life of man is short the life-span or existence of all these things are even shorter. Man’s life is short but during his life he will see many winds and clouds, many flowers come and go, have many, many dreams, see many shadows, have many a sigh, and see the grass each spring come to new life and then die in the winter.
As man sees the shortness and brief existence of things around him, he is to compare them to how brief his life on earth is compared to eternity. As he sees things come and go and is nothing but a speck that’s hardly remembered, so his brief life on earth is but a speck in eternity.
These things around us whose life are shorter than our own make us conscious of time and should make us aware of eternity. Though man is conscious of time, he is aware of eternity (Ecc.3:11).
Our life which is but a speck in light of eternity is all the time we have to prepare for eternity. Death is not annihilation, but a split second event that removes us from our living conditions here to another existence where the living conditions are different.
There is a small speck of time in our lifetime that we are constantly putting off, and it’s called “now.” There is a small window in time called “now.” Today is “now” here. Tomorrow is “now” to come. Yesterday is “now” gone. “Now” means “the present time” or “holding in the hand.” The Bible says, “now” is the time to be saved (2 Cor. 6: 2).
The Bible gives ample warning of how brief life is and warns us against putting off salvation before it’s too late. We keep spurning “now” and say tomorrow we’ll get saved. Solomon says, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Pro. 27: 1), and, “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Pro. 29: 1). Our life is like a vapor evaporating from the tea kettle. We’re here today and gone tomorrow.