For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John3:16
All boomers within the sound of my writing voice, listen up. This is the part of this famous verse that is becoming more and more relevant to us every day. We don’t want to believed it but it keeps raising its ugly head. We just had a memorial service for our friend Arnold. Next week is the memorial service for Doug Goins, a man who was a huge encouragement to me at the beginning of my career as a singer/songwriter/performer. I’ve been thinking back on some of the people who were important in shaping my life and my opportunities, and how I need to thank them while I still can. It would have been nice to tell Doug how much I appreciate him, and not just his wife.
We are being forced by our age to face our mortality. Marti, who has a birthday coming up soon, doesn’t have this problem because she will always be 39, but I look in the mirror these days and see a man who has already received his allotment of years as laid out in the Bible. When this verse gets to the “should not perish” part, there is a little twinge of reality that hits home. However strong one’s faith in Christ is, or however much one is able to trust and expect to receive the promised eternal life Jesus talked about and offered, it still doesn’t alleviate the fear everyone has in facing their demise. If anything, it’s simply the basic human fear of the unknown. What’s it going to be like? And although, humanly speaking, nothing can take away that fear, having a promise by the son of God who died for me, rose from the grave and has gone off to prepare a place for me, can be a real comfort in these times.
“Should not perish…” Actually, the word “should” is a factor of the King James version of the Bible. “Shall not perish…” would be a closer rending of the original meaning. This is not a suggestion; it is a fact. And Jesus proved it by making a number of appearances to many of his followers between the time that He died and ascended into heaven.
Still, I don’t want to sugarcoat this. I don’t relish the moment; and in my heart and mind, it’s a long way off. Good luck enduring us boomers in our old age. We are in denial. We just don’t seem to be old, and our youthful spirit will continue to defy what’s really going on in our mortal bodies. Thank God for John 3:16. That part about everlasting life is non-negotiable.