Almost every food product that is sold has an expiration date. If it does not have an actual or specific expiration date, most products will say "Best used before ________," or " Use before __________." Of course the reason for these expiration dates is to remind us of the date when these products will no longer be usable or effective. As a matter of fact they serve a distinct purpose of keeping the consumer from getting sick or dieing by ingesting a "spoiled" or contaminated product.
James, the former pastor of the Jerusalem Church and half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ made this statement, "...you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." (James 4:14c, ESV) This is another way of reminding you and me that we too have an expiration date. There will come a day, unless the Lord comes for His church and transforms us instantly into our immortal and glorified bodies, that we will expire. We will die.
Mind you, this is an unusual event. God originally created us to live perfectly in His presence, for His service, in order to render honor, glory, and worship to Him. Although God knew from eternity past, and all His purposes worked according to His good will, man would sin and be subjected to physical death. Man was created to live physically eternally. Sin cut that short. The wages, the bible says, of sin is death. This includes both spiritual and physical death.
As 2011 winds down and 2012 looms on the horizon, our time in this life is racing toward our expiration date. Unlike the homogenized and pasteurized milk you buy at the local market, you do not have an expiration date stamped on your "container." We do not know the moment of our death. We need to be prepared for that day. The time to make peace with God and be reconciled to Him is now, in this life, prior to our expiration date. Pope John Paul II and Rob Bell are proven to be wrong by Holy Writ - there is no universal salvation after death. The bible clearly states, "Today is the day of salvation!"
Romans 10:11-13 (ESV) clearly states, "...there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on him. For every one who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Salvation, redemption, reconciliation is available to all and it is free. However, one must repent of sin, believe the message of the gospel, and place one's faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and call upon Him for this salvation that it might be applied by the Holy Spirit to your soul.
Do so before your unknown "expiration date!"