This is what I tried to share at the end of Oak Manor's dorm chapel on Friday morning. It's difficult to communicate the nearness of eternity, the intensity of living the Christian life as it ought to be lived, and the reality of standing before the King. But you have to try. So this was my final word.
This is the last chapel of the year. We’ve lived together, hung out together, studied together, prayed together, gone to chapel together, been crazy together, and have done our best to walk with God together. We have often failed, but God has always been gracious and faithful.
Now as you go from here, I want to leave you with a final word.
Does anyone know what happened on Friday, July 8, 2005? Bethany Rehrer, a TMC senior-to-be, was mangled and killed in a brutal car accident near Houston, Texas. She was in Majesty. She was dating a graduated senior. She was signed up for fall classes. She had gone on a summer music missions tour. She was going to be an RA in Hotchkiss. She had put in a roommate request for fall 2006. She expected to be back at TMC for another year. She expected to graduate from here. She expected to go out and get married and have a family and work hard and minister in the church and live a full life. She was just like you. Whether you’re graduating or transferring or dropping out because of finances or coming back for another year, you are just like Bethany. And I want to take this last opportunity I have together with you seventy-five guys to stand up and ask, “Are you ready?” Seriously—Are you really ready?
This is not some junior high camp speech where I’m trying to stir you all into an emotional frenzy so that you’ll feel convicted for a few minutes about living passionately for Christ and will then forget about it by the time your next class rolls around. I’m trying to tell you here at the end of the year what I have tried to exemplify before you throughout the year—life is short, eternity is long, Christ is coming, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, God is glorious, and the kingdom needs workers. Soon you will stand before the King to give an account of the decisions you’ve made and the paths you’ve followed and the summers you’ve thrown away. You won’t have any more chances to change how you spend your time or what you do with your money or how you serve your church or what you did with your semester or how you study or how you procrastinate or who you shared the gospel with or how you fought sexual lust. It will be over, and eternity will begin. Forever will begin.
Guys, you get one shot at this. ONE.
Don’t waste the life God’s given you. Don’t live for something small. Don’t live for yourself or for comfort or for money or for sex or for pornography or for your girlfriend or for your free time or for your video games or for your favorite sports team or for your reputation or for the weekend. Live all-out, full-bore, to-the-hilt for Jesus Christ and His glory. Read your Bible all the time this summer. Learn how to pray this summer. Share the gospel with all your co-workers this summer. Turn off the TV and the video games and the computer and go minister to someone in your church this summer. Set a spiritual goal this summer. Dream about how you can use your gifts and your energy and your circumstances to advance the cause of Christ instead of your own ambitions. Follow Christ with everything you have this summer.
Brothers, live in such a way this summer that if our sovereign Lord were to allow you to be in a horrific accident with an eighteen wheeler and to allow your car to be mangled beyond the point of recognition, the people around you could say “He died well—because he lived well.” That's what we said about Bethany, because Bethany lived well. Be ready to enter eternity. Be ready.
You could be the Bethany Rehrer of 2006. You could have a memorial chapel next fall. I feel very strongly about this possibility. It happens all the time.
And Christ could return this summer. We could find ourselves all lined up before the living God as we enter eternity one by one. Don’t think it can’t happen. Don’t think it won’t happen. Live well, men. And be ready. BE READY.