Q2: The End is Near

Question 2: What if you knew you were going to die tomorrow? (also: What would you do if the world was going to end tomorrow?  What if tomorrow was your last day on earth?)

So many versions of that famous evangelism question: If you died tomorrow, where would you go? It is different, however, to ask the question in this form.  I think the point is to reflect on what I am doing today in light of the possibility of tomorrow being the end.  

One of my favorite answers to this is this quotation, falsely attributed to Martin Luther: "If I knew that tomorrow was the end of the world, I would plant an apple tree today." The reason I like this is because it reminds me that the actions we do and the lives we live are defined by more than simply the end results they bring.  I know, we live in a results driven society, and activities without tangible, measurable, immediate results are often devalued, but we can't actually judge our lives that way (at least, not and remain sane).  One of the things I have said before is that the ends never justify the means because their are no ends.  Even without bringing the religious perspective into it, the ripples which result from our actions move forward well beyond our ability to understand.  Not only that, but our lives carry forward into eternity (for good or for ill).  

That said, many of my actions are prefaced on the assumption that I will be around tomorrow.  So, if I knew I was going to die tomorrow, I would spend as much time with my family as I could, loving them and enjoying them.  These are the parts of my day I relish the most as it is.  But, I would still want to attend prayer meeting tonight as well.  I would definitely skip all my administrative duties as well as sleep. 

If I knew the world was going to end tomorrow my actions would be different still.  How could I not tell people? I know very well that most would take me for crazy, and I would do my best to allay such suspicions.  And everyone I convinced I would also get to tell people.  Of course, this is very much what I hope and try to do now, except that I am not spreading the news of tomorrow's end, I am spreading good news of Jesus Gospel.  Which is what I would really be sharing as I told people about the end of the world anyway :) 

If I knew that tomorrow was going to be my last day on earth, I would want to know what that means.  I am fairly certain that the author of the question intended it to mean that tomorrow I would proceed to my eternal home, however I do not believe my eternal home will be off the earth, but resurrected into the new heaven and new earth which will be joined together and filled with the glorious presence of God.  Given this background, the question makes me think of what might happen to take me off of the earth.  So, I would want to know why is tomorrow my last day on earth? Are aliens landing? Will I be abducted? Will the Starship Enterprise show up and beam me away?  And would my family and friends be coming with me?  I would await tomorrow with a mixture of excitement and dread, hope and fear, and I would stick close to my family, just in case.  

How about you? Pick any one of these three variations on the question and tell me: what would you do if you knew that tomorrow....? 


Anonymous said...

Give my wife and kids a hug, then get a good night's sleep.

I think a more interesting question would be, what if you knew you were going to die in a month?

Roger Hui

Andrew said...

Actually, I agree. The extra time means you would have much more to consider within the question. So, here's my question: Why didn't you suggest that when I was asking people for questions? :)

Anonymous said...

What will you do before this coming Saturday? (Some people are predicting that 2011-05-21 will be "Judgment Day".)

Roger Hui