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Mr. Charter, my boss, was well-known in business circles, well liked by his company and feared by his competitors. He was a very successful manager of one of the company’s largest branches. But he had no use for God and was ruthless in his dealings with others. All his energy went into getting ahead.
Mr. Charter often ridiculed me for my love for the Lord Jesus, especially if a group of salesmen were around. He took advantage of those opportunities to have fun at my expense.
One morning I met my boss in the elevator as we were going to work and gave him a gospel tract. He glanced at it and handed it back with a remark that I will never forget: “Boy, you can have all the heaven you want, but just give me earth.”
That statement fully expressed his whole desire in life. I was shocked at such a philosophy. I’ve since learned that he was only one of millions who feel the same way. Not everyone is so blunt about it. Some will even say that they want to go to heaven when they die. They realize that they can’t live on earth forever, and having heard a little of the horrors of hell, they think they would prefer heaven to hell. But earth is definitely their preference!
A few years later Mr. Charter’s sister died very suddenly, and within a few weeks his brother, without warning, died of a stroke. However, nothing seemed to change him.
One Wednesday Mr. Charter spent the day at his office as usual. He was feeling full of energy, and after dinner, he and his wife went out for an evening of fun. On returning home about 2 a.m., he complained of being ill. A doctor diagnosed the flu, but the following day he had lapsed into unconsciousness. He remained in a coma most of the time until about 3 a.m. on Sunday. Then he forever left everything he had loved so dearly. He died as he had lived — without God and without Christ.
How like the man the Lord Jesus spoke of in the twelfth chapter of Luke! He too had all his treasures on this earth. That man planned to build larger barns and increase his wealth.
“But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee” (Luke 12:20).
Mr. Charter would not be guilty of carelessness in business, but in the most important transaction of his life, he had proved he was a fool. Even if he could have gained the whole world, he had lost his soul, a loss that can’t be calculated.
God speaks of this class in the Book of Revelation as “those that dwell on the earth.” It is also translated “earthdwellers,” which expresses the choice of millions. In that book God reveals the judgments that are about to fall on such people.
What About You?
Are you guilty of this foolishness? Are you exchanging your immortal soul for what you will leave behind when you die? God says, “Death [has] passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
God has warned you that after death comes the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Don’t wait any longer to come to God! Confess that you are a sinner, and accept the Saviour He has provided. Don’t wait for a more favorable opportunity — it may never come.
This night your soul may be required of you.
“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).