"The Wrong World First"

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
A man lay dying in his lovely mansion. When young he had been an earnest Christian and so remarkable was he for temporal prosperity that everything seemed to turn to gold in his hands. Lands, houses and revenues increased. And now he must leave them all, and as he looked into the face of death he realized that the surfeit of riches had drawn his heart from God, cooled his first love, deadened his spiritual life and left him a pauper as far as eternal treasures were concerned.
He sent for an early Christian friend whose life had been only, always, for his Master, and as this friend entered the stately mansion and passed into the beautiful room where his once comrade in Christ lay with death at the bedside, he saw him stretch out eager hands toward him and heard in accents of piteous regret the words:
“I find I have put the wrong world first.”
Aye! He had put the wrong world first, and now as the other shore was almost beneath his feet, he comprehended how poor, how puny, aye! how rotten it had been in comparison.
“What shall it profit a man if he gain, the whole world, and lose his own soul!”
He had not lost his soul—God is faithful, and eternal life by the Holy Spirit can never be lost—but he had lost his life—his crown, his happy service, his sense of the Saviour’s love, and the joy of being a fellow laborer under Him. For what: Some bricks and mortar tastefully arranged, a few statues and mosaics, a few gems from earth’s mines, a little flattery from earth’s wealthy ones and perhaps a few blessings from the lips of the poor—but the wrong world had always been first, and now nothing was left but the bitterness of the discovery, and the torturing sense of “what might have been.”
There “might have been” the Saviour’s “Well done,” the garnered sheaves, the souls won for the Crucified, now all missed for the sake of a few perishing pleasures and glories.
“The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:1717And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1 John 2:17)).