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Scripture Reading: James 4:13-17


Urgent Matters



1.  The mass murder at Las Vegas reminds us of many lessons of life:

  a.  Evil is real, and active in the world, 1 Pet. 5:8.

  b.  Kind, good, and courageous people still exist, Lk. 10:33-34.

  c.  Life is unpredictable, Eccl. 9:11.

2.  Events like the Las Vegas shooting grab our attention and demand that we think on things that are too often ignored, or pushed aside (“out of sight, out of mind”).

3.  James 4:13-17: Warns us of losing sight of the most urgent matters of life.


I.  LIFE IS BRIEF, Jas. 4:14.

  A.  Plans are Often Made Without Thought of Life’s Brevity, 4:13.

    1.  Not an indictment against making plans, Rom. 1:13; 2 Cor. 1:17.

    2.  We do not know what will happen tomorrow, 4:14; Prov. 27:1.

    3.  Foolish to presumptuously depend on tomorrow (as if one’s life is in one’s own power).

    4.  This foolishness was at the heart of the rich man’s covetous plans, Lk. 12:15-20.

  B.  Life, at Best, is Vaporous and Vanishing, Jas. 4:14; Psa. 89:47; 90:9-10.

    1.  Every plan we make must be, “if the Lord wills,” Jas. 4:15.

    2.  Arrogance toward brevity of life is evil, 4:16; cf. Psa. 39:5-6.


II.  DEATH IS CERTAIN, Jas. 4:14; Heb. 9:27.

  A.  Preparations to Avoid Death Do Not Always Succeed, and Every Attempt to Cheat Death Ultimately Fails, Eccl. 2:14; 7:2; 9:2-3.

    1.  cf. Las Vegas concert security, yet death rained down from above.

    2.  Most often, death comes at a time that is not of our own choosing, Lam. 1:19.

  B.  Live for Christ, and Death becomes a Blessing, Phil. 1:19-23.

     -Live for God early, and always, Eccl. 12:1.


III.  JUDGMENT IS SURE, Matt. 25:31-33 (Heb. 9:27).

  A.  Responsibility and Accountability, 2 Cor. 5:10 (Matt. 25:15, 19); Rom. 2:2-6.

  B.  Be Faithful to have Boldness in the Day of Judgment, 1 Jno. 4:17; 2:28.

     -Live by God’s book; judged by it, Rev. 20:11-15.


IV.  ETERNITY IS LONG, Psa. 90:10. (That’s an understatement!)

  A.  Life on Earth is Measured by Time, but Eternity is Timeless; Matt. 25:46.

    1.  Eternal life, joy, bliss and peace, Rom. 2:7, 10.

    2.  Eternal death, misery, pain and anguish, Rom. 2:8-9.

Jas. 4:15-17; Jno. 14:1-6.

  A.  Now is the Time to Repent and Be Saved, cf. Lk. 13:1-5; Acts 2:38, 40; 22:16.

  B.  Now is the Time to Do Good (God’s will), Jas. 4:17 (15).



1.  Life’s brevity and uncertainty, coupled with the certainty of death and judgment, persuades us to prepare for eternity.

2.  Are you ready to die? Better yet, are you ready to live for Christ?

3.  “Are you ready for the judgment day?”


(Adapted from outline by Noel Bailey, Cooper TX)



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: October 3, 2017