What Is Certain

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Reflecting on his long life, 83-year-old Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend, French scientist Jean-Baptiste Leroy, on this day in November 1789. The men had known each other for years, and Franklin knew that Leroy was interested in events in America.

Summarizing the conditions in the new country, Franklin wrote, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency.” Then he paused to present a word of perspective: “But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Franklin’s succinct summary has been quoted frequently in subsequent years. To some, his somewhat satirical conclusions focus on the seemingly constant interference of government in the lives of individuals. But it also reflects on the inevitability of death, as Franklin realized toward the end of his life.

The Bible echoes this inevitability, describing death as an appointment, scheduled for each of us. But the Bible also tells us that death is not the end. For after that appointment comes a time of judgment. The apostle Paul wrote that “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Romans 14:10).

The Bible tells us that, as we stand before God, the books on our life will be opened, and we will be judged according to what we have done in this life (Revelation 20:12). This is not a moment about which we should joke. Instead, this realization should give us perspective on our lives and the priority of being faithful with the resources God has given us. And this also is a cause of celebration for Believers, for death is the entryway into eternal life.

Today, remember that God will hold you accountable for what you do with the resources and opportunities you have been given. Invest your life in God’s Kingdom. Make it count for Him.