Ecclesiastes 9 begins with a very simple truth, yet one so powerful that it is one of the ultimate realities we must face. We will all die someday. “The same event happens to all”. Solomon helps us get down to the basics. There are many things that differentiate people from one another. He calls out things like love and hate, righteousness and wickedness, clean and unclean, sacrifice and no sacrifice, even saint and sinner. But he boils down the reality of life to this: we live our individual lives and “after that they go to the dead”.
That’s the truth of life – it will end in death. And while most of us think like Solomon that “a living dog is better than a dead lion”, it doesn’t really matter. When our time comes to leave this life on earth, it will happen. We won’t take anything with us, so all the stuff we accumulate and trade our time to gather while we live will be left behind when we die. So the most important thing we need to address is where we’ll spend eternity, not how much money we can make or how many toys we’ll have in storage.
Eternity is coming for each of us. And if there’s one thing we need to recognize about eternity, it is a very long time. So we need to carefully consider how we prepare for that reality which is the outcome of death. We will move on to eternal life, and there are two potential outcomes. We can spend it with God in heaven, or apart from God in hell. There aren’t any other choices. And the outcome isn’t something we vote on or pick. It is determined by our preparation ahead of time. Our eternity is decided by how we live – and in particular what we do about the big problem we have an mankind – sin.
Sin left undealt with will place us in an eternity apart from God. He can’t tolerate sin. He is perfect and just and sin will never enter heaven. So if we live and don’t deal with our sin, either by never committing any so we are pure (which will not happen) or receiving God’s grace through Christ’s blood on the Cross, we’re going to live apart from Him. That’s not a good choice since eternity is a very, very long time and we don’t get to do life over if our eternity isn’t what we like. We have to address sin while we live, and Jesus is the only way to do that. We’ll stand before God and give account. The bottom line will be ‘what did you do about sin’ which can be boiled down to ‘what did you do with Jesus’? If we received His grace and made Him Savior and Lord we’ll be invited into eternity with God. If not, we won’t be entering heaven. It’s that simple. Solomon says it straight. We will die. We better know what the outcome will be!