Should it not be the business of this life to prepare for the next life, and, in that respect, to prepare to die? But how can a man be prepared for that which he never thinks of? Do you mean to take a leap in the dark? If so, you are in an unhappy condition, and I beseech you as you love your own soul to escape from such peril by the help of God’s Holy Spirit.

Live while you live. Let every moment be spent as you might spend it when you survey life from your last pillow. Let us live for God in Christ by the Holy Spirit. May the Lord quicken our pace by the thought that it is only a little while! A short day will not allow for loitering. Do we not live too much as if we played at living?

Drop no stitches. Do all your work at your best. Do a day’s work in a day, and have no balance of debt to carry over to tomorrow’s account. Soon you and I shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ, to give an account of the things done in the body: therefore let us live as in the light of that day of days, doing work which may bear that fierce light which shines around the great white throne.

Men and women, project yourselves into eternity; get away from time, for you must soon be driven away from it. You are birds with wings; do not sit on these boughs forever blinking in the dark like owls; bestir yourselves and mount like eagles. Rise to the heights above the present. Life is a short day at its longest, and when its sun goes down it leaves you in eternity. Eternal woe or eternal joy will fill your undying spirit. Your indestructible self must swim in endless bliss or sink in fathomless misery. If you intend to be lost count the cost, and know what you are doing. If you have set your mind on sin and its consequences, do the deed deliberately, and do not make a sport of it.

Oh, friends, some of you will one of these days wake up as from an awful dream. Oh that you could foresee the scene which awaits you! Those were strong words, but they were the words of Jesus: “And in hell he lifts up his eyes, being in torments.” Our Lord put it very strongly. If you intend to dare the infernal terrors, I can do no less than ask you to know what you are doing. If you have chosen sin you have chosen ruin. Begin to consider it, and see whether it is worthwhile.

But if you have chosen Christ, mercy, and eternal life, and if by faith these are yours, begin to enjoy them now. Rehearse the music of the skies. Taste the delights of fellowship with God even here! Rejoice in the victory which now overcomes the world, even our faith. You will be in the glory-land before long, and some of you much sooner than you think.

— Charles Spurgeon, September 26, 1886 (abridged).

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