Things To Know Before You Go
Aging: Growing Older and Better in the Lord
June 5, 2022
“The classic Christian answer to the question(s) of death and beyond…these days is not so much disbelieved as simply as not known.” –-NT Wright
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
“All my life, I’ve been taught how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old.”—Billy Graham
Just about everybody wants a long life but nobody wants to be old.
What does God say about aging?
Age is the result of experience + deterioration.
Rise in the presence of the aged. Show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:32)
The word “elder” is used in a biblical book 175 times.
If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the Lord by giving equivalent value…the amount be set of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver… If it is a person sixty years or more, set the value at fifteen shekels. (Leviticus 27:1-3,7)
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you say, “I find no pleasure in them…” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
When the keepers of the house tremble and the strong men stoop… (Ecclesiastes 12:3)
When the grinders cease because they are few… (Ecclesiastes 12:3)
And those looking through the windows grow dim… (Ecclesiastes 12:3)
Men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their sounds grow faint… (Ecclesiastes 12:4)
When the almond tree starts to blossom… (Ecclesiastes 12:5)
And the grasshopper drags himself along… (Ecclesiastes 12:5)
And desire is no longer stirred. (Ecclesiastes 12:5)
Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets. Remember God—before the silver cord is severed or the golden bowl is broken, before the pitcher is shattered at the spring or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from and the spirit returns to the God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:5-7)
“…and they were both very old.” (Luke 1:7)
“…your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17 NRSV)
The good old days weren’t as good as you think they were, and they certainly weren’t as good for everyone as you want to believe.
“Do not rebuke an older man but exhort him as you would a father…” (1 Timothy 5:1 RSV)
Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. (Titus 2:1-6 MSG)
“One is never too old to be rebirthed, made young again, sent on outrageous errands, or completely discombobulated by the Holy Spirit.” –Will Willimon
“What is God doing in my life now?” Or maybe more to the point: “What does God expect from me and to what tasks am I now being assigned?”
The Scriptures are a friend of the aging. Cling to their promises.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
The One who loved us into life loves us to the end. Trust his transformation inwardly even though we are perishing outwardly.
Normal, predictable aging that leads to death cannot be defied, but it has been defeated by the resurrection of Jesus. Prepare for the ultimate wedding.
“Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9)
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Behold, the new has come.” (Revelation 21:4-5)