After 65,… What?
TIRED, RETIRED or REFIRED?
After 65 what? This question has been asked many times over. It is shocking to hear even our Christian senior citizens say, “I’m waiting for the day I’m 62 or 65 and receive my Social Security or pension check. I have also heard this statement, “I’m waiting for the undertaker.” Others are saying, “My, what a good time I’ll have doing nothing.” Some anticipate the joys of travel, seeing the sights and doing things they have wanted to do all these years. “Pleasures galore will be mine. I’ll eat when I want to eat, sleep all I care to sleep, and come and go as I please; with no deadline to meet, no time clock to punch, no crowded bus to catch and no rushhour freeway traffic to buck. I’ll just take life easy.”
To the multitudes there seems to be no thought of religious and spiritual responsibility towards God. This responsibility never ends till we take our last mortal breath or till Jesus comes and we shall be with Him for eternity.
Think of Moses at 80 being called of God to lead his people out of captivity. Paul the aged was faithfully serving God. John the Beloved Apostle was serving God at 90. Think of Gypsy Smith, Polycarp, Billy Sunday and John Wesley. A legion of men in industry of politics are doing great after 70. Too many of our Senior Christians use this excuse, “I’ve never had formal education in Bible school or seminary, therefore I can’t expect to do much.” Some say, “People don’t appreciate me. Everything in the church is geared for the young person. They don’t want my squeaky voice in the choir.” Remember, the Lord can use you somewhere when you are willing to be used.
Though this is seemingly a young person’s world, the Bible says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Jesus did not call just young men but all men. The twelve apostles were of different ages. Jesus says, “Go ye” and this means all of us regardless of our age. “Ye shall be witnesses unto me.” Acts 1:8
None of us, young or old, can afford to waste time to just sit and watch the moments and the days fly by. All of us are endowed by God with only one life. We can use it wisely or waste it. As someone has so aptly said, “Only one life, t’will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” Most of us have already wasted enough time. Too much water has gone under the bridge. How can anyone who calls himself a Christian idly waste time while souls are going downward to hell in droves.
You may be old but you can still do much to serve the Lord and save the lost. Those who may be bedridden, yet have the use of their physical faculties, can pray, send out tracts, write letters and encourage visitors. Those in good health can serve God by distributing tracts, attending street meetings, faithfully supporting pastor and church, do personal visitation work, encourage younger Christians and be an example to all. You can witness to your neighbor and others you meet with. There is so much you can do. Live close to God and he will open doors of service which no man can close.
I have two personal friends, both past 80. One is interim pastor of a Baptist church in a city of ten thousand. He is doing great. The other was a missionary under the China Inland Mission for forty years. Since coming home he has been pastoring and directing a service men’s center. Your mental and spiritual attitude and your vision of God certainly won’t allow you, as a yielded Christian, to lay your armor down. Paul said, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God.” Ephesians 6:13.
What a day in which to be alive! There is so much to be done and so few people to do it. There is little time left to do the work. “Time is short.” I Corinthians 7:29
David says, by inspiration, that believers should bear fruit even in old age. Horticulturists know well that older trees bear a more mellow fruit. Should it not be true for us in the spiritual realm.
I challenge you to quit hiding behind the alibi, “I’m too old.” God has a place of service for you even though the organized church seems to have no special place for you. God wants to use your talents even though your voice is not as clear as it used to be. You may not have your former drive. You may not be voted to a church office or asked to preach as you once did. Remember that in the finality you are in God’s service and not working for man. Jesus said, “Look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” John 4:35 As Christians we are on God’s payroll. There is too much at stake to just stand still.
Are we going to let the false religious groups run circles around us? Are we going to be so tactful that we fail to contact men for God! The prophet Jeremiah says, “Is is nothing to you, all ye that pass by?” Lamentations 1:12 David declared, “No man cared for my soul.” Psalm 142:4 Paul further states, “For me to live is Christ.” Philippians 1:21 He was not idly standing by. How can we be so foolish as to waste our time on the mundane things of this world and be unwise when eternal souls are at stake?
After 62 or 65 what? What a great opportunity can be yours if you only catch a new vision of our wonderful Lord and of the need of the world. Worldlings have tried psychiatry, philosophy, politics, human panaceas and peace promises; but all to no avail without Christ.
We must work while it is day. Jesus said, “the night cometh, when no man can work.” John 9:4 Senior Christian citizen, remember there will be plenty of time to rest in heaven. Today, let us be up and doing God’s will till death or till Jesus comes. I challenge you to get from God the vision of Caleb. Upon his 85th birthday he said, “Give me this mountain.” Joshua 14:12