Qin Shi Huang-first emperor of China
Adolf Hitler-Dictator of Germany during World War II
These are only two of the hundreds of leaders who once declared their empires would last a thousand years. Neither of their empires lasted for a hundred years. Only with rare exceptions does a self-proclaimed leader believe that his new kingdom or empire will end with his eventual death. All are committed to having their biological heirs continue their dynasty. Some even attempt to take additional extreme steps.
Emperor Qin devoted a tremendous amount of his time and financial resources, searching for an elixir that would give him immortality. As he neared the end of his life, he realized that his efforts would not be successful, so he spent his remaining days creating a tomb that would enable him to rule his kingdom after he died. The result is his now famous tomb in the Chinese province of Xi’an. Replete with thousands of life-sized terra cotta warriors, the tomb contains the same necessities that the emperor would need in this life, guaranteeing his thousand year reign in the afterlife.
Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
Psalms 49:20 (ESV)
History is riddled with men who thought they were gods, destined to create a millennial kingdom. Some thought that they could cheat death. All of them are dead and will someday face the only true King of the Millennium, Jesus Christ. They and everyone who ever lived will have to give an accounting of their lives before Him. They will point to their achievements, their military victories, and their desire to create a better world. Surely all of these things mattered?
What will you say when you face Jesus Christ in Heaven? Will you point to your academic achievements? Will you boast about your charitable contributions and volunteer activities? What about how you honored your family and the selfless hours you spent caring for them when they were sick? These are all important but the only question of eternal significance for God is, “What did you do when you heard about my Son, Jesus Christ?”
I pray that all of us, in this lifetime, will have an opportunity to confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. If we do, we will reign with Him during His Millennial reign on earth and for all eternity.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.