Tuesday, Sept. 8
Retirement is a recent innovation. The vast majority of human existence got along without it. There is no Biblical example of it. And without doubt the peons of the feudal era had no retirement plans. It should be no surprise that the early Christians, leaders and laymen, gave no thought to retirement. We are given no hint of retiring as a servant of God. Retirement for us comes after this life ends. It’s called heaven and goes by other names, too—rest, Paradise, the promised land. It’s the New Heaven and New Earth, with the New Jerusalem as its capital. For the Christian, there is no place for retirement in this life. Lest I be misinterpreted, there is a “retirement” that is acceptable in this world. We can retire from a life long job and it’s OK to receive retirement benefits. Even in Christian work, we can retire from a particular life time work. We retired from New Tribes Mission a few years back, due to health issues, poor hearing, poor eyesight, et. al. We just were not able to function in our assigned work any more. But I didn’t retire from being a servant of God. My life still goes on and that implies that God still has things for me to do. Most full time Christian workers take the same position. The danger, however, is to accept the world view that now I can just enjoy life, that I’ve earned my rest. Not so. When I gained my freedom from Satan I became a bond slave of Christ—for life. Retirement from a Mission Board is not retirement from my obligation as a bond servant. I have found it easy to take the “low road” and crawl into my little comfort zone. Bad choice. I need to follow Paul’s example and press on to the finish line.