Only what’s done for Christ will last!

As a youngster attending Bible Camp, I learned a little couplet that has stayed with me all these years:

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Although not expressed in biblical language, it seems to me that this little saying embodies a very important biblical idea. Here’s how the Bible expresses it:


Matthew 6:19-20 (NKJV) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

I am a student of the Civil War. I love reading about the people who lived through that conflict, and especially what they say about themselves in letters and diaries. I like getting to know them as people.

But one thing I’m always aware of when I project my imagination back into Civil War times: not one of the people who were alive during that war is alive today. And everything they strove to get for themselves in this world, no matter how much of their time, energy, strength, and affection they put into acquiring those things, is gone.

If they worked to amass a fortune in money, it’s gone. If they wanted power and respect from other people, that’s gone. Whatever individuals who lived in that era invested their lives into getting for themselves, or even for their families, has flown away with the years. The only riches that still belong to them are those registered in heaven.

I’m so glad I learned that little couplet early in my life. It’s one so many people who are putting everything into trying to make it to the top of some mountain of prosperity or prestige desperately need to take heed of in their lives today.

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Ron Franklin


About RonElFran

Ron Franklin is a graduate of Denver Seminary in Colorado, and is the now retired founding pastor of a church in Harrisburg, PA. A former engineer and manager for high-tech companies such as IBM, Ron has written extensively on matters relating to the Christian faith, modern technology, the Civil War, and African American history. You can see a selection of his articles at .
This entry was posted in Behavior, Bible Study, Christian Life, Faith, Foundations of the Faith and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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