You Through the Centuries

Try as I might, I cannot remember the last time I met a 900-year-old person. Oh, that’s right—people stopped living to be 900 quite a while ago; it may have even been before all the trouble with pesticides came to light.

Think about this: if today happened to be your 900th birthday, you would have been born in A.D. 1110. Adjusting for the appropriate passage of time, I figure you would have entered adolesence at around age 125, which makes your parents’ current rule about not dating until you’re 18 look pretty good.

To earn spending money, after school each day you may have been an armor bearer for Nedley the Deadly Knight. Or perhaps you did the work of a simple peasant, wishing you were just about anyplace else, say, at the beach (“Serf’s up, dude . . .”).

Eventually you may have married your high school sweetheart. Since both of you were just 179 years old at the time, you figured there was no rush to have children.

Middle age likely would have found you astonished at the invention of the printing press about A.D. 1440. You may have reached in your pocket to share the amazing news, only to realize that you would have to wait another 550 years for the cell phone to come along.

In 1516 you probably heard the rumor that Martin Luther was thinking of starting the Protestant Reformation within the next year or so, although most people figured it was unlikely to catch on. At the time, more folks were on board with the global cooling movement, which seemed to hold more promise than Mr. Luther’s little pet project.

Perhaps you ran into a few small bands of Christian believers at various times and places in the mid-1800s. Laughter abounded when one of them joked that someday they should get together and call themselves “Seventh-day Adventists—ha, ha!”

But the most striking memory of all was probably the one that surfaced in the mid-twentieth century. Much suffering came about as you tried to fit your extended family of 3.8 million people into a Volkswagen Beetle.

You think I’m kidding, and I am, but only up to a certain point. There was a time when people did actually live to be over 900 years old. Do you remember Methuselah? Of course not. But you’ve probably heard about him. The Bible says, “Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years” (Genesis 5:27). And that may have been pretty normal!

But these days (I really hate to tell you this), well, you’ll be incredibly blessed to make it to even your ninetieth birthday party. (OK, your grandkids may still hold the party, but you won’t be eating any cake since you probably died at least 10 years earlier.)

So what’s going on here? Sin. As Ellen White wrote, “The curse [of sin] . . . has been felt by the whole race of mankind.”1 Bottom line: the new “old” is very, very young.

But here’s good news! Someday, maybe pretty soon, we’ll be back to normal—and way beyond!

“Our sinful mortal bodies will be replaced with sinless immortal ones. When that happens, then what the Scripture says will come true: ‘Death has been overcome!’” (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54, Clear Word/Kids).2

If you haven’t done so already, you might want to stop right now and seal the deal with Jesus to make sure you’re on board with the forever movement. You’ll have plenty of time to do other stuff in heaven—at the very least an eternity.


1Selected Messages, Vol. 2, p. 418.
2Texts credited to Clear Word/Kids are from The Clear Word for Kids, copyright © 2005 by Review and Herald Publishing Association. All rights reserved.

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You Through the Centuries

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