Who Wants To Live Forever?

FOR four days last December, America’s pleasure dome in the desert, Las Vegas, played host to a convention dedicated to the proposition that growing old is “a treatable medical condition.”

Booths advertising vitamins, hormones and pharmaceutical drugs, along with an array of oxygenating or detoxifying paraphernalia, filled the exhibition hall of the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Lectures and workshops were offered on a bevy of “wellness” topics, including the alluring idea that human growth hormone could be deployed to beat back old age.

Several thousand attendees, mostly physicians, crowded the Venetian, a testament to what analysts say is now an industry that snares $50 billion a year in sales by catering to Americans’ obsession with looking and feeling younger. MORE

We all want the fountain of youth, don't we? I, for one, am being dragged into middle age kicking and screaming. This is an area where it's hard to find the right balance. If you are a Christian, you believe life is a gift from God. It follows that we must take care of this gift and do all we can to preserve it. Exercise, eat well, take vitamins, see the doctor, etc. All well and good.

On the other hand, we have to recognize that life isn't forever. Nor should we want it to be, if we have faith that something much better awaits us after we die. We know this intellectually; but practically speaking, most of us still fear death. This drives some people to extraordinary effort to extend their lives as illustrated in the article above.

This unwillingness to accept the death sentence we are all given at birth can drive people to commit all kinds of evil acts: harvesting unborn babies to provide nutrients they think will extend their lives, for example. Exactly how this differs from cannibalism is not clear.

I think most people, even atheists, know that death is inevitable. There are those, however, who somewhere deep down think they can beat the odds. If we can just cure this disease, if we can just regenerate these organs, if we can just continue our research, maybe we don't have to die. Maybe we can live forever. Maybe we can be gods.

They will never admit it, but I'm convinced there are people who follow this line of thinking. These folks are destined for disappointment. Science will not save them, and they will not accept the One who can save them.

Someday they will listen, of course. By then it will be too late.

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