Billionaire Falls through Roof!

Falls through Roof!

Several weeks ago I read the story of a high school dropout who became one of the wealthiest men in the United States.  With a net worth of  $3,500,000,000 (3.5 billion), Ken Hendricks, age 66, was a leader in the roofing industry.  Hendricks’ company, ABD Supply Company, based in Beloit, Wisconsin, celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary last year.  The account stated that this rich man fell through his garage roof—and died. 

This reported event reminded me again of the unpredictable nature of our earthly life.  Solomon stated, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1).  James tells us the same: “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow” (James 4:14).  Today we can walk; tomorrow we may be incapacitated.  Today we may live in a house; tomorrow the house may be burned to the ground.  Today we may have a relationship with a father or mother; tomorrow one of them may be dead. 

I am reminded of this in my own life.  Not long ago, I was employed, after a long tenure at my workplace.  Unexpectedly, I received notice that I would need to begin working on Sunday, the Lord’s day.  After a one and a half hour discussion with the supervisor/president, in which I explained that I would need to have this day free, I was without employment.  I walked into his office as a man with a job; I left without work and became a job seeker.  A day may change our circumstances in many different ways. 

In the story that began our remarks above, Mr. Hendricks must have begun the day with expectations that he would complete the day.  He must have climbed to the rooftop with the plans that he would descend from the roof.  But that day was his last.  Regardless of his position, regardless of his bank accounts, regardless of his authority, regardless of his many associates, Ken Hendricks died.   

I know nothing about this man’s spiritual condition, although Jesus did plainly say, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23).  If this man was like most rich men, God’s words to the wealthy man in Christ’s parable might well have been said to him: “You fool!  This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” (Luke 12:20).  Christ then stated, “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (v. 21).  What Mr. Hendricks’s personal state was, I don’t know.  But if it was like most people—especially most wealthy people—he may have piled up treasure on earth while he had no heavenly treasure.  Only when one who is “rich in this present world” freely gives to others for the glory of God, will he have “the treasure of a good foundation for the future” (1 Timothy 6:17-19). 

Let us prepare now for our future.  We may not have warning of our end.  We may be involved in a head-on crash, we may suffer a heart attack or stroke, we may be involved in a drive-by shooting, or we may fall through the roof!  Let us prepare now to meet the Lord! 

Richard Hollerman



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