I often joke that I know exactly what the stock market is going to do. I know it will go up, and I know it will go down – I just don’t know when. Which, of course, is the real trick; knowing when certain events are going to happen.
What is true of the market is true in real life. We know we will die, or more accurately stated, we know our bodies will die, and our souls will be transported to another dimension. (The second part of that statement is intensely debated with some believing we just stop existing or that we all go to “The Good Place.” Those of us who believe the Bible know that some will be transferred to a place called “Heaven” and others to a place described as a burning trash pit. The destination is determined by whether a person receives Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. If you have never made that decision, I urge you to do so today.)
But nobody, even with the advances of science that have extended the longevity of life, debates that the body will die—we just don’t know when. This is true of the rich, the poor, the tall, the short, the good looking, and the rest of us; it is going to happen. The COVID-19 that now is stretching into COVID-2021, constantly reminds us of the uncertainty of when our time here may end. So, while I wish no ill will towards anyone, the failure to plan for such an event is just not acceptable!
According to a Gallup article, published on June 23, and written by Jeffrey M. Jones, only 46% of Americans have a will that “describes how they would like their money and estate to be handled after their death.” While I have not conducted my own research among Missouri Baptists, I am not optimistic that the numbers of them having a will would be much better.
May I ask you to take action today to create a plan? To have a will and develop a trust? If you do not, you are just ensuring there will be trouble for your family. Do you want your estate stuck in probate court for months or years where the state and attorneys collect the majority of what you worked so hard to earn and save? Or do you really want to leave your estate to an IAC—an Irresponsible Adult Child? Or to your daughter whose husband is not really trustworthy and if a divorce were to happen, he would likely get half of her inheritance?
I could go on and on with reasons for why you should have an estate plan, but instead, let me focus on a more positive approach. What about leaving the financial blessings God gave you to help ensure that other people hear the Gospel? Most people want to see their church and its ministry thrive for years to come. Then, in your estate plan, leave 10% of your estate for your church.
Or maybe you want to invest in the next generation of young adults, then why not leave something to support the great work of our three Missouri Baptist Universities? Hannibal-LaGrange University, Missouri Baptist University, or Southwest Baptist University? The costs are more than ever before in the field of Higher Education, yet these institutions are turning out exceptional students who are engaging the world.
Or what about the biblical mandate to take care of the orphan and the widow? We have two of the finest institutions doing that day-in and day-out through the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home and Baptist Homes and Healthcare Ministries. Why not be a blessing to them by leaving something they can use to care for the vulnerable in our society? We encourage everyone to have an estate plan that leaves something to Advance the Gospel.
If you do not know where to start, it can all begin with a call or email to the Missouri Baptist Foundation, or an online visit to www.mbfn.org. Our phone number is 800.776.0747, and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help you plan and prepare for the glory of God!