From time to time we hear of scientific breakthroughs that are poised to increase our life expectancy. A large area of human endeavour is all about extending the length of life. However, for all the excitement, these are generally only about incremental changes. By contrast, in the Bible God offers a way to an eternal life. Luke 18 looks at what the cost is, and we are left to decide for ourselves whether it is worth it.
1. Value of Life
Reserchers at the University of Texas, Dallas, have reported with some excitement findings that they have been able to treat mice so that they can live longer than normal. After causing an increased production of the protein Klotho, the mice were living on average about 20% longer. The excitement is that there is considered to be a similar process in humans, and that it may lead to treatments that can see people living significantly longer than they do now.
The scientific research community is going to lot of trouble to find ways of increasing life expectancy. This is fuelled by that desire in humans to just be able to live that much longer. It raises the question that if they were to develop a medication to increase lifespan, what would it be worth? How much would people be willing to pay to live another 20 years? Would you work that much more to earn those extra years of life?
We know from the health-care expenditure that people do very much value maintaining the length and quality of life that our society has grown to expect. We can go to a lot of effort to try to avoid death. If the time came, what would you do: how far would you go to save your life? If you could sell your house and car for essential treatment, would you do it?
However, that is for an increase in life for a number of years, and is just deferring the inevitable death. What about the possibility for an eternal life? What would that be worth? What would we be prepared to go through to get that?