He had became a warlord at age thirteen, and for twenty-five years had battled other warlords, amassing an army of a million men and achieving dominance with brutality. He once slaughtered 40,000 soldiers in a single campaign - after they had surrendered. He devoured his enemies, it was said, "as a silk worm devours the mulberry leaf."
At the height of his power he adopted a new title: Ch'in Shih Huang Ti — First Divine Emperor of China. It was because of this title that we call his land China today. He boasted that he was the head of a dynasty that would last ten thousand years.
Emperor Ch'in established a strong, central monarchy, developed a uniform code of law, launched massive public works-roads and canals - and built a shining new capital. His palace alone measured a mile and a half long and a half- mile wide, with thousands of rooms and an audience hall that could seat ten thousand people. It was connected via covered passageways with 270 other smaller palaces so that the Emperor could avoid assassination by sleeping in a different place every night.
But the Emperor's most enduring monument was his Great Wall built by tens of thousands of forced labourers. According to tradition tens of thousands of slaves died during its building, their bones being ground up and added to the mortar, making the Wall the "longest cemetery on earth."
If it were in the United States, it would reach from Los Angeles to New York and back again to Chicago. At its top was a road way wide enough for eight men marching abreast, and it was connected by twenty-five thousand towers. Signal messages could be sent across ancient China in twenty-four hours.
But Emperor Ch'in worried about dying, and he commanded his wise men, on pain of death, to find the Fountain of Youth. They didn't.
His Prime Minister plotted against him, and the Divine Emperor was assassinated at age forty-one. The conspirators also forged a letter in the Emperor's name to his son and heir, bidding the son to commit suicide. He did.
Instead of enduring for ten thousand years the Emperor's dynasty was the shortest in Chinese history. The Emperor's murderer's tried to conceal his royal body, but it rotted and began to smell, forcing them to pull a cart of salted fish nearby in an effort to obscure the odor.
Another dictator that boasted like Emperor Cheng was Adolf Hilter. He, too, boasted that the Third Reich (the Nazi Party) in Germany would reign for 1,000 years. It did not last 10 years.
Those who appear as gods before men soon appear as men before God.
You may be in a great position today, rich and powerful, do not think that you are immortal and indestructible. There is one opponent that you can never conquer. It's name is death; and it is on its way. Every night that a man sleeps and wakes up, he moves one day closer to his day of death.
After death, what next?
The Bible says "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10
Everybody will appear in judgment — atheists, pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and so on. Once a man is dead, religion is over.
Since we must all appear before God to render account of all we have done, "whether it be good or bad", how do we escape the consequence of all our sins? The lies, theft, cheating, adultery, murder, envy, slander, and so on. How shall we escape eternal judgment in hell fire?
There is only one way out now - Repent. Turn from your sin and ask God for forgiveness through Jesus Christ. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Since we are going to be dead much longer than we live, should we not prepare for life after death?
Repent today. Now is the day of salvation.