When Time Ceases To Be
Written by Jay Yeager
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 21:16

When time ceases to be

(By Jay Yeager)

 

The inspired writers of the New Testament affirm throughout that Christ is coming again (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 3:13; et. al.). His coming will be as a thief in the night (I Thessalonians 5:2), simply meaning that no man knows when that will occur (Matthew 25:13; Mark 13:32-33). Christ will come suddenly, when least expected (Matthew 24:42; 50). He will come as he went in the clouds, heralded with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God (I Thessalonians 4:16). His coming will escape none, as every eye will see him (Revelation 1:7).

 

The word of God presents four portraits of that event, when time ceases as we know it:

  1. The glad.   2. The sad.   3. The fearful.   4. The surprised.

 

1. The glad

Those who have obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 18:8; Romans 6:16-18) and have remained steadfast, unmoveable, abounding in the work of the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58). For them, the second coming of Jesus Christ will bring the promise of eternal life (Titus 1:2). The sojourning of this world will end as they enter that city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:9-16), and as they hear the marvelous words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21; 23).

 

2. The sad

Christians that began the race with confidence, only to stop short of the finish line (Hebrews 11:1; 4:1).

 

Perhaps like Demas, the enticement of this present world proves too strong to resist (II Timothy 4:10). Tragically for Demas, as well as others like him who are willing to surrender forever for the temporary and perishing (I John 2:15-17), have in a figure their epitaph recorded in II Peter 2:20-22). “For after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandments delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire”

For others, like the five foolish virgins, carelessness results when we begin to think there is time enough to make last minuet preparations. “Tomorrow, I will be more serious about Bible study, seeking the lost, faithfulness”, until suddenly there is no tomorrow. “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6), the frantic scurry to do that which could have and should have been done earlier. Then, the door is shut, and the five foolish virgins hear the horrifying words, “I know you not” (Matthew 25:12). 

 

3. The fearful

Those who, with one excuse after another, refuse to serve God. Like the “…scoffers, walking after their own lust, and saying, where is his coming?” (II Peter 3:3-4), deliberately avoiding the question of eternity, as though refusing to accept it will in some way prevent it. “For when they say peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thessalonians 5:3).

 

They can run from God while time is yet theirs, but when time ceases to be, all will face Christ in judgment (II Corinthians 5:10), and God has forewarned, “NO EXCUSES ACCEPTED!” (Romans 1:20-21).

 

4. The surprised

Pleasing God is not just being religious. How many truly believe that God will accept any and all worship because of the sincerity of the worshipper? Jesus revealed the folly of such thinking. “Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

 

It does not matter how often or how loudly you call Jesus your Lord. He is not now, nor will he ever be the Lord to those who do not submit themselves to the will of the Father.

 

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).

 

Beloved, while the choice is yet ours to make, I hope that each of us will live to serve the Lord according to the will of God so that we can be; “Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).