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Home The Light Articles from 2010 The Clock of Life

The Clock of Life

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Exceprts from the preaching of bro. Bob Johnson

In this world in which we live, every thought seems to be on today-what we can achieve, what we have, or what we will gain.

Few want to look back to their beginning. Maybe we are embar­rassed that we were once weak and frail and had no ability to plan and scheme and accomplish and prevail over circumstances in life.

But, even more, do we fail to look toward our eternal destiny-our future after these things that are now, to consider what we then shall be, or where we shall be, or how it shall be.

But I wish for you to concentrate on this great clock-view its varying hours and see them as a portion of your life as you live here and remem­ber it is just wound once; we don't know how many times the key was turned, for God has wound this clock for you and you alone.

You may listen as it ticks away, but then time will wind down and it shall stop. And you will have used up your portion to ready yourself for eternity.

I don't know how long that may be. The poet put it like this...

The clock of life is wound but once, And no man has the power,

To tell just when the hands may stop, At late or early hour.

Now is the only time you have, Live, love, toil with a will;

Place no faith in tomorrow,

For the hands may then be still.

But now, let's assume that you may be blessed with a normal life span and I want us to notice some things mentioned in the scriptures pertaining to time.

First of all, A Time to Be Born. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 I read, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heav­ens." Then he says, "...a time to be born." The wise man in Psalms 127:3 says: "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Every little baby born can be con­sidered as a guilt or blessing of God in this age of permissiveness and moral decay. It might not seem so, but I think Solomon referred to mothers and dads, wives and hus­bands who desired children, who love and care and sacrifice for them, and seek to guide and train them, to de­velop into goodly men and women.

Look back with me now to your childhood-a mother and daddy who doted over you, who carefully watched after you and sought your welfare above all other things and with guidance and discipline and training helped you to come to the time when you could be accountable on your own. And though many times you disappointed them and worried them and even rebelled against them, yet they considered you a heritage or blessing of God.

But notice again Ecclesiastes 3. It said, "To every thing there is a sea­son, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." Not only were you a gift of God, but you were also oorn at His appointed time and pur­pose. And so I want you to consider your birth and childhood as that which was according to God's will and purpose in you. I have placed this at the first hour in your clock of life.

Now number two is, A Time to Obey. Little children cannot obey from their heart that form of doctrine spoken of in Romans 6:17. They are pure before God and not accountable to obey that which they cannot fully understand. Jesus declared in Mark 10:14, "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

Now listen to 2 Corinthians 6:2. "For he saith; I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored (helped in difficulty and distress) thee. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

Are you listening to me this morn­ing? Now is the accepted time. Op­portunity is knocking at your door. Are you away from God. Your clock of life has come to the very time, the very hour that God would have you obey Him. You can hear and you can understand and you are accountable for your soul and to God.

Hear Him and obey Him either by baptism or confession-today! It is time for you to obey, and your clock is ticking on.

Number three is A Time of Temptation. The devil (our adver­sary, our enemy) tempts us when we are young and before we obey God. But he may even tempt us more greatly after we become children of God. Oh, how foolish are the self-righteous who seem to think they have it made. They are so strong, so set in the faith, so sure of themselves that they think they won't be tempted

in some way. They think their arch enemy is leaving them alone, that he has given up on them. Job, perfect, upright, feared God, eschewed (avoided) evil. Paul warns in 1 Co­rinthians 10:12, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

Jesus, in Luke 8:13 speaks of those who hear the word and receive it with joy and believe for a while, but are then tempted and fall away. This type person is not well rooted.

As your time ticks out here, the devil is trying desperately to entice you, he has tried to tempt even the greatest of men. Abraham, Job, Da­vid, Simon Peter, Paul and even Je­sus were all tempted.

Do you suppose he will leave you without trials of faith and deceits and worldly desires and friends who would lead you wrong? Or with greed or hate or selfishness or an uncontrolled tongue or desires for greatness and glory or apathy or slothfulness? No wonder James says in his first chapter, verses 12-16, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath con­ceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved breth­ren."

As your clock moves on, you will be tempted. Think each day, "How am I tempted?"  Number four is Perilous Times.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-5. It seems the apostle, as he wrote to Timothy, readily described the age in which we live. Listen: 2 Timothy 3:1-5, "This know also, that in the last days peril­ous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covet­ous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce- breakers, false accusers, incon­tinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

This is the age, the time we are all living in now. Can we look higher than this old world? Can we by an eye of faith see a better day? A place without self seeking, without proud, blasphemous people who don't even love their children, liars, backbiters, haters, traitors, and those who love pleasures more than God. Or are we conforming to the world?

Number five is A Time to Awake. We become complacent, just want to drift along, don't do anything too bad or too good either; be good friend to our friends, love everybody who does­n't contradict us; support the church by our presence-part of the time. Don't pay much attention to sin in others' lives, careless in our own lives and loaf along to heaven.

Friends, do you know what time it is? Paul will tell you in Romans 13:11-12 that "...now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we be­lieved. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on

the armour of light." We need to awaken to reality!

Number six is A More Conve­nient Time. When we are enjoying the world and its enticements. When we are involved with all manner of cares. When we desire prosperity and glory and ease and pleasure. When we want to fulfill our will instead of God's, then my friends, we want to wait to serve God and we put off our duties to Him and our Christian du­ties to others and our devotions and our obedience. We put God aside until we have a real convenient time.

Oh, the preacher may preach about righteousness and about self control, to watch our actions, and speech and habits and he may even picture the judgment to come. We may look at our position before God and tremble, but, like old Felix, we can hedge around him and say, "When I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." And time passed on, and life's clock stopped.

Number seven is A Time At Hand. Revelation 1:3 John reveals this: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.. "

The old clock has just about run down. It's ticking very faintly now. Opportunities have come and gone. Our work is accomplished or will never be done. Our hope anchors our soul or we dread the end and yet we don't know when.

We may be old. We may be young. We may think about it or may think it will never be. It matters not now, our clock is running down.

Number eight is A Time to Die. God told us about this appointment in Hebrews 9:2 7. It wasn’t something He wanted for His creation, but our adversary came on the scene back in the beginning and beguiled our first ancestors and they sinned. So death has been with us ever since.

We have witnessed the death of others-maybe an accident or a dread­ed disease. Or maybe they died quickly. Or maybe they lingered long and we realized it was coming. Or maybe it was so unexpected we could hardly accept it. But their time was all used up and the effect should be sobering as we wonder who is next.

Is your appointment coming up?...wonder how many more ticks on the clock of life for us. Will the waters of Jordan be cold? Will we suffer long? Will we remember like the man in Luke 16:25, being tor­mented in the flames, or rest in Abra­ham's bosom?

And number nine is A Time for Judgment. The midnight hour has come. The clock doesn't make a sound...Listen with me...maybe the stillness is dreadful.

Then let us watch as John pictures to us in Revelation 10:5-6 when time shall be no more: "And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer."

Every dream, every plan, every effort...every day and every hour will be no more, and before us is the brightness of the throne of God. And there our heavenly Father, the one who blessed our birth and began our clock of life with diverse purpose. The one who kept it running though we have seemed unworthy at times, and the one who brought us to the appointed time for the clock to stop.

And there is Jesus, who died that we might live, and made it possible for us to become joint heirs with him of the glories of God. All about are innumerable angels and the judgment begins. With each sentence either the dungeons of hell wail, or the heav­enly angels rejoice.

The earth is gone. The stars have been cast down. The sun and moon have faded away. All works and plans, all hardships and joys, all sick­nesses and earthly cares are past. The clock has stopped. Time is no more. Listen:

0 soul of mine, be not alarmed At what the Lord may say. Some future time, when I am old, I'll choose the heavenly way.

Time, time, time enough yet; O soul, why be alarmed? The heavenly I'll choose some day, But there's time, time enough yet.

1 'm strong enough, I need no help; It's pleasure that I crave.

When I have drunk life's sparkling cup, I'll call on Christ to save.

But there's time, time enough yet. The Holy Spirit's tender voice Entreats me night and day, And ere I go in sin too far I'll turn and Him obey.

But there's time, time enough yet. Today, O friend, may be the last; Stop now and count the cost. You stand condemned before the throne, Your soul forever lost.

Lost! Lost! O what a cry

From souls along the shore;

In darkness to go, in sorrow and woe.

And be lost, lost evermore. 

 

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