Eternity: Thoughts in the Hospital

“It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

Where will you spend eternity? Have you asked yourself that question? Do not look away from this question. I am speaking to you. Stop right now and consider eternity. When your heart stops beating, and you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, will it be well with your soul? Are your sins forgiven? Have you been reconciled to God through the person and work of Jesus Christ?

This past week, my grandma had a heart attack and now remains in the palliative care unit. Over the past week, I have watched her health decline significantly. However, amid this dark providence, the Lord has been very kind to us all. I have had the opportunity to lead my grandmother each day closer toward the Celestial City, where her Glorious Redeemer dwells. We have been able to read Scripture, sing, pray, and recall the glorious gospel and the prospect of the Christian’s eternity. We have had many precious moments with her.

As of late, I have been impressed with the shortness of life and the length of eternity. Every one of us stands on the brink of eternity. We are all living on borrowed time. No one knows how much time they have left in that hourglass of life. Shouldn’t that change how we live? At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is whether you lived for Jesus Christ. I suspect that on my deathbed, I will not be wishing that I spent more time playing sports or going on vacation. Rather, I will be wishing that I spent more time in communion and fellowship with the Triune God and with his people. I will wish that I spent more time in prayer and under the ministry of the Word. I will wish that I spent more time making the All-Sufficient Saviour known to a lost and dying world.

Friend, what is robbing you of your time with God and others? I think one of the biggest challenges of our day is our social media usage. It was Tony Reinke who said, “Nothing puts social media and smartphone habits into context like the blunt reality of our mortality. Let it sink in a bit. Feel the brevity of life, and it will make you fully alive.” How true is that? When we are faced with our mortality, we see the vanities of this life. We so easily exchange our time with God, in His Book, for endless scrolls through Facebook. Instead of first talking with God, we so often Tweet to others. Is this exchange worth it? No. If you have come to realize this, how then will you spend your life?

Do you want to make your life count? Friend, invest in eternity! Live for eternity! Oh, that God would impress upon your eyes the reality of Heaven and Hell. Do you understand that there is a coming Day where you will give an account for how you spent your life? The apostle Paul says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10).

Friend, give your life to knowing Christ. Dive deep into the unfathomable ocean of His glories, found in His Word. Eternity itself will never fully unfold Christ. For all of eternity, you and I, Christian, will be unfolding the endless curtains of His glories. We will never come to an end. Why not begin that journey today? Christian, give your life to the study and meditation of God’s Word. Give yourself to prayer. Give yourself to making much of Christ to a lost and dying world. Time is short and eternity is long. The best use of your time is found in knowing God and making Him known.

If you are not a Christian, do you understand God’s kindness towards you? He has brought you to this blog to call you to repentance (to turn from your sin) and by faith come to God through Jesus Christ. The fact that your heart is still beating right now is God’s grace towards you. Do not put this off. Get right with God today. You stand on the brink of eternity. Where will you spend eternity?

My friend, if you have not come to Jesus Christ, I plead with you to read this short article. It will only take a few minutes. It will be well worth it. This article explains (1) the Character of God, (2) the Problem of Man, and (3) the hope of eternal life. Click the following link to read: What is the Gospel?

With mercy and with judgment
My web of time He wove;
And always dews of sorrow
Were lustered with His love;
I’ll bless the hand that guided,
I’ll bless the heart that planned,
When throned where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s land.

 

Ministerial Lessons from M’Cheyne

INTRODUCTION

            If you could learn from one person in church history, who would it be? I would argue that every minister of the gospel must become familiar with Robert Murray M’Cheyne. On March 20th, 1832, after reading part of the Life of Jonathan Edwards, Robert Murray M’Cheyne penned these words: “How feeble my spark of Christianity appears beside such a sun! But even his was a borrowed light, and the same source is still open to enlighten me.”[1] Like Edwards, M’Cheyne was a man who maintained a close fellowship with his Creator and Redeemer. As a result, though he has been with the Lord for some time, his life and ministry still speak today.

Passion About Holiness

            To begin, M’Cheyne makes it clear that every minister must be a man who is passionate about holiness. This concept of personal holiness should not be new to us. Throughout the Bible, we see that our calling as a Christian and pastor is a calling to personal holiness: “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’ (1 Pet. 1:15 – 16).

Robert Murray M’Cheyne was convinced that personal holiness and ministerial success were intimately connected. Are you aware of this connection? Pastor, do you know that your personal holiness influences your ministry? M’Cheyne writes,

But do not forget the culture of the inner man – I mean of the heart. How diligently the cavalry officer keeps his sabre clean and sharp; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. Remember you are God’s sword – his instrument – I trust a chosen vessel unto him to bear his name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.[2]

M’Cheyne shows us that the minister who is greatly used by God is the one who exhibits the greatest likeness to Jesus Christ. The minister who diligently pursues holiness in his life is ready to be used by God. The Apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:21 – “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” Pastor, do you know that your calling is a calling to a life of holiness? We need to be daily reminded of this and pursue holiness diligently through the ordinary means of grace that God has given us (the word, sacraments, and prayer).

One of the most outstanding qualities given to Robert Murray M’Cheyne was his personal holiness. Andrew Bonar said, “it was testified of him that not the words he spoke, but the holy manner in which he spoke, was the chief means of arresting souls.”[3] Today, the idea of personal holiness is often neglected in many churches across our land. M’Cheyne does well to remind us that our congregations need our own personal holiness.

Persistent in Prayer

            Secondly, though prayer is one of the greatest privileges of the Christian life, it is often the most neglected. M’Cheyne teaches us that ministers must be persistent in prayer. Robert Murray M’Cheyne saw prayer not as a “mere discipline or duty to be fulfilled – it was a delight to be savored… He saw prayer as the end itself, the very heart of a believer’s communion with God on earth.”[4] However, though prayer is a great privilege, it is also a great duty. M’Cheyne believed that “a minister’s duty is not so much public as private… if a minister is to thrive in his own soul, and be successful in his work, he must be the half of his time on his knees.”[5]

The temptation for every minister is to rely on his strength to fulfill his duty. However, this is a grievous error. Our Lord Jesus says, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). M’Cheyne confronts this error and shows us that the minister must be a man who goes forward on their knees. On one occasion, M’Cheyne said to his church, “Who knows how many souls would be saved if you would make serious use of daily weeping and praying before God over your unconverted friends and over the unconverted world.”[6] What would our churches look like if we seriously gave ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word? Like M’Cheyne, every minister must be persistent in the prayer closet.

Persevere in Evangelism

            Thirdly, we learn that a passion for God overflows in a deep love for the lost. Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s love for souls was the sprung from the outflow of his love for God. M’Cheyne wrote the following statement in his journal: “I have never risen a morning without thinking how I could bring more souls to Christ.”[7] Horatius Bonar rightfully notes that “our power in drawing men to Christ springs chiefly from the fullness of our personal joy in Him, and the nearness of our personal communion with him.”[8] When we see the beauty and glory of Christ in the Scriptures, how can we not joyfully tell about him to others?

Therefore, if we desire to persevere in evangelism, we must begin with God himself. The fuel for evangelism is found in beholding the beauty of the Lord. If we long to be more evangelistically minded, then we must have a growing communion with our Triune God. Our perseverance in evangelism springs chiefly from our deep love for Christ and his Word. If we are to grow in our love for the lost, we must first grow in our love for Christ. Most importantly, if we are to speak for eternity, M’Cheyne reminds us that we must cultivate our own spirit. “A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear, and your heart full of God’s Spirit, is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin.”[9]

CONCLUSION

            To conclude this essay, we have seen that Robert Murray M’Cheyne never ceased from the cultivation of personal holiness, and the most anxious efforts to save souls.[10]As Robert Murray M’Cheyne reflected upon his ministry, he said the following: “I feel persuaded that if I could follow the Lord more fully myself, my ministry would be used to make a deeper impression than it has yet done.”[11] What would it look like if God were to raise-up another generation of men like Robert Murray M’Cheyne in our day? Christian, today you are called to be passionate about holiness, persistent in prayer, and persevere in evangelism.

______________________________________________________________________________________

These lessons were largely drawn from The Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. To read more about Robert Murray M’Cheyne, please visit Banner of Truth.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Beaty, David P. An All-Surpassing Fellowship. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage, 2014.

 

Bonar, Andrew. Robert Murray M’Cheyne. 2012. Reprint. Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2014.

 

Bonar, Andrew. Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. 1966. Reprint. Edinburgh:    Banner of Truth, 1973.

 

Jeffery, Peter. Preachers Who Made a Difference. New York: Evangelical Press, 2004.

 

Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn. Preaching and Preachers. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.

M’Cheyne, Robert Murray. From the Preacher’s Heart. Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus,    1995.

 

Murray, Iain. A Scottish Christian Heritage. 2006. Reprint. Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2014.

 

 

 

                        [1] David P., Beaty. An All-Surpassing Fellowship (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage, 2014), 12.

                [2] David P., Beaty. An All-Surpassing Fellowship, 65.

                [3] David P., Beaty. An All-Surpassing Fellowship, 127.

                [4] Ibid., 117.

                [5] Ibid, 118.

                [6] Ibid., 120.

                [7] Ibid., 139.

                [8] Ibid.

                [9] Andrew, Bonar. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, 144-145.

                [10] Ibid., 229,

                [11] Ibid., 218.

 

A Summer Study in Romans Chapter 6

What book will you be reading this summer? Have you thought about the next book on your reading list? Each summer I like to read a major work that has been widely used by God in the edification of the saints and the salvation of the lost. This summer I will be reading through The New Man: An Exposition of Romans Chapter 6 by D. Martyn, Lloyd-Jones. Will you join me?

Lloyd-Jones was once asked, “when are you going to begin preaching through Romans?” He replied: “I am going to preach on Romans when I understand Romans chapter 6.” Since then, the Church has been privileged to have Lloyd-Jones’ longest series of expositions in the book of Romans. The New Man: An Exposition of Romans Chapter 6 finds itself within the 14-volume set of Romans published by The Banner of Truth Trust.

Christian, will you spend your summer with me in the book of Romans, reading one of the greatest expositors of all time? Earl D. Radmacher, in Christianity Today, writes: “This is no average book. Nor will you read it indifferently. It is the kind of book that will grip your mind and heart.” I pray that our time spent in Romans 6 would be a blessing to your soul. It is my prayer that you would continue to grow in the grace, knowledge, and likeness of Christ.

So, what is the plan? How will we go about this? Well, I have made a suggested reading plan for you to follow. The goal is to work through The New Man: An Exposition of Romans Chapter 6 in the next four months (May – August):

MLJ ROMANS

I highly recommend that you work through this book with a group, rather than reading it alone. Gather one or two of your friends and study this book together. This will allow for dialogue and edification that could not happen if done alone. For this reason, if you cannot find a group to read with, join mine! We will be hosting skype sessions to discuss the book every other week, starting on week 2. If you are interested in this option, feel free to contact me on my ‘contact page.’

If you are still contemplating this endeavour, listen to Sinclair Ferguson’s recommendation.

“To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Tim. 1:17).

To God Be The Glory!

In the 1750’s, Jonathan Edwards began to write his dissertation on “The End for Which God Created the World.” Edwards writes:

‘The great end of God’s works, which is so variously expressed in Scripture, is indeed but one; and this one end is most properly and compressively called, the Glory of God… The glory of God is the actual result and consequence of the creation of the world. Additionally, the glory of God is the ultimate end in the work of redemption; which is the chief work of providence towards the world.”

Therefore, the end for which God created all things is for his glory.

Look at the following texts:
Psalm 79:8, “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!”

Psalm 115:1, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”

Finally, Yahweh says in Isaiah 48:11, “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”

Christian, have you thought about this? Have you come to realize that all things lead to the glory of God? Dr. Tom Schreiner writes: “God has arranged redemptive history in such a way that brings the maximum glory to himself. He has arranged it so that it is clear that all things are from him, through him, and to him.

To listen to my sermon on Romans 11:36 – ‘To God Be the Glory’ click here.

Gaze Upon His Beauty

**This post is the fruit of my meditation from Week 6 of the ‘Behold your God: The Weight of Majesty’ Bible Study. Click here to view the Bible Study.**

__________________________________________________________________________________

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. (Col. 2:6-7 NAS)

            The Apostle Paul tells us that as Christians, we have “been firmly rooted” in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are united to His life, death, burial, and resurrection (Eph. 2:10; Gal. 2:20; Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:3; Rom. 6:5; 2 Cor. 13:5). This union with Christ will influence how we walk as Christians. Since we have been united to Christ, Paul tells us that we are to “walk in Him!” In other words, as a result of our union with Christ, we are now “being built up in Him and established” in the faith. The call for us today is to walk in Him. How then do we do that?

If we are to walk in Him, we must daily sink the roots of our life into the truth of God’s Word. Dr. John Snyder describes it this way: “Roots gain nutrients from the soil. Your soul may find temporary satisfaction in the junk food of our culture, or it will find lasting satisfaction in the feast of the immutable realities of God.” Christian, where will you plant the root of your soul today? Will you plant your soul in the feast of God’s Word? Or will you plant it in the treasures and cares of this world?

Today you and I are called to sink our life into the truths of God’s Word. Robert Murray M’Cheyne writes:

When you gaze upon the sun—it makes everything else dark; when you taste honey—it makes everything else tasteless. Likewise, when your soul feeds on Jesus —it takes away the sweetness of all earthly things; praise, pleasure, fleshly lusts, all lose their sweetness. Keep a continued gaze! Run, looking unto Jesus. So will the world be crucified to you—and you unto the world!

Oh, beloved! Feed your soul daily on our Lord Jesus Christ. He is all-together lovely! He is the fairest of ten-thousand thousands. When the worries, cares, and anxieties of this world bombard your soul, feast upon Christ! Sit at His feet. Gaze upon His inexhaustible beauty. If we are to walk in Him daily, firmly establishing our roots in Him, we are to keep a continued gaze and sustained look upon Him! Today, press on with a gaze upon Jesus Christ. I will close with a quote from Thomas Goodwin:

“I pity all the wordlings’ talk

Of pleasures that will quickly end:

Be this my choice, O Lord, to walk,

With thee my Guide, my Guard, my Friend”

 

To God be the Glory!

 

 

Eternal Praises – A Hymn Based on Revelation 4.

I wrote the following hymn, Eternal Praises, after meditating on Revelation 4:6-11:

“And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,11

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Amen. The Scriptures are enough to stir the soul, but here is the hymn I wrote. I pray it blesses you! SDG.

 

Eternal Praises (Based on Revelation 4):

“Falling down before Your Throne,

Casting crowns before Your feet;

Singing praises to our God,

Thrice-Holy is His name.

 

Multitudes that none can number,

Standing before Your Heavenly Throne,

Crying out for endless ages:

“Worthy is the Lamb!”

 

Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

To receive eternal praises of all things,

For You were slain, and by Your blood,

Purchased a people from all nations.


Lift up your head, afflicted saint,

For our God is in our midst;

He will shepherd, He will guide,

For all eternity.”

 

(Written by Joshua John Mills, February 16th, 2019)

 

**Note: If you seek to use this hymn, please ask for the authors permission.**

Grace in Winter – Lessons from Samuel Rutherford

Regarding the life and ministry of Samuel Rutherford, C. H. Spurgeon said the following:

“When we are dead and gone let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s Letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men.”[1] The question is, what made Rutherford’s ministry so attractive? The attraction to his ministry was not found within himself but in the timeless attraction of Christ. A visiting Englishman said the following about Samuel Rutherford: ‘I heard a little fair man, and he showed me the loveliness of Christ.’ Rutherford was known to continuously tell of the “boundless and unsearchable riches of the saving and sanctifying grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.” What then can we learn from the ministry of Samuel Rutherford? I will draw three lessons from his life and ministry:

1)      The Importance of Union and Communion with Christ:

To begin, Rutherford knew that the heart of Christian experience is in union and communion with Christ. The greatest joy of the Christian is to have a living relationship with the all-majestic, all-glorious God. This relationship, however, comes at a cost. Rutherford was often exiled and imprisoned for his allegiance to the word of God and the God of the word. He suffered greatly in his life, yet his union and communion with Christ sustained him. Rutherford writes:

“O how sweet to be wholly Christ’s, and wholly in Christ; to dwell in Immanuel’s high and blessed land, and live in that sweetest air, where no wind bloweth but the breathings of the Holy Ghost… O for eternity’s leisure, to look on Him, to feast upon a sight of His face! O for the long summer day of endless ages to stand beside Him and enjoy Him! O time, O sin, be removed out of the way! O day! O fairest of days, dawn!”[2]

The union and communion that Rutherford had with the living God was his supreme delight and passion. He found his strength in Christ. Do you? Christian, do you understand the realities that are yours in Christ? Do you understand the privilege that it is to commune daily with the living God? Oh, that we would not take this privilege lightly. May we make it our aim to commune with God before we commune with man.

2)      The Supreme Beauty of Christ:

Secondly, Rutherford saw Christ in all his loveliness. He would often say, he is all-together lovely. Rutherford would later write, “I am sure, that if ye see Him in His beauty and glory, ye shall see Him to be all things, and that incomparable jewel of gold that ye should seek, howbeit ye should sell… I would far rather look but through the hole of Christ’s door, to see but the one half of His fairest and most comely face (for He looketh like heaven!), suppose I should never win in to see His excellency and glory to the full, than enjoy the flower, the bloom, and the chiefest excellency of the glory and riches of ten worlds.”[3]

Rutherford saw that Christ was the Chief among ten-thousands. His beauty and loveliness far surpass everything. For that reason, Samuel Rutherford gave his life to beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He longed to see Christ more. He longed to display this all-together lovely Christ to a dying world. He was captivated by the supreme beauty of Christ. Are you? Can you say, “all that thrills my soul is Jesus”?

3) A Proper Perspective on Suffering:

Most of Rutherford’s letters were written through seasons of tremendous trials. Yet, the Lord in his providence used Rutherford’s suffering for a greater purpose, namely, to minister to others. Rutherford shows the believer that their suffering is not meaningless. Rather, it is a means by which the gracious God grows them into Christ-likeness. Rutherford writes: “I think it is a sweet thing that Christ saith of my cross, ‘Half mine;’ and that He divideth these sufferings with me and taketh the larger share to Himself; nay, that I and my whole cross are wholly Christ’s. Oh, what a portion is Christ! Oh that the saints would dig deeper in the treasures of His wisdom and excellency.”[4]

Again, speaking on suffering, Rutherford writes: “The thorn is one of the most cursed, and angry, and crabbed weeds that the earth yieldeth, and yet out of it springeth the rose, one of the sweetest-smelled flowers, and most delightful to the eye, that the earth hath. Your Lord shall make joy and gladness out of your affiliations; for all His roses have a fragrant smell… But, Madam, come near to the Godhead, and look down to the bottom of the well; there is much in Him, and sweet were that death to drown in such a well.”[5]

In our suffering, Rutherford reminds us to look to Christ. Know that our trials are sovereignly ordained by our Heavenly Father for our good. At times, we must go through the fiery furnace of affliction. However, it is in that process where all of our infirmities and pollutants are scraped off, and in the end, we come out purer. Christian, in your afflictions, look to Christ!

In this post, we have seen three things: (1) The importance of union and communion with Christ, (2) the supreme beauty of Christ, (3) a proper perspective on suffering. I will conclude this post with Rutherford’s words as an exhortation to you:

“If those frothy, fluctuating, and restless hearts of ours would come all about Christ, and look into His love, to bottomless love, to the depth of mercy, to the unsearchable riches of His grace, to inquire after and search into the beauty of God in Christ, they would be swallowed up in the depth and height, length and breadth of His goodness. Oh, if men would draw the curtains, and look into the inner side of the ark, and behold how the fullness of the Godhead dwelleth in Him Bodily! Oh! Who would not say, “Let me die, let me die ten times, to see a sight of Him?”[6]

“But O for his insatiable desires Christward! O for ten such men in Scotland to stand in the gap! – men who all day long find nothing but Christ to rest in, whose very sleep is a pursuing after Christ in dreams, and who intensely desire to ‘awake with His likeness.”[7]

May God by his grace give us such men and women like Rutherford. Amen.

**Note: To purchase a copy of The Letters of Samuel Rutherford, published by Banner of Truth, click here.

 

 

Citations:

[1] The Sword and Trowel, 1891.

[2] Samuel, Rutherford. Letters of Samuel Rutherford. 1984. Reprint, (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2012), 13 – 15.

[3] Samuel, Rutherford. Letters of Samuel Rutherford, 378, 446.

[4] Ibid, 480.

[5] Ibid, 71.

[6] Samuel, Rutherford. Letters of Samuel Rutherford, 185.

[7] Ibid, 30.

The Preciousness of Time

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16 ESV)

            In 1722 and 1723, during his nineteenth year, Jonathan Edwards wrote his resolutions. These seventy resolutions would later govern his entire life and ministry. Regarding the use of his time, Edwards wrote: “Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I can… Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live… Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.” As we look at the life of Jonathan Edwards, we see that he was a man who sought to put Ephesians 5:15-16 into practice. Edwards saw the shortness of life and the length of eternity. As a result, he sought to make the best use of his time, because he knew that his days were sovereignly numbered.

In recent days, the Lord had shown me the shortness of life and the length of eternity. Our days are fleeting. One day you can wake up healthy, and the next day you can wake up sick. The days we have been given do not belong to us. We are simply stewards of God’s time, which he has graciously allotted to us. Will we redeem the time that has been given to us? Psalms 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” The psalmist shows us that before we took our first breath, every single day that we would ever live was sovereignly ordered by God. Job 14:5 gives us a similar picture: “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” Every single day that you will ever live has been decreed by the All-Wise and Sovereign God. Where you were born, the family you would grow up in, where you would go to school, whom you would marry, how many children you will, where you will retire, when you will die… it has all been sovereignly ordained perfectly by your Heavenly Father. As George Whitefield once said, “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.”

How should this truth change our Christian lives? How did this truth change the life of Jonathan Edwards? In the sermon titled The Preciousness of Time and The Importance of Redeeming It, Edwards gives us several reasons as to why time is precious and why we must redeem it.

1)      Time is precious because eternity hangs on how we spend time:

To those who are not Christians… If you do not find refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ before your time is up, you will be lost forever. You must come to the Lord Jesus Christ today for the forgiveness of sins. And Christians, we must remember 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” We must redeem the time that has been given to us for God’s glory. The decisions we make today as Christians will have an eternal impact. We must live with one eye upon this world and the other eye looking upon eternity. May we, by God’s grace, live with an eternal mindset. Whenever we meet someone, may we think, “Eternity! Eternity! Where will you spend Eternity!”

2)      Time is precious because it is very short:

Our life is but a vapour. I am sure that you can testify to the shortness of life. The years seem to slide away, faster and faster. We have a fixed period of time that has been given to us, and it is very short in comparison to eternity. The moment you were born, the clock began to tick. Christian, we must make an eternal investment in this brief life. What we do has an eternal importance. Are you investing in eternal treasures? Are you seeking heavenly things above? Is it your greatest desire to know Christ and make Him known?

3)      Time is precious because we do not know how much we have:

Edwards writes: “We know that [time] is very short, but we know not how short… We know not how little of it remains, whether a year, or several years, or only a month, a week, or a day. We are every day uncertain whether that day will not be the last, or whether we are to have the whole day.” The clock is ticking but we do not know when the alarm will sound. Today could be our last day, this second could be our last second.

Edwards sought to live every day as if it were his last. He wanted to live with the mindset that this could be his last hour of life. If it were Edwards’ last hour, would he live in a manner that displeased the Lord? No. As a Christian, if it were your last hour on this earth, your desire would be to live in such a way that would bring God the most glory. Christian, this doesn’t mean that we are to live in fear, for we know that our eternal security rests in the All-Mighty God! None can snatch us from his hand! In John 10:28-29, the Good Shepherd says, “28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Christian, if you are in Christ, you are eternally secure.

However, there is a call for us to redeem the time that God has given us. There is no time to waste. We are to live with an eternal mindset. Are we preparing ourselves and others for eternity?

May God help us in this matter. How will you invest in this current hour?

**Follow this link to read Jonathan Edwards’ sermons: The Preciousness of Time and The Importance of Redeeming It

 

 

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started