Martes, Disyembre 16, 2014

Before Time Runs Out


TIME IS ONE of our most precious resources, but whose value we often underestimate.  We usually realize its true worth only when we have lost opportunities because of our wanton neglect or indiscriminate use of it.  How many times we have been in a situation when we wished that we had acted more promptly or responded more quickly to a given circumstance?
     Unfortunately, lost time can no longer be retrieved.  Even if we are given the opportunity to make up for it and rectify our past mistakes, our action could still come a little too late.
     Hence, we must learn to make use of our time wisely.  We cannot afford to squander time since our life is so short and fragile.  It is likened to a puff of smoke which appears for a moment and then disappears (Js. 4:14), and to wild flowers that wither and gone (I Pt. 1:24-25).
     One of such instances when we must act quickly is when there is an impending danger or disaster.  After receiving a warning of a coming calamity, for instance, we must respond immediately and do what is necessary to avert the loss of lives, if not the destruction of properties.  A delayed response can be disastrous and fatal, but prompt action can save lives and cherished possessions.
     The history of God’s people recorded in the Bible teaches us how important it is that we promptly heed given warnings specially those coming from the Lord Himself.
     Noah’s deliverance from the Great Flood
     During the time of the patriarch Noah, God decided to put an end to all mankind and destroy them completely because the world at that time had been filled with man’s violent deeds (Gen. 6:13).  God said:
     “ I am going to send a flood on the earth to destroy every living being. Everything on the earth will die.” (Gen. 6:17, Today’s English Version)
     God gave a foreboding and commanded Noah to build an ark for him and his family to be saved from the destructive flood (Gen 6:14-18).
     Did Noah tarry or dillydally after receiving God’s warning and instructions?  No, he did not.  He did according to all that God had commanded him (Gen. 6:22).
     When the ark was finished, what did God command Noah and his family to do?
     “The LORD said to Noah, "Go into the boat with your whole family; I have found that you are the only one in all the world who does what is right.
     “And Noah did everything that the LORD commanded.” (Gen. 7:1, 5, New King James Version)
     Because of their prompt response to God’s instructions, Noah and his household were the only ones saved by God in the ancient world (II P. 2:5, TEV).

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
     Who else received a stern warning from the  Lord and was asked to act quickly so as to be destroyed?
     “The two men said to Lot, "If you have anyone else here--sons, daughters, sons-in-law, or any other relatives living in the city--get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The LORD has heard the terrible accusations against these people and has sent us to destroy Sodom.” (Gen. 19:12-13, Ibid.)
     Were there people who ignored Lot’s warning when he told them about the terrible things that angels had said would happen?  In Genesis 19:14, this is written:
     “Then Lot went to the men that his daughters were going to marry, and said, "Hurry up and get out of here; the LORD is going to destroy this place." But they thought he was joking.” (Ibid.)
     Lot’s future sons-in-law did not take his warning seriously.  As such, they did not act or prepare for the disaster that the Lord was about to bring on the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
     The messengers of God then took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city (Gen. 19:16).  Here, we can see the great compassion God has for those who heed His warning.  He does everything to save them from a sure disaster.
     Hence, it is very important that we listen to God’s instructions and responds immediately to His call in order to saved from sure disaster.

Man faces death and judgment
  Why must all men respond quickly and obey God’s warning and instructions?  What else must man prepare for because they are likewise inevitable?  In Hebrews 9:27, the following is recorded:
    “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (NKJV)
     Why should man always be prepared to face his death and the coming Judgment?  In Ecclesiastes 9:12, we could read:
     “For man also does not know his time:
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.” (Ibid.)
     There are people who meet sudden death.  Some die in their sleep.  Others fall victim to accidents or mishaps.  Still others die because of some lingering illness.  Thus, man should make sure that he has obeyed God’s commands and instructions before he passes away.
     How about the day of Judgment?  Does man know when the end of the world will come?  Apostle Paul testifies, thus:
     “ For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
     “ For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” (I Thess. 5:2-3, Ibid.)
     The day of Judgment will come so suddenly and unexpectedly just as death comes to man.  We do not know the time, the day, or the year when either of these will come.
     This sudden destruction that will come on the day of the Lord is the destruction God has ordained on the day of Judgment when the world and all the works therein will be consumed by fire (II Pt. 3:7, 10).
     This is how our Lord Jesus Christ described the day of His Second Advent:
     “As it was in the time of Noah so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. Everybody kept on eating and drinking, and men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat and the flood came and killed them all.  It will be as it was in the time of Lot. Everybody kept on eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. On the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and killed them all. That is how it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.” (Lk. 17:26-30, TEV)

The way to salvation
     We must no longer tarry in obeying God’s command and instructions concerning our salvation on the day of Judgment.  We must act now.
     What does God through our Lord Jesus Christ command us to do to be saved?
     “Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
      “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” (Jn. 10:7, 9, NKJV)
     Where can we find those who have entered in by the door through our Lord Jesus Christ?  In John 10:9 of the Revised English Bible, our Lord Jesus states:
     “I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe.”
     Which is the fold or the flock where we find Christ’s sheep who are assured of salvation on the day of Judgment?  The Bible explains that the flock is the Church of Christ:
     “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)
    Hence, to join the true Church of Christ is to heed the Savior’s call.  This is the only means for man’s salvation in these last days.  As Noah and Lot heeded the Lord’s warning in their days so should we.  Let not time run out on us for the day of Judgment is near.
     Time is running out.

Pamphlets/Pasugo God’s Message/June 2002/Pages 21-22

Online Bible Gateway

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