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Five Tremendous Thoughts for Time and Eternity
Feb 15th, 2017
Commentary
Art Sadlier
Categories: Warning

1 – LIFE IS SHORT

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).

When I was a little boy we had a big wood burning stove in our kitchen. I can remember coming into the kitchen in winter time, taking my boots off and putting my frost bitten feet near that stove to thaw out.

I also remember the big kettle boiling on that hot stove as the steam poured out of it. That steam would rise up about two feet and then be gone.

The Bible says - Life is like that. Life is short!

I had a wonderful mother and father. We enjoyed them so much. Even after my two brothers and I were married and had families of our own we loved to have Mom and Dad around. They were fun people to be with.

My father died at 83 years of age and my mother died three months later. 83 years seems like a long time. But do you know from the time I was a child in the home until the time of their death, it all seemed such a short time. So quickly they lived and were gone.

Life even at its fullest is so very, very brief – Life is short!

A young mother who attended our church occasionally, said to her children one morning. "Children, I’m going out to work today to make some extra money to buy your Christmas presents."

She never came home. Her car slid on a patch of ice and into a tree and she was instantly killed. Life is short!

 “….What is your life, it is even as a vapour that appeareth for a little while and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).

2 – ETERNITY IS LONG

There are two imaginary illustrations that emphasize the length of eternity.

Suppose the earth were made of solid steel, a huge steel ball. Then suppose an eagle would swoop down every one hundred years and peck at the earth with its beak. When the earth had completely worn away, then eternity would have barely begun. Eternity is long!

Suppose a sparrow took a drop of water in his beak from the Atlantic Ocean and then hopped across Canada to deposit it into the Pacific Ocean and repeated the process. When the Atlantic had been emptied into the Pacific Ocean, eternity would have barely just begun.

The illustrations are simplistic and yet no one can comprehend the length of eternity. Eternity is long!

Here is a man who leaves Christ out of his life. Jesus said, “....he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth upon him” (John 3:36).

At the judgment of the great white throne, the Saviour who loved him enough to die for him on Calvary is forced to send this man down into the eternal flames of hell.

The man thinks, “Maybe this will be over in a year.” The year goes by and the flames are just as hot as ever. The man says, “Maybe the suffering will be over in 5 years.” But the five years go by and there is still no relief. Then the man thinks, “Maybe it will be over in a hundred years.” The hundred years go by and there is still no relief.

He cries out, “How long must I be tormented in these flames.” The walls of hell resound with echo, “FOREVER – FOREVER – FOREVER.” Then he realizes that Hell never ends. Eternity is long!

Here is another man who received Christ as his Saviour, a man who lived for Christ, a man who obeyed Christ. When he dies, he goes to heaven. Jesus Christ welcomes him with open arms, “Come in and enter into the Joy of thy Lord.”

He looks around, everything is peaceful and wonderful and beautiful. He has a perfect body. No pain, no trouble, no tears, no problems, no disappointments, no sadness. It all seems too good to be true. He meets Paul on the golden streets. He asks Paul, “How long will this wonderful life last?" Paul smiles and says, don’t you remember that I said, “We will be with the Lord forever!”

He meets Peter and asks him how long heaven will last? Peter says, "It’s like I told you, this inheritance will never fade away.” Then he goes back to the Lord Jesus and the Lord tells him, “Its everlasting life, you are going to enjoy it forever.” Eternity is long!

Yes eternity is long. Long in Heaven – Oh the Joy of it all!

But also long in Hell – Oh the horror of it!

3 - SIN IS BLACK

The world is full of sin. It is rampant in our streets, in our homes and in our schools. It is previewed on TV and it is present in our hearts.

Mankind was led to believe that along with our scientific, technological and intellectual advances we would also have an advance in moral attitudes. It hasn’t happened!

The Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The story is told about a jet aircraft that was supposedly travelling from Chicago to Los Angeles. As the big plane levelled out at 40,000 feet the passengers heard a voice over the speaker “This is a recording, you have the privilege of flying on the first fully automated flight. There is no crew aboard this aircraft. This plane took off electronically and is flying on automatic pilot. This plane will land on automatic pilot. You need not worry. Nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong….

Something has gone terribly wrong in our world. Sin is the thing that is wrong in our world.

Sin is black. Sin is rebellion against God and sin is deeply rooted in the hearts of men and women.

Sin began in Eden. God blessed Adam and Eve with everything the heart could desire. God said there is just one thing I don’t want you to touch. "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die" (Genesis 3:3).

It is implied that Adam and Eve said in their hearts, “God is not going to control my life. God is not going to tell us what we can or cannot do.” They rebelled against God. That is what sin is. Man has been living in rebellion against God ever since. Since that day, every son of Adam has been born with a sin nature, a heart in rebellion against God.

But sin has a penalty. "The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). “Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).

Physical death is ultimately separation from the body, though at the moment of birth our body begins to die.

Spiritual death is eternal separation from God.

 Sin is black – But there is a remedy for it in the sacrificial, cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. That is the only remedy! Jesus said, “….I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

4 – HELL IS CERTAIN

The Bible speaks more about Hell than it does about Heaven. WHY? I believe it is because God doesn’t want men and women to go there!

Suppose I were driving down the highway at 100 KM per hour. You knew that a few kilometers down the road a bridge was washed out! What would you do if you were my friend? Would you warn me? Would try to stop me? Would you stand on the highway and wave as hard as you could?

That’s what the Bible does. That’s what God does. That’s what a faithful preacher will do, not to be vindictive, but because he loves you. Hell is a real place, don’t go there! Hell is no joke. Hell is no figment of the imagination.

Jesus said that hell is real. He said that it is a place of torment, a place of darkness, a place of weeping, a place of gnashing of teeth, a place where the torment never ends. It is a place where the fire is never quenched. It is a place where, “the smoke of their torment ascendeth up day and night for ever and forever.”

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

Contrast that with Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”

Every soul without Christ is separated from hell by one heart-beat!!!

There are 27 books in the New Testament and in those 27 books 234 times God speaks of a place of judgment and eternal punishment.

If you are travelling along the highway and within 27 miles you see 234 billboards warning of danger ahead. The only wise thing to do is to turn around and get on another road.

Hell is certain and the only escape is through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “….except ye repent ye shall likewise perish” (Luke 14:3).

5 – HEAVEN CAN BE YOURS

The gospel declares that the sovereign Lord and creator of all things left heaven and came down to earth a man, a new man, not the son of Adam. He was not born with Adam's sin nature. He lived a perfect, righteous life that qualified Him to die an atoning, substitutionary death on the cross. He died for the sins of all mankind and He died for your sins. He was buried and on the third day he rose from the grave to justify those who would trust Him for salvation.

He now lives in heaven at the right hand of the Father. He desires to live His life in us. "....because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19). "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him" (Colossians 1:6). As you have received Christ by faith, so walk by faith, yielding to His Spirit, allowing Him to reproduce the life of Christ in you.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

John1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

One day a Texas oil man went to visit London England. He was fascinated by Buckingham Palace. He strode right up to the gate - he intended to go right in to see the queen. Two guards with fixed bayonets stepped in front of him and stopped him. The billionaire pulled out two $1,000 dollar bills. The soldiers said, “Mister, you cannot buy your way into the palace. If the Queen invites you in, you can go in free, but if she doesn’t invite you, you can’t go in.”

That is like heaven. Heaven is free. It is the gift of God. But if you do not receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour in this life you will be shut out of heaven when you die.

Why go to hell when it’s so easy to go to heaven?

A Christian couple adopted a little orphaned girl. She had never had enough of anything in her life. They took her to their beautiful home and said, “This is your home now."

They took her to a lovely bedroom and said, “This is your bedroom now. This is your own bed, these are your own toys; we are your mommy and daddy now.”

They went down to the kitchen and the new mother poured a glass of milk and handed it to the little girl. The little girl said, “Mommy how much can I drink?” The mother said, “Honey drink it all and there is more in the fridge if you want it.”

Jesus is saying the same thing to you. I want you to have my blessing on your life here and now and at the end, eternal life in heaven. I have a heaven full of good things waiting for you. Psalm 16:11 says, "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."

That is the invitation of Christ to you today.

Remember – Life is short –Eternity is long – Sin is black – Hell is certain – Heaven can be yours.

On the prairie when the grass is dry and the wind is blowing a prairie fire can be devastating. The fire travels faster than a man can run. When such a fire is spotted in the distance there is only one possible escape. The only hope is to start a new fire down wind. Then simply stand in the middle of the burned out spot. As the raging fire approaches, you are safe from harm because you are standing where the fire has already burned.

Nearly 2,000 years ago the fire storm of God’s judgment upon sin fell on Calvary’s cross. Jesus bore it all for mankind, for you and I. If we place ourselves at the foot of the cross and receive Christ as our Saviour, we are placed in Christ. We are then safe from God’s wrath against sin. We are standing where the fire of God’s wrath against sin has already fallen.

My unsaved friend, forgiveness of sin, salvation and heaven can be yours even now if you will receive Christ in repentance and faith. But the only time you can be sure of salvation is now.

The S.S. Central America was steaming from New York to San Francisco. She sprang a leak in mid-ocean. Another ship heard her distress signal and steamed to her side in the middle of the night.

The captain of the Central America radioed to the rescue ship, “We are going to sink, but I don’t want to risk transferring passengers in the darkness. Lie by until morning.”

The other captain radioed, “Let me take your passengers now.”

“Lie by until morning,” came the reply. Three times the request came and three times came the reply, “Lie by until morning.” A short time later the lights of the Central America went out. The ship had gone down with all on board perishing!

The captain was sincere in his intentions, but good intentions did not save them. He waited too long!

Scripture says, “….behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Will you receive Christ as your Saviour now?

Do you understand that your sin has offended a Holy God. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18). “….God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

You are under the wrath of God for your sin. Come to Christ now before it is forever too late.


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