2 Introduction 1. Eccl. 3:1-9 Time marches on with its repeated cycles: what does it mean?
Eccl. 3:1-9 1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
5 Introduction 2. God teaches us to reflect on time & its meaning: Limited Ruled by God Wasted in Sin, Redeemed in Christ Extended by God’s Patience A Journey With or Without God
6 I. Limited: Begins & Ends A. Time Begins in God Gen. 1:1, 14-15 God created time, regulates it
Gen. 1:1, 14-15 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
8 I. Limited: Begins & Ends B. Time Ends in God 2 Pet. 3:10 The final day
2 Pet. 3:10 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
10 I. Limited: Begins & Ends C. Each Person’s Life Ps. 90 God is eternal, man temporal Vv. 1-6 God eternal Vv. 7-11 Man temporal Vv. 12-17 Prayer for mercy
Ps. 90:1-6 God eternal 1 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Ps. 90:1-6 God eternal 3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. 6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
Ps. 90 Man temporal 7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. 8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. 9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.
Ps. 90 Prayer for mercy 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. 13 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
Ps. 90 Prayer for mercy 16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
16 II. Ruled by God A. God Controls Time & Life of Nations Dan. 2:20-21 God prophesied four kingdoms
Dan. 2:20-21 20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
18 II. Ruled by God A. God Controls Time & Life of Nations Dan. 7:25 Wicked rulers aspire to such power
Dan. 7:25 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
20 II. Ruled by God B. God Rules Time with a View to Saving Men Acts 17:24-27 Men who seek God may find Him
Acts 17:24-27 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
22 II. Ruled by God B. God Rules Time with a View to Saving Men Heb. 1:1-2 God revealed Himself to men of every age
Heb. 1:1-2 1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
24 II. Ruled by God C. God’s Rule Essential to Unfold His Plan for Human Redemption Gal. 4:4 God guided history to the proper time to send the Savior
Gal. 4:4 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
26 II. Ruled by God C. God’s Rule Essential to Unfold His Plan for Human Redemption Mk. 1:14-15; 9:1; 14:25 The promises of Christ show his power over time & the events of history
Mk. 1:14-15 14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Mk. 9:1 1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Mk. 14:25 25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
29 II. Ruled by God C. God’s Rule Essential to Unfold His Plan for Human Redemption Acts 1:6-7 Christ promised God would establish His kingdom at the right time
Acts 1:6-7 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
31 III. Wasted in Sin, Redeemed in Christ A. Time Spent in Sin is Wasted 1 Pet. 4:1-3 Christ teaches us not to waste our time in sin
1 Pet. 4:1-3 1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
33 III. Wasted in Sin, Redeemed in Christ B. Time Is Redeemed in Christ Eph. 5:15-17 Christ teaches us how to use our time wisely
Eph. 5:15-17 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
35 IV. Extended by God’s Patience A. God Extends Patience for Men to Repent, But Judgment Is Coming 2 Pet. 3:8-11 God’s patience is followed by His judgment
2 Pet. 3:8-11 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2 Pet. 3:8-11 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
38 IV. Extended by God’s Patience A. God Extends Patience for Men to Repent, But Judgment Is Coming 1 Pet. 3:18-21 God’s patience and judgment in Noah’s day
1 Pet. 3:18-21 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
40 IV. Extended by God’s Patience B. His Patience Gives Christians Time to Grow 2 Pet. 1:5-11 This growth takes time & effort — Some regress & fall away
2 Pet. 1:5-11 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2 Pet. 1:5-11 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
43 IV. Extended by God’s Patience C. Receive God’s Grace While We Can 2 Cor. 6:1-2 Now is the time!
2 Cor. 6:1-2 1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
45 V. A Journey With Or Without God A. If We Live Without God, We Die Without God 2 Thess. 1:7-9 We are without God if we do not obey the gospel
2 Thess. 1:7-9 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
47 V. A Journey With Or Without God B. We Can Live With God & Die With God 1 Pet. 1:13-17 We journey in hope & holiness
1 Pet. 1:13-17 13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
49 V. A Journey With Or Without God B. We Can Live With God & Die With God 2 Tim. 4:6-8 We journey to the end
2 Tim. 4:6-8 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
51 Invitation 1. Eccl. 3:1-9 Time marches on with its repeated cycles: what does it mean?
52 Invitation 2. God teaches us to reflect on time & its meaning: Limited Ruled by God Wasted in Sin, Redeemed in Christ Extended by God’s Patience A Journey With or Without God
53 Invitation 3. Now is the time to obey the gospel: 2 Cor. 6:2 “Now is the accepted time” Acts 24:25 Felix: not “this time” but “a convenient season” Acts 22:16 Do not wait!
Acts 22:16 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.