"TIME IS SHORT"
I. TIME IS SHORT.
A. I believe that God has designed that every generation should live with a sense of expectancy of the immediate return of Jesus Christ.
1. This was the expectancy of the early church.
a. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for they were to receive the promise of the Father in a few days.
b. They asked Him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
c. There was a rumor going around in the early church that Jesus was coming back before John died. In the end of the gospel, John sought to correct that rumor.
d. The church in Thessalonica were sorrowing over those who had died because they thought that because they died before Jesus returned, that they were going to miss living with Him in the Kingdom age.
e. Paul wrote to the church in Rome, "That knowing the time, it is high time that we awake out of our sleep, for now is our salvation nearer then when we believed."
2. I believe that God had a threefold purpose in wanting us to believe that Jesus was coming at any moment.
a. It gives an urgency to getting the gospel out to the world.
b. It helps us keep a proper perspective to the world and the things of the world.
c. It has a purifying effect on the church. "He that has this hope in him, purifieth himself even as He is pure."
3. Every generation has thus lived in the expectancy of the Lord's immediate return.
a. There was a great deal of speculation at the end of the first millennium that the Lord was going to return.
b. A part of the purpose of the Crusades was to bring Jerusalem under the control of Christianity for they felt that this was the reason that Jesus did not return after a thousand years.
c. As we approach the end of the 2nd Millennium again there is in some quarters much speculation that Jesus will be coming soon.
d. In the past people have mistakenly set dates. A William Miller thought that he had figured out by the scriptures that Jesus was going to return in 1843 or 1844. People sold their farms and homes and waited with white robes on for the Lord to return.
e. When the Lord did not come, many people became bitter, several groups formed out of the Millerites the largest being the 7th Day Adventists.
f. The Jehovah Witnesses have set several different dates for the beginning of the Millennium. So far, none of them have been right.
g. Perhaps you remember a book back in 1988 written by a man named Wisenut on 88 reasons when Jesus is coming in 1988. He had quite a few people excited.
h. More recently the Koreans were excited by the prophecies of a 16 year old boy that Jesus was coming that year, I do not remember which year that was.
4. I believe that God wanted the church to always live in the expectancy of the immediate return of Jesus Christ and aren't we fortunate to be the ones living in that generation?
II. PAUL IS USING THE SOON RETURN OF JESUS TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO KEEP A LIGHT TOUCH WITH THE WORLD, AND AN URGENCY ABOUT THEIR COMMITMENT TO JESUS.
A. He said that those who were married were to be as though they were not married.
1. This is one of those many places where we must not take the scripture out of context.
2. In the context Paul said that a man who was not married cared for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. However a man who was married carried for the things of the world, how he may please his wife.
3. When Paul said that they that were married should be as though they were not married, he is only saying that we all need to put our concerns for the things of Christ above our cares for the things of the world.
B. Those that weep should be as though they did not weep. Phillips translates that, "We have no time to indulge in sorrow."
1. People often weep over worldly things.
a. A person can be so caught up in grief that they cannot function.
b. People are sometimes put out of commission for months because of the loss of a special friend.
2. There is a world out there that is dying and going to Christless graves. They need so desperately the message of Jesus Christ, but here we are so engrossed in ourselves and too engaged in our own sorrows and pity for ourselves to even care about reaching them.
a. Time is short, we need to get the message to them before it is too late.
C. Those that rejoiced as though they did not rejoice.
1. Even as we can waste a lot of time indulging ourselves in our sorrows, so can we waste a lot of time looking for a good time.
2. We can get so caught up in the pursuit of pleasure, that we forget all about God and the fact that we have only a short time to do His work.
3. Think of how much time and money is spent in the pursuit of pleasure in America today.
4. The salaries that are paid to the professional athletes shows where the values of our society are.
5. Surely Paul was right when he said in the last days, men would be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
D. Those that buy should be as though they did not possess.
1. Don't get caught up in your possessions.
2. Don't let your possessions possess you.
3. How much of the things we buy do we really need?
4. Look at how we begin to lust after material things.
a. Maybe it is an expensive new sports car.
b. We drive by the agency and see it displayed. We finally decide to stop just to get a closer look, of course we can't afford it, or if we can we really don't need it. But just looking can't hurt.
c. But where is your mind spending it's idle time? Thinking about it, figuring you might be able to afford it. Justifying your getting it, after all you are worth it.
5. These can be distractions, when we should be thinking about the things of the Lord and how can we get the gospel out to more people our minds are occupied with the things that are going to pass away.
E. They that use this world as not abusing it. Again Phillips translates this passage, "Let your every contact with the world be as light as possible." I like that translation.
1. Keep a light touch on worldly things.
2. Don't them get a grip on your life.
3. Don't let them begin to rule and control you.
F. He gives the reason, "For the fashion of this world is passing away."
1. We are to place our values on eternal things.
2. According to Jesus we are to be more concerned with heavenly treasures than earthly treasures.
3. David in the psalms wrote, "If riches increase, set not your heart on them."
4. Note how quickly the fashions of the world change, this is designed by the men of the world to keep your Visa Card at it's limits.
G. Paul declared that his purpose was to free them from the cares of this world.
1. The more you have of the world, the more you are burdened with the cares of the world.
2. Jesus said that the cares of this life were one of the things that would cause you to be unprepared for His return. Luke 21:34
3. He also said that the cares and pleasures of this life would choke out your fruitfulness for Him. Conclusion: A wise man will have a greater care and concern for the thing that are eternal, than for the things that are of this world.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry.
But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.