Time flies. The days, the weeks, the months and the years slip by with incredible speed, and are gone before we realize it. It seems as though they no more begin, than they are gone, passed into eternity. So, too, the happenings of the day soon recede into the distant past. Everything in this world is fleeting and transitory—nothing is stable and lasting. "We spend our years as a tale that is told" (Psalm 90:9). Being busily engrossed with the occupations, labors and pursuits of life we are more or less insensible to the swiftness of passing time, of the solemn fact that life itself is fast getting away from us, and that the end of our earthly journey is speedily and surely approaching. Or, if we are conscious that our time is getting short, either we dismiss the thought or reckon that somehow or other all will be well in the end.
How important it is that we keep in mind that our death is ever on the horizon, that we are but a heartbeat from it, and that when we die, we will be ushered into eternity from which there is no return or escape. Since death is so common, we do not give this sufficient thought. We seem to have developed a sense of immunity to such an experience. Because death seems so vague, unreal, and unlikely, we fail to take it into serious consideration. Instead, we live as though we were certain of many more years of life, whereas God's Word faithfully warns us:
Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
We hear and read of large numbers being killed in war or by accident, of thousands starving to death in Africa and India. But we give this little or no thought; it doesn't mean much to us, since we are not personally involved. A neighbor down the street dies, or one of our own dear ones is taken from us. This may cause us to stop and think for a moment, but soon it is largely gone from our memory and we go on our way day after day, probably with the thought in the back of our mind that we are safe and have no reason to be apprehensive. We have plenty of time yet.
Likely the thought of our death would take on a new and serious meaning if we knew that the moment we pass from this scene (and this could be and may be before this day is over) we would awake in hell, in the "everlasting burnings" (Isaiah 33:14) and forever past all hope. But this is just what God's Word makes known to every unsaved sinner. Scripture is clear and plain that "the wicked shall be turned into hell" (Psalm 9:17); "the rich man also died, and was buried, and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments" (Luke 16:22). Many take thought for their bodies, but totally neglect the interests of their immortal souls. But "what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37). Most drift aimlessly through life without any care or concern as to what is before them after this fleeting life is over, seemingly taking it for granted that somehow or other everything will turn out all right with them in the end. This is what they hope; and they give themselves the benefit of any doubt.
Many have no consciousness of their lost condition. While they do not consider themselves perfect, yet they are not aware that there is anything seriously wrong with them. They are respectable, law-abiding citizens, and consider themselves no worse than their neighbors; and though they scarcely ever read the Bible or enter a church, they fully expect to go to heaven when they die. Some will admit that they are sinners, but imagine that their good works will far outnumber their bad ones. Some fancy that all will be well with them because they have joined "the church of their choice," been baptized and partake of the Lord's supper. On the contrary, God's Word informs us that it is "not by works of righteousness which we have done" (Titus 3:5) that we are saved. Again, we are told that "there is none good but one, that is, God" (Matthew 19:17); that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and that "the wrath of God abideth" (John 3:36) on such. This is the condition of every unsaved sinner in the sight of God—be he king or beggar, high or low, rich or poor, moral or immoral, kind or unkind, religious or irreligious.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment…
How prone is human nature to neglect or slight God's solemn warnings and threats of coming judgment! We are told that after death is the judgment. The reason is the apprehension of these things is disquieting and disturbing, hence men put such thoughts from them and go on their way. Few indeed are disturbed enough about their eternal future to cry out—"What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). O the consummate folly of such indifference and procrastination when your eternal destiny is at stake! Soon, very soon, taking the longest possible view, you will go down to the dust and your spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7). O my friend, do not lightly dismiss this matter from your thoughts, or your folly will only accentuate your misery in that Day. Far better to be made humble now for a time than that you should weep and gnash your teeth forever (Matthew 8:12). His gracious word to you is that God hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he turn from his wicked way and live (Ezekiel 33:11); that you repent and turn from all your transgressions: so iniquity shall not be your ruin (Ezekiel 18:30). Unless you savingly believe the gospel, repenting of your sin (Mark 1:15), Christ Himself asks, "How can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:33).
O sinner, will you continue another day with God's wrath hanging over your head? Remember, your day of grace may be all but over. God warns you—"My Spirit shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3). Take heed to His divine admonition—"Seek ye the LORD while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6-7). Hallelujah, what a Savior! Flee to Him now by faith while time and opportunity are yours. Cast yourself humbly and penitently at His feet and cry unto Him for mercy, for "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).
Christ receives sinners. Will you come? "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him" (Psalm 2:12).
Time will soon end,
Its fleeting moments pass away;
O sinner say, where wilt thou spend
Eternity's unchanging day?
Shalt thou the hopeless horror see
Of hell for all eternity?
Tonight may be thy latest breath,
Thy little moment here be done;
Eternal woe—the second death
Awaits the Christ-rejecting one
Thine awful destiny foresee,
Time ends, and then—