REDEEM THE TIME
By Max Solbrekken, D.D.
There is an old saying, “Time waits for no man!” How true: and time is no respecter of persons either. The years pile up whether we want them to or not, and when our time comes to say goodbye to loved ones and friends and to this old planet, we will have to go. Some even leave without saying goodbye because time is very short at the best, and it can be very uncompromising, firm and even cruel.
TIME MARCHES ON
The Capitalist with all his money cannot stop time. The Communist with all his hatred for God cannot detain it. The minister of the Gospel with all his faith in God cannot stop time from passing. It is true, the rich can live better, dress nicer, buy cosmetics to cover wrinkles, wear wigs to cover grey hair, and even have face-lifts to appear younger, but aging continues, and one day it is all over!
The Communist dies too, and has to meet God. The minister also has to keep his appointment with death even though he can claim the promises of God (together with all Christians) for the healing of his body and live in health and peace. Yet the day will come that he must honor God’s word, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27)
St. Paul, in writing to the Church, said, “…Awake thou that sleepest, ad arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectedly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:14-16)
WHY MUST WE REDEEM THE TIME?
We must redeem the time because the days are evil. In other words, let us not allow “that wicked one” to destroy our testimony, defeat our purposes or steal our crown! (Rev. 3:11).
"Let us make our calling and election sure." (II Peter 1:10) and let us “lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:11)
To redeem the time means to put every available moment to the best use. Do what is the most profitable (spiritually) with our time.
The Bible also tells us “not to be slothful in business.” (Rom. 12:11) Let us be good stewards for the kingdom of God in the reaching of lost souls for Christ. If we waste our time, we are wasting our life and if we waste our money on that which does not profit, we are also wasting our time and certainly are not redeeming it!
BE NOT WEARY IN WELL DOING
Often times Christians become discouraged and begin listening to the tempter, the accuser of the brethren (Satan). He may drop curtain thoughts especially in the area of service. He may suggest that you are doing too much for God or spending too much time helping the unfortunates and poor, that you are giving too much money to the church, or that people are using you as a sucker to get free rides to church, etc. Perhaps your husband, wife or neighbors may give you the odd dig that you are going overboard for God and the Church.
LET ME ENCOURAGE YOU
The Bible says, “and let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:9-10)
In examining this scripture, we find that Paul is referring both to our spiritual commitment to God and our commitment to those who labour in spiritual things among us and their material needs. We must not become weary in well doing, for if we do not faint, we shall reap in due season!
LET US WALK IN WISDOM
St. Paul exhorts us to walk circumspectly, which means to live our lives in an orderly fashion; in the fear of the Lord, and not go through life carelessly in a haphazard way. There is only one way to Heaven! Let us not miss it! JESUS IS THAT WAY!
There is only one book that is truly the word of God – the Holy Bible. Let us be sure to read it. There is only one way to please God and that is to accept His Son, Jesus Christ, into our hearts as personal Saviour and then obey His words is all things. By shunning evil, doing good and serving God with gladness, we are walking circumspectly.
A good question to ask ourselves often is this, “Will what I am planning to do, or am now doing, please God?” Again the scripture says that when we accept Christ as our personal Saviour, we are saved, our lives are changed and … we walk in the newness of life.
Since we walk by faith and not by sight (11 Cor. 5:7) our experience is totally spiritual as we reach out to God for guidance and direction. St. Paul admonishes us in Gal. 5:15, “…walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”
We are also exhorted by the great Apostle to “….walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called (Eph. 4:1), and also to walk in love Christ hath loved us.” (Eph. 5:2) In order to be true followers of Jesus Christ, we ought to abide in Him, we should walk as He walked (1 John 2:6), and of course that should always be in spirit and in truth. (11 John 4), (111 John 3).
The word of God tells us, “Be if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (11 John 1:7)
WITH ETERNITY IN MIND
Everything we do in this life should be done with eternity in mind. Not only should we, as Christians, be concerned about our spiritual welfare, state and eternal destiny, we should also be vitally concerned about our fellow Christians, always standing ready to lend a helping hand as well as constantly reaching out to the lost and undone with the message of hope and peace found only in Christ. The Bible says, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, (the unsaved), redeeming the time.” (Col. 4:5)
Time is short! We must do all we can to reach the lost while we have an opportunity. Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)
To redeem the time means to seize every opportunity and let none slip out of our hands. It means to make hay while the sun shines and to labour unceasingly in prayers, bible study, witnessing and giving while we still have the opportunity and the open door.
Thank God for all the open doors into which to take the Gospel and open channels or freeways by which we may publish the Gospel. Think of television, the internet, radio, Christian books, magazines and tracts, massive overseas crusades and orphanages, bible schools and counselling by correspondence and in person – all of these potentially reaching millions of lost souls.
THE CHURCH MUST AWAKEN OUT OF LETHARGY
St. Paul cries out in warning, for the church to awake out of sleep, receive new life and power from Christ and to rise to the challenge of the hour.
The Word of God tells us in Prov. 6:9, “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?” The writer of Proverbs suggests that we take an example from the little ant, “which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provided his meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Prov. 6:6-8)
We have the Bible for our guide, the Holy Spirit to oversee our lives, and to help us when we err and to comfort us constantly. We also have Jesus Christ as our ruler, the Head of the Church, and the Great King of Kings. The scripture admonishes us not to be as fools, but as wise in our approach to life. Unfortunately many people are very foolish in the way they live – serving the god of this world, living for the world, the flesh and the devil, giving no thought about their souls, salvation or eternity. No time for God, no time for the Bible or church. How foolish!
St. Paul tells of some who rejected the Creator, our wonderful Heavenly Father, and worshipped the creature instead of the creator, professing themselves to be wise they became fools. (Rom. 1:22-25) How sad – but how true!
On the other hand there are Christians who truly believe in Christ and have experienced a quickening by the Holy Spirit but yet have NO spiritual hunger, no desire to read the Bible or attend special revival meetings. They have no burden to reach the lost or give missionary offerings to reach the heathen for Christ. They are totally contented with their experiences and simply have no time for a deeper walk with God or with a message that stirs them emotionally to do more for God. I pity such people!
They attend Church regularly once a week, pay their tithes to the church, live respectable lives, but have not really experienced Jesus in a life changing way and have not been filled with the fire of God. St. Paul then says, “Wherefore be yet not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph. 5:17)
THE WILL OF GOD
We know the will of God for the Christian is to live a pure, holy and consecrated, spirit-filled life; to be filled with the blessed Holy Spirit, to abstain from evil and to do good – to be totally sold out to God and be a burning and shining light spreading the good news of Jesus and His love to a lost and dying world. If you do not have a burden for lost souls, please read Rev.20:11-15 and fall on your knees asking God to give you a hunger for His word, a desire to pray regularly and a burden to tell others about Jesus before it is everlastingly too late.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-15)
Beloved, “Let us redeem the time for the days are evil.”
BEHOLD NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME
I began this short message saying “time waits for no man” and that “Father Time Marches on.” I have been admonishing you to put your time to the best available use – Budget your time wisely, for we all have only a limited amount of time. Read the words of King David on this matter: “Lord make me to know mine end and the measure of my days.
"What it is: That I may know how frail I am. Behold Thou hast made my days as an handbreadth: and mine age is as nothing before Thee: Verily every man at his best state is altogether Vanity.” (Psalms 39:4-5) Again David writes, “My times are in Thy (God’s) hands…” (Psalms 31:15) And finally the King confesses “Remember how short my time is.” (Psalms 889:7)
St. Peter warns of not being frivolous with our life but be sober and watch unto prayer ( Peter 4:7) and have a healthy respect and fear of God as we live out this short life. (1 Peter 1:17) Peter is so emphatic in his call to Christians to clean up their lives and serve God totally that he again warns, “For the time is come that Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begins at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God.” (1 Peter 4:17)
St. Paul writing to the Romans, unctionized by the Holy Spirit gave the same warning, “And that knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:11-14)
We must never forget that one day we will all have to give an account of ourselves to God – (Romans 1:18-20). Oh sinner, backslider, lukewarm Christian: listen to me – Now is the time to repent of your sins and be converted, for certainly time is very short and your soul is worth more than the entire world. (Mark 8:36-37)
Don’t allow the devil to rob you of eternal life by causing you to procrastinate and put off the decision to accept Christ and to yield fully to Him. The scripture says, “…Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” (11 Cor. 6:2) (Isaiah 49:8) (Psalms 69:13)
The Bible warns that there will be a time to die for each of us. (Eccl. 3:2) Do not gamble with your eternal soul but give your life to Christ today! Jesus stands at the heart’s door and knocks. (Rev. 3:20) Let Him come in today!
THEN IT WILL BE TOO LATE
When the angel of God comes down from heaven, places one foot upon the sea and one foot upon the dry land, raises his hand to heaven and swears by Him that liveth forever that time shall be no longer. (Rev. 10:6) It’ll be too late for ever sinner – it’ll be too late for every backslider and lukewarm Christian – It will be too late for all of us to do more for Christ or for our fellowman, and it’ll be too late to win another soul for Jesus. Amen.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT
Beloved friend, time is running out – for the church, the world, and for the devil -!
One day it will be all be over for us. Let us fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life and reach the masses of lost souls with the glorious Gospel of Christ before it’s too late. The Bible tells us, “Therefore rejoice ye heavens and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:12)
The devil is working overtime trying to corrupt, deceive, destroy, kill and steal, and do as much damage to God’s kingdom as he can now, because he knows his time is very limited. We, the servants of God need to triple our efforts to reach multitudes more with the Gospel before it is too late! Ask yourself this question and then be ready to do something about it.
AM I DOING ALL THAT I CAN?
I have promised God that I will pull out all the stops and press forward at “full speed ahead” to reach this generation for Jesus before the devil gets to them through atheism, new ageism, communism, fake religion and unbelief!
In the month of June 1957, God met me in a real way when I called out to Him for mercy and grace as I gave my life fully to Him. Shortly thereafter, in the home of my spirit-filled Lutheran parents, I received the mighty Baptism of the Holy Ghost. I have never looked back since!
Oh it’s true that I have failed God many times, I am sure, for I am but a man and like Paul I have not yet reached the state of perfection, but also like Paul, I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:12-14)
Ever since 1957 I have tried with all my heart and mind to walk in Christ’s will and to obey Him completely. My heart is just as set to do that today as it was in 1957 after God saved me or as it was in 1961 when I sent our first radio broadcast out over the airwaves!
In 1963 I entered the full time ministry for Christ, leaving the business world to follow Jesus to the end of the earth. My heart has burned for Jesus as I have, by His grace and power blazed a trail of revivals and awakenings across the world. (Written in 1975).
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