The sun rises and the sun sets. The hands on the clock of time continue to turn. People are living life as if there will always be a tomorrow, another day, another opportunity. However, we stand on the brink of eternity, and time as we know it is about to run out.
Christ Will Return
Jesus is coming soon and when He returns, this earth will be destroyed. We will all stand in judgment before God and then live for eternity in Heaven or Hell. There will be no measurement of time, for time will exist no longer. Are you prepared?
The Ten Virgins
Jesus told a parable of ten virgins in
Matthew 25:1-13 in order to warn us of His impending return. Five of the virgins were wise and five were foolish. They all had some profession of godliness as they waited for the bridegroom to return. Five of these virgins, people who had separated themselves to some extent from the unrighteousness of the world, grew careless. They let the oil in their lamp run out. They grew lukewarm and lost their zealous love for God. The daily grace and power of the Holy Spirit no longer had freedom. One time the fire had burned, but through time and neglect the fire went out. This is reflective of many professing Christians today.
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept” (5). The bridegroom is tarrying His coming. This denotes that Christ is delaying His return to this earth and in a sense is “past time.” While He delayed, the virgins all slumbered and slept, for it was close to midnight. It was a time of darkness outside of the glow of the five burning lamps. It was a sleepy, drowsy time. The point of the parable is not that all Christians will be asleep, for there may be some who are waiting and anticipating the coming of the Lord; but there is a warning to wake up and be alert and prepared for the coming back of Jesus Christ.
“At midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (6). It is close to midnight. The world is shrouded in the darkness of sin and deception as God is being shoved out of people’s lives. Most people are following their own selfish ways rather than wholeheartedly embracing the purity and godliness of Christ. Be ready in the darkness to hear the sound of the trumpet that Christ has returned. The world is spiritually spiraling downward quickly, and the clock is about to strike twelve, when time will be no more.
When the bridegroom returned, the foolish virgins asked the others for some of their oil, but alas, they had none to spare. As in the parable, we are each accountable for our own spiritual experience before God. We must daily seek God and live ready for the return of the Lord. The parable teaches that the foolish virgins went to buy oil, but upon their return, “the door was shut” (10). It was too late just as it will be when Jesus comes back. There will be no opportunity to realign priorities, no more time to pray and ask forgiveness, no more time to correct wrongs, no more time to make a change. We will all face the Lord as we truly are at that moment. The five foolish virgins cried out for the Lord to open the door, just as they probably did in the days of Noah when the rain came. The Lord said, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (12-13).
Pattern of Judgment
There is no assurance of another year, and there is no guarantee of tomorrow. When one considers the pattern and timing of God’s judgments, it is evident that time is running out. After Adam and Eve sinned, it was 1656 years when God poured out His judgment and destroyed the earth with a flood. Less than nine hundred years after the flood, God made a covenant with His people when He gave the Mosaic law. The Law was in effect for less than 1500 years before the dispensation of Grace came through Jesus Christ. It has now been almost 2000 years since Christ died on the cross to redeem mankind from sin.
How Much Longer?
As a whole, our world has rejected Christ, and sin is abounding. How much longer will God wait before He says, “It is enough”? “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man” (Luke 17:26). People will be eating, drinking, marrying, working, and just living life. Then, the judgment of God will be poured out. When the Lord returns, “every knee shall bow to me [Christ] and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:11). Very soon, there will be no unbelievers, for we shall see Christ in all His glory and authority. Everyone will stand before the judgment seat of God and will give account of himself to God.
A Sudden End
Time will end unexpectedly, for Christ will come abruptly. “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments” (Revelation 16:15). Are you keeping your garments clean and pure, or are you contaminated with sinful, carnal spots? “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3). We will be given no more warning of when Christ returns than what you are reading now. It will be sudden and unexpected.
No man knoweth the day that time will end except God Himself. Jesus does not even know, but “my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). Ministers and religious organizations have prophesied of the exact time when the Lord would return. This was an exercise in futility after the flesh, for the scripture teaches clearly that God is the only one that knows. However, God has given us His Word that informs us that we are in the last days and that the end is nigh.
A Day Appointed
God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31). He has a set time and by all indications, that day is quickly approaching. No one will escape this appointment. Jesus told a parable in Luke 12:16-21 of a rich man who had big plans for his future. He planned to tear down his barns and build bigger and to take his ease and enjoy life. God spoke to him: “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee” (20). The man went out into eternity unprepared to meet God. Even if the Lord does not return for us all this night, it might be your time. Are you living ready for your soul to be required of you? You will not be able to change that appointment.
Surely, I Come Quickly
Time is running out. “The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7). Christ testified to John almost 2000 years ago that, “Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20). Where is He now? Surely, He is waiting at the door.
“There shall come in the last days scoffers…saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’”
(2 Peter 3:3-4). It has been long, but Peter warned them that just as the world was destroyed by water it would be destroyed by fire. God is longsuffering and is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (9).
Be Ready When He Comes
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11). Time is almost out, for Christ will return any day. Are you ready? If not, this moment is the time to repent and ask Jesus into your heart. Now is the time to prepare your life for the beginning of eternity. If you are not ready to yield now, you will in all probability not be ready tomorrow. ■