When the Clock stops
A sermon for Easter Sunday
My Sermon on today is all about the reason for Easter. Many are asking why Church Members spend so much time and effort in celebrating the Death and Resurrection of our Blessed Lord Jesus? They are asking why Easter seems so important to the believing faithful? You are familiar with the phrase:
“It’s a matter of Life and Death” … well, that phrase is all about Easter, Life and Death, Death and Life.
Easter is about Time and Eternity. It is about the reason why God sent his Son in the first place. When our First Parents, Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they not only took a bite into some fruit, in actuality they bit into a curse, the curse of sin, and in that curse they would have lived eternally, had they then eaten of the “Tree of Life”. So God barred the way to the tree of life, (Gen 3:24) lest they should eat of it, and live for ever, for eternity, in their sin and under the curse.
Jesus Died on the Cross and he Rose again on that first Easter Morning, conquering once and for all, the power of Death and Hell – ( Rev 1:18) and securing for us Life abundant and Life Eternal. My Sermon today entitled “When the Clock stops” is about Eternity, Life and Death?
Years ago in my Sunday School days we used to sing a song that said …“When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more!” What is it, when time shall be no more? What will it be like when the Clock Stops, and there is no more time, only eternity?
It is extremely difficult for us to grasp the concept of Eternity, since we have no parallels in time. Naturally we must look to the Bible for clues to see what it is, that God says exactly and precisely about Eternity? It would appear from our perspective that there was an eternity past, there is an eternity present and that there will be an eternity future, yet from Gods perspective, from heavens point of view, there is always only an Eternity in the present. So I can best describe eternity as a “Present Continuum” but even then, I must endeavour to explain what I believe that is?
It is important, by way of introduction for me to show you that God does not live in time, nor is he affected by time, nor does he function with time in mind, as we do. In fact everything WE do, we do with time in mind. We may say things like …
I’ll see you at Lunch time; I’ll read that at bedtime; I’ll tell you more next time; look at the time, I must run: the train is not on time; the flight time is 2 hours 10 mins; it’s time for my medicine; or it’s time to go! You see that for every waking moment of our lives we are governed by this thing we call TIME? One day there will be no more time, one day the time clock will stop – then what?
The answer is found in the words of my text…
written in Isaiah 57:15. It is the word “ETERNITY.”
We read … “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy;…”
A thousand years from today we shall be somewhere. Ten thousand years from today … increase the multiple and you only increase the truth. How can a man speak a word that takes in the ages of time and all beyond it. ETERNITY! The old cobbler sat day after day on his little bench, hammering away at
the shoes, and before him was an old-fashioned clock. After a while he thought that the pendulum of the clock was speaking to him and he heard it say as it swung one way, – Eternity, and when it went the other way, – Where? And that old clock became a preacher and he heard it speaking like this: “Eternity, where? Eternity, where? Eternity where?” The question is a solemn one. Eternity, where?
The word becomes all the greater when I add to it a part of the verse in which my text is found: “The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.” What a sobering subject this is. When I speak of this person called God and the Bible says that He is omnipresent, that is, everywhere. I speak again of Him and it says that He is omnipotent, that is, all-powerful. I talk of Him again and I see that He is omniscient, that is, all-knowing. We have come in contact with great minds, great theologies, great preachers, but He, God is the greatest. We have been influenced by great personalities. This is an infinite personality. When I put these words together, even to say them is startling. “One that inhabiteth eternity.” He is infinite. He is eternal. He is unchangeable. Eternity is the place where He lives!
Answer me this question: Where will you spend eternity? Where will you be when “the clock stops” and time shall be no more? Nobody can answer that but you. If I could answer it for you, I would; but God has placed the power of choice and determination of our end in our own hands. God may have loved, and Jesus may have died, and the Holy Spirit may have pleaded, but you alone can settle the question of your eternity. So can you tell me: Where you will spend eternity?
Sometimes men try to measure the depth of a dark cavern, but the plum line is not long enough; so they measure the depth like this: They take a stopwatch in one hand and a piece of rock in the other, and note the time when the rock drops from their fingers, and listen as it strikes the bottom, noting the time it has taken to fall. If you know the weight of the rock and the time of falling, you can measure with some degree of accuracy the depth of the darkness. They say that sometimes they let a stone fall and there comes back no answer, no sound from below.
Today I stand on the edge of the precipice of time, and I cry up into the light and into the darkness: “How long are you, Eternity?” I get the answer from this Bible before me.
“The peace of the righteous is everlasting. The doom of the wicked is without end.”
Where will you spend it? I have no apology to make today for asking you to think about Eternity when there are so many problems in time. I make no apology for asking you to think about the future when on all sides of us there is the cry of the needy, burdens that must be lifted, and tears that must be wiped away. I cry out for this reason. A man is never fitted for time until he is prepared for eternity.
An old poem I found a while ago reads …
“How long sometimes a day appears, And weeks, how long are they. Months move as if the years would never pass away.
But days and weeks are passing by, And soon must all be gone.
For day by day as moments fly, Eternity comes on.
Days, months, and years must have an end, Eternity has none.
‘Twill always have as long to spend, As when at first begun.”
Here in this world many have pushed God out of their lives.
they have lost any consideration of Him. They have built both marriage and home without Him. They are training their children without Him. Lets leave God out of the Classroom they say, so we are raising a Godless generation and paying the price. Yet you were made for God. Nothing less than God can satisfy you. If I had a place on which to stand and could hurl into space a million worlds like this one, I could never fill space.
When I open my Bible, I read in the Psalms: “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” (Psa 139:8 ) Whether I climb up into the light or go down into the darkness, in the daytime, in the night-time, I find God. Only God can fill space and only God can fill our lives.
Whether we want to admit it or not, acknowledge it or not, or accept it or not, we are all going out into Eternity. May God pity you today if you have no hope, and no Saviour. How long and how dark that way is. Answer me this question: Do you think that in these days, especially these relatively prosperous days, we are all thinking too much of time and all too little of Eternity? Planning for time but making no plans for Eternity? Investing for time, but making no investments for Eternity?
Every thought is about the here and now, and scarcely a
thought for the here-after?
Right now, all across our troubled world, there are men, women, and children passing out of time into eternity, every second. There’s another one, … There’s another one, … There’s another one, … There’s another one,.. – frightening isn’t it? And to think that most if not all of them are passing out without God into a lost and loveless Eternity – it breaks my heart!
If one lives all of ones life without God, one cannot expect God to be there in ones death?
We are pursuing wealth and pleasure. We are forgetting God and the man who builds for time and has no thought of the future – where will his end be? Answer me this question: Do you really think that people at heart are indifferent? Let your mind run over the faces of the folks you know. Do you think that they are indifferent to the Gospel? I don‘t.
I know a mans nature and a mans heart fairly well. I know that what they sometimes say with their lips, they do not always mean in their hearts? If I were to go through your factories and workshops this week, and some of you workmen were to tell me they were not interested in God, I would know they were not speaking the truth. If I were to go through your colleges or universities and some of you students would say that you were not interested in spiritual things, I would know that they were speaking truth. These are not indifferent. They have just not given much thought to eternity, to the next page in the story of this life, the page on which the clock of time stops!
I recall a story of a Preacher that went to one of the well known judges in the state of Georgia and said: “Judge, I hear that you and your wife are to separate.” The Judge was highly indignant, and said: “Sir, that’s an insult. No two people in this world have loved each other more devotedly. Separate!
Nothing could ever separate us.”
So the Preacher said: “But, Judge, your wife is a Christian. She is far from well, and the doctors say that she cannot live for long, and you are not a Christian. Your wife will go straight to God. while you are turning your back on Him.” The old judge stood with tears running down his cheeks and lips trembling as he said: “My God! I never thought of it like that.”
Folk are not indifferent to the Gospel, they just have never thought about Eternity. So my word to you on this Easter Sunday is think about it!
This Bible that I hold in my hand says: The path of life is a narrow, a short path, and life itself is a vapour. With no desire to appeal to your emotions, I say what every doctor would warrant me in saying: There is one heart beat between you and Eternity. Yet you hold back as I plead with you. Maybe too as your Mother prays for you, or as your Wife is in agony about you, as the Church are heartbroken over you – and to-morrow, to-morrow the clock may stop, time may run out for ever. May God pity you. I do not understand Why you will not come to Jesus?
Answer me this: Are you satisfied? Do you not sense emptiness in your life, is there a void that you know needs
filling? You have discovered that wealth and riches cannot fill
that emptiness, you have discovered that fame or notoriety cannot bring true happiness, and the Bible says “what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.
( Matt 16:26) In God’s name, why don’t you turn? Why don’t you turn? Drifting, drifting, drifting, out into the sea of Eternity! And I’m here shouting to you and warning you:
Why won’t you turn?
We can never know the moment when the clock may stop.
I heard just a few days ago about a wealthy and influential Millionaire who had paid $18m for a Palm Beach Mansion in Florida. After spending some more on alterations and repairs, he moved in and decided on his first night there to take his fishing rods and go down to the nearby wet marshlands to catch a few fish for his supper. He did not know that Alligators frequently came upstream to that place, and that very night He Himself became supper for the Alligators. He had clearly put up a fight, but eventually passed out of time and into eternity. A shoe with his foot still inside and his broken fishing rods were all that remained they were covered in his blood and were buried in a nearby cemetery a few days later.
I hope he was trusting in Jesus and is with the Saviour right now, but if he wasn’t he’s in Hell. Oh we may write R.I.P. (Rest in Peace) on some grave stone, but there is no rest in Hell? Judas Iscariot who blotted his copy book and betrayed the Lord Jesus went out that night into the awful darkness of hell and has never seen the light of day since, nor ever known one minute of peace. Eternity is real, you simply MUST think about it, its not an option. Once you are there, there is no more hope – ever!
Where will you be when the clock stops?
The very atmosphere of this message is filled with God. It may be that this week, God is giving some of you your last call. The door is open today and it may shut again tomorrow. Turn now. Why will you die and be lost for ever?
Let me tell you a true story. Years ago, on the Harlem railway an young man kept the Canal or River bridge. It was an old-fashioned drawbridge that turned with man power. Well, he got a message to keep the bridge shut because a special train was coming. However, just as the order came he heard the whistle of a little tug boat, and saw that he only needed to throw the bridge a little to let the tug boat through with her flagstaff. And right after he had let the tug through he turned to throw the bridge back but something was out of order. He bent to his task, pulling and pushing. The sweat came in great drops from his brow. An agonizing cry rose from his heart and fear gripped the pit of his sickening stomach.
But the special came down the track, nearer and nearer he could hear her engines and feel her vibrations …. Then she was upon him, through the open bridge, derailing the train and creating a disaster in which scores of people were killed. The keeper of the drawbridge was a man under fifty, and that night his hair turned as white as snow. They kept him until he died in an institution, and the man walked up and down in his little padded cell like a caged tiger, by day and by night, rarely sleeping. One thing he kept saying over and over again:
“Oh, if I only had. If I only had. If I only had.” When he became exhausted he would fall on his bed, only to rise again and say: “Oh, if I only had.”
Today the door is wide open and people are praying and God is
waiting. It would be an awful thing to go out into Eternity saying: “If I only had.” Today I plead with you. I believe that God has allowed you to tune in today, its no accident, it’s a Divine Strategy to some of you to give you another chance and another call. These Sanctuary broadcasts are going out because God in his mercy is flinging wide the door to Banbridge, to Ireland, once more. There are tears in my eyes and ache in my heart for you, Come in. Come in. You fathers that are listening, you can never expect your boys to go in unless you go in yourself. You mothers listening – are you going to bring those lovely daughters with you to the Glory, or with you to a lost Hell? You young men, you boys and girls, everybody, come to Jesus and do it now!
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
Easter is a matter of Life and Death, it about Jesus dying to save you from Death, and Jesus rising to give you life abundant and life eternal. Eternal life begins the moment you receive Jesus as your Sin Bearer and Saviour. You can begin that Eternal journey right row. You can get out of that pit of sin and death and rise to new life in Jesus. The choice is yours, while the clock is ticking …. But think about this
Where will you be when the Clock Stops? When time shall be no more?
God Bless You Amen.
A Note from Rev David
If you’ve been listening to this message in the Audio Streaming section I have been crying while delivering these last few paragraphs. I make no apology for crying for you in Public, because I cry for you in Private. The only peace I find when considering YOUR eternity – is these words from
Psalm 126:6 “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. “