The sands of time are running out for each one of us. “Wait a minute!” you may say. “I am a Christian, and I hope and believe that I will have endless aeons of wonderful time, after death on earth. Time, far from running out on me, will never end.”
I hope you’re right, and I hope I’m in that wonderful afterlife with you. (Eventually.) My point still stands: the sands of time are running out for each one of us, at least as far as this present life is concerned. On earth, we are going to die, and relatively soon. The time after death will be different. On earth our time is brief, and it is running out.
What can we do about it? What should we do about it? Maybe just live. Or accumulate lots of nice things: “He who dies with the most toys wins,” as the saying goes.
There is another option: work to build Christian civilization in some way.
Jesus Christ told us, ‘”We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.”‘ (John 9:4)
There is much to fascinate in that brief sentence! For one thing, Christ indicates that there is a time coming (night) when we can’t work. This presumably means that death will stop our ability to work–at least on the earth. Our chance to work on earth is going to end. Also He tells us that we must work the works of God the Father (who sent Jesus). He says “must.” He doesn’t tell us “We can, if we feel like it and have time after our busy schedule of watching television, work the works of Him who sent Me.” Finally, he says that “We” must do this. He doesn’t say He alone must work. He tells His people that they “must” work as He must work.
Our dispensational, amillennial, pietist, antinomian (anti-God’s law) brand of Christianity has discouraged us from believing that our work for God can have long-term benefit for the building of God’s kingdom on earth. We don’t think that the work we can do is important. We’ll muddle through this life, then enjoy REAL life in heaven.
But what if God meant what He said, and expects us to work God’s works while we have time on earth? Maybe the work we do is important, after all.
The ways to work for God’s kingdom are countless. However, few of them involve twiddling our thumbs.
Consider that your time is, at least on this earth, a non-renewable resource. How do you want to spend it?
Let’s say you are a potential scholar, with an interest in history, literature, politics, theology, or some other field of study. You can watch television. You can work lots more hours to earn money to upgrade your middle class lifestyle. Or you can begin two or three or four or five years’ worth of reading on a topic of personal interest. Then you can write a book detailing what you’ve learned. If you are trying to tell the truth, you will be working the works of God. You will be helping to build–probably the word rebuild is more suitable at this point–Christian civilization.
Of course lots more things beyond truth-telling books help build the kingdom of God. What is your passion, or potential passion? Evangelism? Picking up trash? Hospitality? Creating music? Ending nutritional blindness? Something else?
Buy time, not things, then use that time to work. Night is coming, when no man can work.