Tick, tick, tick….

By Wayne Jackson

In the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, the ruler fell ill; he was informed that presently he would die. He wept bitterly and prayed for deliverance. His prayer was heard and the Lord promised him an additional fifteen years. As a sign of the integrity of Heaven’s pledge, the shadow of the sun on the palace steps moved backward ten increments (Isaiah 38:8). That was a miracle. It never had happened before, nor has it since.

An English proverb asserts that “time and tide wait for no man.” Time is relentless.

Edward J. O’Hare was a lawyer for gangster Al Capone. Eventually he became an IRS informant, helping send Capone to Alcatraz. On November 8, 1939 O’Hare was gunned down in Chicago by Capone’s henchmen. In one of his pockets was a poem, clipped from a magazine.

The clock of life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still.

How often we ignore the “clock of life” — thinking somehow it will “reverse” itself, or, at the very least “slow down,” while we adjust our lives. It won’t!

Has it not frequently been the case that some problem in our automobile engine will manifest itself, and yet we ignore it? We somehow imagine that eventually it will “fix itself,” and so we continue to drive the vehicle — until it breaks down on the freeway and we are forced to call a service truck.

How many have neglected the “pain” symptoms, built into the divine design of the human body, until it is too late for medical treatment? We resist the reality of our own mortality.

Similarly, there are countless people who ignore their “sin” problems, figuring that “time” — O, that lovely, benevolent time — will remedy the problem. But “time” is not qualitative; it is only quantitative.

Some imagine that their sins are blotted out by virtue of the passing of time; they are not. Only obedience to the divine plans of pardon (one for the non-Christian; another for the fallen child of God) will avail in such cases.

The Christian who becomes unfaithful to the Lord, abandoning worship week-after-week, and then quietly slips back into services, laboring under the illusion that “time” has absolved him/her of sin, will find out otherwise on the day of Judgment (see 1 John 1:9).

It is frequently the case that folks who have drifted into error — in either their teaching or practice — think that because they still are treated with patience and kindness by loving kinsmen in Christ, their sin will be ignored indefinitely. Their perception is that time will “wear down” the elders, ministers, or others who are concerned for them, and who have a responsibility to deal with such problems.

“Time” may give them a temporary reprieve in some cases, but such will not prevail indefinitely with those who truly love their souls and the welfare of the church. Certainly “time” is not an argument that works with God!

Occasionally “time” is one’s friend. Ultimately, it becomes a cruel enemy for the impenitent.

Don’t let yours run out!

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.