Blog - The Time is Short

  • By Pastor Chad Wagner
  • on Wednesday, July 3, 2013
"But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away." (1Co 7:29-31) In 1Corinthians 7, Paul devoted the entire chapter to dealing with marriage, and part of his instruction was directed at virgins, whether they should marry or remain virgins (1Co 7:25). When Paul was referring to a virgin, he was speaking of a woman who was not married (1Co 7:34), which is a far cry from what we mean today in this wicked and perverse generation when we refer to a virgin; rather than meaning an unmarried woman, we mean a girl who is under the age of about 13. The idea of referring to unmarried people as virgins in our depraved society would be laughable and scorned. But I digress. Paul went on to say that for the present distress (whatever that may have been), it was good for people to remain unmarried (1Co 7:26), but if they married, they had not sinned, but they would have trouble in the flesh (1Co 7:28). And to that, all the married people say, "Amen!". But I digress again. Paul then continued and wrote that, "the time is short" (1Co 7:29), and he went on to explain that the things in this life that we place the most importance and significance upon really don't matter that much in the long run. Brethren, our time here on earth really is short; we are told in the Psalms that, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" (Psa 90:10). After our 70-80 years pass us by as fast as a vapor disappears (Jam 4:14) and as quickly as the grass withers and the flowers fade (Isa 40:6-8), we are then cut off and we fly away. What does God tell us to do in view of this? Hurry up and get married before it's too late? Weep because life is so short? Live it up and rejoice since we only get to go around once? Acquire and amass as much stuff as possible so we can live the good life? Nope. The psalmist's plea to God in light of the brevity of life was to "teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psa 90:12). The most important things in this life are not things, but rather seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mat 6:33). All the things that Paul mentioned in 1Co 7:29-31 are only temporary. Marriage is only temporary; it doesn't last beyond this world, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Mat 22:30). Weeping is only temporary; it will not carry over into heaven, for it is written, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev 21:4). Worldly rejoicing is only temporary, as Jesus said, "Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep" (Luk 6:25). And finally, acquiring possessions is only temporary, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out" (1Ti 6:7). As the Lord said unto the man that laid up goods for many years but was not rich toward God, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" (Luk 12:20). As Jesus said, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luk 12:15). So, brethren, I say to you as Paul did to the Corinthians, The time is short!; keep a loose grip on the things of life, for they only last for these few years we have down here. If you want to know what life is really all about, listen to the wisdom of Solomon: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Ecc 12:13).
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