Please read James 4:12-17. I think James 4 is one of the most challenging and yet, one of the most promising chapters in the New Testament, and especially vs. 6-8. If we could live in those three verses , we could succeed at life’s greatest adventure. Verses 13-17 draws the net on those who are always planning to do something Spiritual on tomorrow. Proverbs 27:1 states, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow: for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Look at Proverbs 6:9-10 and notice “a little folding of the hands to sleep…” Proverbs 24:33 states, “yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.”
Romans 13:10-14 gives a warning to Christians about Spiritual sleep, admonishing us that, “The night is far spent…” The point being made is that, SOME THINGS CANNOT WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW!
1. Lost people are betting a few more days against eternity. (See 2Cor. 6:1-2) Think with me again about James 4:13 which states, “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will…” I have had a lot of people in these 30 plus years of ministry to tell me that “One day, someday, I will get saved. I just need more time to think about it.” Some people I have talked with over these years have never found time to get saved and have died, putting off, folding hands, and sleeping their way to hell. There is nothing worse than a person dying lost and nothing worse than a Christian that lets it happen without witnessing to that lost person.
2. But there is a second group with folded hands and wasted time and ruined lives that I am concerned about…The folded hands of the Saints. Not far from where I was raised in the flatwoods of Echols county Georgia, there was a train track. When I first came to the farm, I was keenly aware of it coming through at all hours of the night, but after a while I became accustomed to it. I eventually became unaware of it coming through daily. I think the Christian life is like that as well. When we are first saved, we are acutely aware of the need of Salvation for everyone, but after a while, we can become accustomed to living the new life and that burden can be lost. Like the noise of the train, we allow our hearts to tune out the cry of the lost and let them pass on by without a thought. Christians! Did you know we can let our lives and our influence run through our fingers like water and never retrieve it again? Before we know it, our opportunities are gone forever and the influence and fruit we could have had is beyond our reach. Again…folded hands, wasted time, and ruined lives. SOME THINGS CANNOT WAIT!
Look at Eph. 5:7-17 (read) Notice verse 15 where we actually can walk as fools and actually fold our hands while v16 “the days are evil.” It is not a matter of catch up. We cannot stay up! What is lost today is gone tomorrow! If your wife or son was kidnapped, you would not fold your hands and waste time…you would go after them now! Christian father, you cannot wait until your son or daughter is in love with the world and in sin to unfold your hands. Men and women, you cannot wait until your marriage is on the rocks to unfold your hands! You cannot wait until your son or daughter is in jail or on drugs to unfold your hands!
Look at 2 Cor. 5:9-15 and notice what causes us to unfold our hands and redeem the time?
1. The terror of the Lord compels us. V. 11
2. The love of Christ constrains us. V. 14 “Constrain” means to hold together, compress, an arrest (as a prisoner) to compel or preoccupy.
My friends, let us unfold our hands, redeem the time and occupy until He comes.