Introduction: 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute. That adds up to 86,400 seconds in a day. What’s the big deal about a second? Races are won in fractions of a second. Landing an aircraft a second early could lead to disaster. We were not all created equal. Some have more brains than others. Some are faster than others, some have more strength than others. Some have more money than others.
The one thing that everyone has the same amount of is time. God has given the same 86,400 seconds in a day to use. Granted we all don’t have the same amount of days, but the days that we have we have the same amount of time.
For some of you here today, this sermon will fly by. For others you may think to yourself, is this guy ever going to wrap it up! It’s funny because you all will be sitting here the exact amount of time
Time does matter. Time is precious. Time is often taken for granted and is usually the one thing that everyone wished they had more of or could get back. Unfortunately time is limited and you can never get it back. Time does matter.
In this passage of scripture we read today, Paul is discussing the resurrection of the dead. This is a great future hope to all who will believe. But there is more to this than just the resurrection. There is a time element that is brought into play. No I’m not trying to tell you the day month or year that Jesus is coming back, but instead we see a future and a present that Paul is conveying to the people at the church in Corinth.
1 Cor 15:
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Transition: As we will see today, Paul gave them three separate instructions in verse 58 and a we look at these with the aspect of time we will see 3 very important mistakes that Christians make when dealing with time. The first mistake is…
Christians waste their time behaving like non-Christians
ἑδραῖοι- hedraios: firm, steadfast
Sense: steady- not subject to change or variation; especially in behavior
We waste time trying to fit in with the in crowd, or keeping up with the Jones
Look at the people and the problems the people at this church were dealing with…power struggles, lustful desires, wrong theology, legalism.
You are probably thinking they were pretty messed up, it’s no different today, no different here.
We are guilty of wasting time acting like world instead of behaving like a Christian should behave!
We waste too much time being bitter, angry, afraid, timid, selfish
We waste time trying to fit in with the in crowd, or keeping up with the Jones
How should a Christian behave then? How should it look like to act like a Christian? It looks like Jesus is living in you and through you, full of love and mercy and grace toward your fellow man.
Jesus never wanted to be like anyone else, why? Because he knew time was limited. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye...
That’s how we should behave, as if Jesus is coming back today!
5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Transition: This is a simple instruction for those of us who have proclaimed Christ as our savior. Walk in wisdom, don’t behave as they do because you know better. Redeem the time, don’t waste it on bad behavior and sinful living. I never met anyone who said, “if I knew I was going to live this long I would have put off salvation so I could sin more!” Just the opposite, I wished I would have come to know Jesus sooner, and used that time better to serve Him.
Living like a heathen isn’t the only way Christians waste their time though. The second mistake they make when it comes to time is.
2. Christians waste their time outside of God’s word-
The word unmoveable, is now talking about your faith!
ametakinetos- the sense that this object is not able to be moved, or intended to be moved.
Paul gave them the Gospel that he himself had received. They came to know Jesus and put their faith in Him because of the truth that Paul told them.
However, others came along and tried to interject their own philosophies and their own legalistic points and was well on their way to confusing the members at Corinth!
Their faith was shaky at best!
Paul left Timothy in charge, Apollos came later, two great preachers and yet there were still people giving in to false teachings and having their faith swayed!
This happens today. Why because we waste our time not getting to know the God who wrote the Bible! We don’t spend time in His word.
We are too busy.
Work, family, social life, extra curricular activities.
God has to compete with everything that society says you need to do to be good parents and because you are so busy, something has to be left out, and that something is usually God!
But I come to worship…How often? Are you engaged when you come? Do you try to apply the principles that you heard that Sunday morning or do you leave them in the pew along with the bulletin you grabbed that morning?
Let me ask you this:
If you only devote one hour a week to God, are you really planting deep roots or are you just wasting time?
If you only spend 1 hour a week with God are you really getting to know his will for your life?
Is it possible then, by not spending time with God, by not taking every opportunity given to worship and study His word with others in the church, is it possible to be swayed by false teachers outside who make their brand of religion sound so good?
Is it possible that you are looking for the wrong things because you are not searching the right places?
In scripture tells us that there will come a time when they do not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Will this be you, will this be your kids or your grandchildren?
It will if you don’t start spending time with God
It will if you don’t get your priorities right
God makes it clear in vs 52 that change will happen, a supernatural change. If you are looking for an emotional high to prove your salvation, or a feeling of euphoria to prove you’ve been in touch with the Holy Spirit, you are wasting time.
What does it look like when a man or woman spends time with God? What I can tell you is that when you come into the presence of the Great I Am, then you will know it. It’s indescribable. And it’s undeniable! And it’s a great use of the time he has given you.
Quit looking to the world for answers and wasting your time. Turn to the only one who can strengthen your faith and that is God!
Faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word of God!
Illustration: A boy once asked his father how much he made an hour… Time is precious and God just wants to spend some of it with you!
Transition: so if Christians waste time behaving badly, and by looking outside the word of God, what else could there be? The answer as many of you know is right here in the text. The 3rd mistake Christians make with their time is
3. Christians waste their time not promoting the Kingdom of God-
a. Always abounding in the work of the Lord-
i. what was that work? Spreading the gospel
ii. Telling others about what Jesus did for them.
iii. Here in this very section of Scripture we have one of the best reasons we can give someone to put their trust in Christ. He’s alive and coming again to take away death and hell so that we will be like him and have eternal life!
iv. Paul simply tells them, don’t think that this is meaningless labor. Your reward is in Heaven. God is getting the glory, he sees you and is working through you.
v. So spreading the gospel and the truth about Jesus is not a waste of time
b. Yet we as Christians tend to want to share more of our personal life, or what we had for dinner on social media than to share the gospel with someone face to face.
i. you like to share gossip and negativity instead of grace and hope!
ii. what if no one ever took the time to share with you the most important person.
iii. what if in the twinkling of an eye that loved one that you were going to witness to tomorrow was gone and never coming back.
iv. would you want to share the gospel with them now?
v. maybe you’ve been putting off baptism waiting for the right time. the time is now, you aren’t promised tomorrow
vi. maybe you’ve been putting of joining the church. Scripture says abounding in the work of the Lord, this church always needs people who are will to work for the Lord and serve him in whatever way is needed.
Conclusion- the time element is real when it comes to the church age. This age will come to an end. We don’t know when, but we do know that it is real. What will you be doing when Jesus comes back? Will you be wasting time or will you be serving Him, steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord?
Time- Today I will Make an Effort