Jesus, Well, I Can Deal With Him Later…I Got Plenty of Time for That!

Posted: March 14, 2015 in Gospel of Luke

Luke 13:1-9 — Procrastination. Why do today what you can put off til tomorrow? Why is that we put off things until something or someone makes us deal with what we have been putting off?

This passage reminds me so much of when I was a teenager. When I was teenager and my parents began to trust us not to burn the house down they would on some few occasions sneak off for the weekend and we would be home alone. They would always leave us chores to do, but as soon as they drove off the laziness would begin. We would leave dirty glasses sitting on the end table. Food wrappers on the coffee table. Dirty clothes wherever we took them off. Dirty dishes on the counter right next to the sink and the dishwasher. Bathrooms will towels on the floor. It was all an act of rebellion. But there would be a realization time, the phone call that my parents were headed home. Man, Operation Clean-up by me and by brother would begin. There would be this mass flurry of activity to get our house back in order. Dishes washed hurriedly. Dishwasher filled quickly. Food wrappers cleaned up. Glasses picked up and put in the dishwasher. Rooms, our rooms, must clean up! Dirty clothes gathered up and thrown in the washer. Chores assigned were quickly done. New towels hung in the bathroom. Rush, rush, rush. And it was done. And big smiles for our parents as we finished our last chores as they turned in the driveway. Procrastination until something reminds us.

Have you ever noticed that interest in the church always peaks after something simply mean happens in our world. After the Columbine, CO school shootings, after the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, the school shootings in Connecticut. Unexplained evil in the world. Bad things happening to good people such the unexplained death of a teenager in a car wreck. Or a tragic death of a beautiful mother of three small children. The heart attack of a loving husband who was the finest Christian man leaving behind an adoring wife and their children so young. These are the things that we cannot explain why they happen. In one case where those who commit atrocities and die during the commission of their crime, we often say that they deserved to die for they were evil. But what about the people that they killed? Did they deserve to die? Were they evil? Does a sweet little teenage girl whom everyone thought the world of, deserve to die suddenly in a car wreck? Was that fine father whom everyone admired evil because he died of a heart attack even when he seemed otherwise extremely healthy? The truth of the matter is that we do not know when our marker is up. We do not know when or how or what when it comes to our death.

We may live to be 76 years old like my dad whose birthday was this past Thursday or 90 years old like Elena’s dad whose birthday is today. Our lives may be cut short by tragedy. We could have our lives cut short by being at the wrong place at the wrong time like the kids and teachers at the school in Sandy Hook, CT that met their end seemingly “before their time” because of evil in the world. You may see your stepson, Trey, and have this “wow, he finally gets it conversation” and the next time you see his body is laying in the morgue after doctors’ valiantly try to save his life after a car accident, that very same night. These are the things that we do not understand. We do not know when our end will come.

There was a song not too long ago by Tim McGraw called “Live Like You’re Dying”. The intent of the song is that if more of us knew that we were about to die, maybe this world would be a better place. We would love deeper and we would speak sweeter. McGraw goes on to say,

And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity
To think about
What you’d do with it
What could you do with it
What did I do with it?
What would I do with it?

And he sings also:
He said
“I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again

What if we did do as Tim McGraw said? Why is that we keep putting off our decision about Jesus? Why is it that we only get spiritual at Christmas, Easter, and when something bad happens? Why is that Christ followers often put off following the call that God places on them? What if God has called you to be a missionary to India or southeast Asia to rescue girls enslaved in the sex trades in those countries? Oh I can do that later, but right now I can’t because of….What if we lived like we were dying? What if we lived like today was our last day on this side of eternity? What if today really was the last day of your life? Jesus tells us that here that, basically, all of us are not guaranteed tomorrow. The real question that we should be asking is whether I am ready for judgment at this moment? And, too, if you are ready for God’s judgment because you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, are you producing fruit, are you doing what God called you to do or are you putting it off til later when things are perfectly aligned? And if they are indeed perfectly aligned, when are you going to make the leap into the calling that God laid on your heart?

Recently, in our men’s group at church, we began a study of the book of Revelation. It revealed to me that there is so much stock being put in by people today about what in today’s world matches the symbolism and symbols in Revelation. Many non-believers are desperate to make the linkage because they want to be able to see the signs. Why? Because they want to continue to live like hell until the markers in the sky come. What if we lived like we were dying instead? What if we lived a life fully submitted to Jesus Christ? What if we lived a life where Jesus is our Savior? What if we actually believed as a result that we could not be snatched from God’s hand. What if we lived a life knowing that regardless of when or how I die that my eternity is secured. Then, the signs of the end times really don’t matter. We are secure. The end is not to be feared then. The end is just the beginning of a beautiful eternity.

We do know that we will die. We do not know when. We do not know how. It could be 50 years from now or 5 days or 5 hours from now. If we do not met our physical death yet, what if Jesus returns in His glory tomorrow and all things as we know them now comes to an end? Are you ready? Or are you living like you will never die? Are you like me and my brother when my parents were out of town – living like my parents were never coming back until we go the sign, the call that they were coming home? Are you putting off coming to Jesus so that you can live your life (what this really means is that I want to raise a little more hell)? Jesus does not end your life. He begins your life. The old life is left behind and you are changed from the inside out. Coming to Jesus is not about keeping good behavior. It is about admitting that I am not perfect and cannot control myself and that I need to be changed by Jesus sending me the Holy Spirit. It is about change from the inside out that takes a lifetime to complete.

Why are you living like you are going to live forever? Why are you waiting? None of us knows the day and the hour of our death or the day and the hour that Jesus will return (whichever comes first). All of that is in God’s hands. We may live to 90 like my father-in-law or we may walk out the door today and meet a tragic end at age 52, like me, or age 25, or age 15. The decision as to when our life ends is fully in God’s hands. He decides when that life force that keeps our heart beating will cease. Jesus says in this passage that we do not have forever and, as a matter of fact, we don’t even know when death will come to us.

Are you right with God at this moment? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Tomorrow may not be due you. It is not guaranteed. Why wait? Deal with Jesus right now. Come to Him. Come to Him so that death will no longer put you in fear. Come to Him because you will come to know that your future is secure in eternity. Come to Him now. Tomorrow may never come.

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