For many it was too late!
On December 26, 2004, more than 250,000 lives were taken by the tsunami in Indonesia. It was one of the worst natural disasters in history.
The following day my wife and I left the Good Shepherd Home in Honduras for Pennsylvania after a fourteen-month stay, propelled by an urgent wish to be home again. We soon learned that this tsunami had a far reaching effect. By the time we got to Miami Airport, the place was crowded with people everywhere. As hard as we tried to get our flight, we, like most others, missed it. Too late.
It was late at night now. What should we do? We, along with the rest of the people, decided to stay right where we were. No overnight lodging was available, so we slept on the floor or any place we could find. People were sleeping everywhere with their baggage.
This “too late” was not an eternal destiny. With the rest of the people, we were promised a flight the following day. but for unprepared people, at the Lord’s appointed time, it will be eternally too late.
I met a man from the local community as he was preparing for a Sunday flea market. I asked if he would have to miss the Sunday morning worship. “Oh, yes,” he said. “This sale is important and regular, every Sunday.” I asked how he will account for that when the Lord comes. “Well,” he said, “I figure I will be with the rest of the people.”
I had to think, he is right; but to be sure, it will not be where he will want to be. And it will be too late.
There are many too late's. We can be too late for the opening worship service, too late to have our morning prayer, to late to teach our children or too late to control our spending. By the mercy of God, we still have the opportunity to alter our habits.
For the five foolish virgins it was too late (Matt 25:11). There was no more time to prepare for the marriage. The Scriptures say they all had opportunity with the Gospel light, the same teachings and the same doctrine. but for some there was a serious need. The Holy Spirit did not have full control of their lives.
The oil of the Spirit dried up. The lamp alone was their religion. But a religion void of the truth of the Spirit is vain. They tried to borrow from the religion of their comrades who had fully prepared. but their religion was not intended to carry the careless along to the marriage of the Lamb.
Now it is foolish indeed to expect our knowledge, religion, or denomination to work us through to Glory. For each of us, there will need to be life, with the Holy Spirit of truth, and obedience, as evidence of oil in the lamp. To allow God to fill us with His Spirit requires a personal choice.
How will we show we are filled with the Spirit? According to Ephesians 5:14-21, we will wake up and receive enlightenment (v14), use time wisely (v16), not live in excess (v18), sing and praise the Lord together (v19), and submit one to another in the fear of God (v21).
In Matthew 7:21 Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Then in verse 22 we notice a list of good and great activities that people did in their lifetime, while yet falling short of obedience (v23). King Saul is an example of such a person. His extreme and costly sacrifice came short of obedience. The noise of the cattle testified that it was too late.
God help us to face reality and lay hold on eternal life before it is too late.
~ Lebanon, PA