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Now is the Time to Make Changes!

“It is not well to pray, ‘Thy Kingdom come,’ unless we are willing to work to that end.”                                                 -W. Holman Bentley (1855-1897)   

“If it were a gold-mine we had discovered, it would be easy to find men willing to come.”                            -W. Holman Bentley (1855-1897)  

After we die it will be too late for non-believers to turn to God for salvation, and too late for believers to make choices God will reward in eternity.

Read Ecclesiastes 9:1-18

Right Choices must be made BEFORE you die!                                             V. 1-6

The key word Solomon started Ecclesiastes with was ‘Hebel’ – the things in this life ‘under the sun’ are “Hebel” if we try to bring meaning from them without God  – Hebel can be translated as Smoke, Vapor, Temporary, Fleeting.

But then Solomon brought God into it! He said God has set eternity in our hearts, that He makes everything beautiful in its time, that He has been seeking the people that sin has driven away from Him. It is worth it to know Him.

Verse 3 gets to the reason death will happen to us all -we are not just people who sin, we are sinners who do evil things by nature and choice.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. -Rom. 3:23-24

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.                   -Rom. 6:23

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.      -1 Cor. 15:22

If you then, who are EVIL, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?                                 -Jesus in Luke 11:13

Why is there hope for the living but not the dead?

Because there is still time to make choices that will impact eternity! There is time for the lost to turn to Jesus for salvation; there is time for the righteous to do that which God says He will reward! After we die that is all settled forever (Read Jesus’ commentary on this at lunch today in Luke 16:19-31).

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not something to be waited for, it is something to be obtained!”     -William Jennings Bryan

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and then the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.                                                                                                  -Hebrews 9:27-28

Right Choices must be made TODAY!                                                              V. 7-12

This is the 5th time now in 9 chapters that Solomon has extolled the believer getting to enjoy what his or her work product has generated under God-given boundaries! I think He means it!   

If Solomon wanted Old Testament believers to enjoy the status their faith in God brought, how much more should we as Christians, who will stand before God robed in the righteousness of Christ?               -See 2 Cor. 5:17

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.                    -Galatians 5:1

Believers, Christ has taken all the punishment your sins deserve on Himself – forever! Unbelievers will be punished for their sin forever – but not you.

The godless person says to himself, “there is no guarantee of tomorrow, so I will eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow I will die.” The godly person says to herself, “I will enjoy life now within God-given boundaries, for tomorrow I will give an account to God.”

Right choices can SAVE a city                                                                             V. 13-18

“I have heard if we remain healthy, that our most productive decade is in our 60’s and our second most productive decade is in our 70’s. The Bible doesn’t say anything about retiring. I am a big believer in Eph. 2:10, which says, ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ I want to be able to stand before the Lord and hear Him say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”                                                                  -Dr. Terry Douglas, Developer of the Pet Scan, Funder of Kingdom ministry