This is my first interview with Pastor Bill Tipton. I will have several more to follow. Please keep checking and I will post these interviews with Bill every couple of days. I trust that these interviews will be a great blessing to our Berean family.
This Sunday I will be bringing the last message on our Stewardship series. I am speaking on Time and Eternity. My text is Mark 8:34-36.
“34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
The text before us was delivered by the Lord Jesus after He called the people and His disciples to Himself. Jesus had just finished teaching at Caesarea Philippi in Northern Israel in the region of Galilee where He revealed some of the most important information that they had up to that point received, (He was the Christ, and He would suffer and die and be raised from the dead). After leaving that area Jesus gathered the people to Himself and delivered this awesome text. Buried in this text is the concept of eternity. To lose one’s soul is to be lost for eternity.
How do we understand the concept of eternity? How do we as finite creatures, who are trapped in time, understand that though we had a beginning the God of eternity had neither a beginning nor an end? Time is a little capsule sandwiched between eternity past and eternity future. Who can understand such an awesome concept? John Cennick, the Welsh evangelist, described man in this fashion, “Man is a silly little fickle creature, shut up in a box of flesh and time, heading down the road towards doom and destruction.”
Dr. R. C. Sproul made one of the most profound statements when he said, “Right now counts forever!” The decisions we make and the actions we perform on a daily basis have eternal consequences. Every word we speak, every thing that we do, and all of our motives will be brought to the judgment seat of Christ.
The main point of this text in Mark’s gospel is that a soul can be lost and that loss is eternal. Who can comprehend it? I often use my imagination and try to create in my mind’s eye what it will be like on the day of Judgment. One poet did the same thing and wrote it down in poetic verse.
I Dreamed that The Great Judgment Morning
I dreamed that the great judgment morning
Had dawned, and the trumpet had blown;
I dreamed that the nations had gathered
To judgment before the white throne;
From the throne came a bright shining angel,
And stood on the land and the sea,
And swore with his hand raised to heaven,
That time was no longer to be.
The rich man was there, but his money
Had melted and vanished away;
A pauper he stood in the judgment,
His debts were too heavy to pay;
The great man was there, but his greatness,
When death came, was left far behind!
The angel that opened the records,
Not a trace of his greatness could find.
The gambler was there and the drunkard,
And the man that had sold them the drink,
With the people who gave him the license,
Together in hell they did sink.
The moral man came to the judgment,
But his self righteous rags would not do;
The men who had crucified Jesus
Had passed off as moral men, too;
The soul that had put off salvation,
“Not tonight; I’ll get saved by and by,
No time now to think of religion!”
At last they had found time to die.
And O, what a weeping and wailing,
As the lost were told of their fate;
They cried for the rocks and the mountains,
They prayed, but their prayer was too late.
Bert Shadduck, 1894