Oct 25, 2010

While There Is Still Time

Todd StrandbergBy Todd Strandberg
Rapture Ready

One of the greatest misconceptions in life is the belief that time comes in great abundance. When we are teenagers, we can't wait to get older. The passage of time allows us to get a driver's license, graduate from school, and earn money from a career. When we're in our twenties, we may begin to run into the problems of life, but there is always plenty of time to start over.

When we reach our thirties and forties, we start to get the hint that there are limits to the number of days we'll have on planet earth. We suddenly realize we are too old to do certain things. We can’t achieve some of our goals because of mistakes or choices we have made.

We still lie to ourselves about our own mortality. People who look younger than their age are held up as models. You may have heard the slogan, “Sixty is the new fifty.” I think that, at best, it’s possible to say, “Sixty is the new fifty-seven.” We’ve done wonders to extend the length of life, but we fail continuously at improving the quality of that life.

What makes me so certain about this is my experience with the people around me. Every single one of my friends has some type of health condition. Some of these afflictions are back pain, asthma, kidney stones, and high blood pressure. We spend billions of dollars each year on drugs, yet all we can do is treat the symptoms of most of our ailments.

I'm now forty-five, and I have a growing list of minor problems myself. I have a constant numbness in my left hand, sometimes I have trouble swallowing food, I've developed a hives-like condition, and my vision has degraded to the point that I need to take off my glasses to read small print. I also get pains in parts of my body that I didn't think could ever hurt.

In the field of prophecy, I'm still a spring chicken. I would say the average age of a prophecy teacher is the upper seventies. Having come to know many of them, I now realize that our productive years have a limit. Once someone reaches his senior years, the creative juices seem to rapidly run out. I know of several prophecy leaders whose minds and bodies have faded to the point that they have no active role in their ministries. All the work is done by younger folks.

This past week, I saw a news article about the death of Penthouse founder Bob Guccione. As I read his life story, I found him to be a perfect example of someone who lived as if time had no end. In 1982, Guccione was listed in the "Forbes 400" ranking of the wealthiest people, with a net worth of $1.2 billion in today's money. He once owned the largest mansion in New York City. At the time of his death, his empire had almost completely evaporated. Despite the fact that his health and resources were running out, there was no indication that he realized his days were in equal short supply.

Christians can be just as bad when it comes to wasting time. The Crystal Cathedral, the birthplace of the megachurch movement, recently filed for bankruptcy in California with debts that exceed $43 million. Its worship hall opened in 1970 and remains an architectural wonder and tourist destination. For years, Robert Schuller attracted congregants with feel-good sermons on the power of positive thinking. Even though the church has a weekly telecast called the "Hour of Power," there is very little spiritual power behind the venture.

I started Rapture Ready twenty-three years ago with the assumption that the blessed hope would be the reason my work on this site would come to an end. The realization that I only have a quarter-century of productive years ahead really brings home the importance of staying productive.

It is so important to be good stewards of our time, talents, and treasures. I truly believe that the most lasting reflection of our time here on earth will be what we could have done for the kingdom of God.

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:15-16).

Related Links
Book of Ephesians: Ephesians 5:1-17 - SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
Bankruptcy in the Cathedral - BPB (Albert Mohler)
The Stewardship of Time - Bible.org (J. Hampton Keathley, III)
Rapture Ready History - RaptureReady.com
Are You Rapture Ready?: Signs, Prophecies, Warnings, Threats, and Suspicions that the Endtime is Now - Todd Strandberg (Book)