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It's Later Than It's Ever Been

September 2, 2015

A young boy was spending the day in his grandfather’s clock shop, and a recently dropped off broken clock loudly chimed “10,” “11,” “12” . . . then “13,” and finally ended at “15”!

The grandfather turned to the boy and asked, “I thought I just heard a clock chime . . . what time is it?”

The boy, surprised, honestly responded, “I don’t know . . . but it’s later than it’s ever been!”

It’s true! It is later than it’s ever been . . . and Jesus is coming soon! But the question is, what are you doing about it?

I have family in both Florida and Puerto Rico (the Caribbean), and we have all been glued to the weather reports of the ongoing Tropical Storm Erika. Moment by moment and hour by hour, my family has been checking in with each other and keeping everybody informed about the latest updates.

Jesus also taught us to watch for signs of the storm as well: “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:2, 3, NIV).[1]

How attentive to the signs of the times have you been? Are you ready? Are your family and friends and neighbors ready? Do you care? If you do, I ask you again: what are you doing about it to let others know?

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’

“A second angel followed and said, ‘ “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,” which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’

“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.’ This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus” (Revelation 14:6-12, NIV).

The three angels’ messages should be our messages! In these stinging and sobering words, Ellen G. White both rebukes and refocuses us: “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. . . . They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.

“The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given to us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust committed to them.”[2]

 Look, I’m not trying to make you angry or scare you; I’m simply reminding you that all you have to do is take a look around at our world to know that something is up. Jesus is getting ready to come back!

So, what’s the bottom line? Well, it’s my hope that after reading this you will:

1.   Fall in love with Jesus Christ and fully give Him your hearts, your lives, and wills . . . basically, don’t hold anything back from Him and totally follow Him all the rest of your days.

2.   Continue growing and flourishing in your relationship with God, through Jesus.

3.   Not make or continue to make stupid, purposeful, or careless mistakes that get you tangled up in years and years of chronic sin, addictions, bad life situations, and the consequences that go with them. Instead, you’ll be able to sidestep those things and . . .  

4.   Share that love and freedom that you’ve found in Christ with as many people as you can to . . .

5.   Speed Christ’s return so we can all go home to spend eternity with Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit.

 Jesus is coming back soon, and none of us have time to waste! Ephesians 5:15-17 puts it like this: “Act like people with good sense and not like fools. These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do” (CEV).[3]

It’s later than it’s ever been, and the storm is coming! Get to work to get yourself and others ready!


[1] Scripture quotations marked NIV are from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[2] George R. Knight, “Meeting Ellen White: Ellen White’s Integrative Themes,” White Estate,accessed August 31, 2015,

[3] Scriptures quoted from CEV are from the Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

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