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A Time for Everything
Scripture: Genesis 1:14-19; 2 Peter 3:10; Ecclesias...
Track 4 of 10 in the Pipe Dream series
Running time: 52 minutes, 52 seconds.
One of the most fascinating and yet most frustrating four letter words is time. We all have the same amount of time in a given day. If you are totally poor or filthy rich, each gets the same amount of time each day. Time is something we have to deal with everyday. It is woven into everything we do.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
A Time For Everything

Let’s pretend that your banker called you and said that he had some very good news. He told you that anonymous donor who loves you very much has decided to deposit 86,400 pennies into your account each morning starting the following Monday morning. That is $864 a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

He adds, there is one stipulation; you must spend all the money the same day. No balance will be carried over to the next day. Every evening, the bank must cancel what you failed to use. You thank your banker and sit down and begin to figure how much money you will be getting. It equals $315,000 a year.

Now let play get real. A very good friend who loves you very much decides to deposit into you bank of time 86,400 seconds of time-which represents 1,440 minutes which we all know equals 24 hours a day.

Now you have to remember the same stipulation applies. You have to use all your seconds up that very same day. No unused portion of time is credited to your account the next day. What you don’t use, you lose. Someone once said, “Life is like a coin, you can spend it any way you want, but you can only spend it once.”

One of the most fascinating and yet most frustrating four letter words is “time”. We all have the same amount of time in a given day. If you are totally poor or filthy rich, each gets the same amount of time each day. Time is something we have to deal with everyday. It is woven into everything we do. How often do you speak about it?

Think about how many times we talk about time? What are some of the sayings we use concerning time? What time does the meeting start? I don’t have time? Etc.

What about this thing called time? First of all, what is it? Can someone give me a definition of time? If someone were being introduced to it for the first time ever, how would you describe it? When did time exist? Was it always around or was it created?

Definition: Time is duration, a measurable period in which things happen.

Why is time so important? It is completely irretrievable. You can never repeat it or relive it. We dream about going back in time and trying to relive those moments, but in reality, once they are gone, you can’t get them back. Why were the planets created on day four of creation?

Genesis 1:14-19 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

But does time end when the planets no longer exist in the sky as indicated in 2 Peter 3:10? I think it is this dimension of life that caused Solomon to pull over from his journey into philosophy and stop long enough to write a practical analysis of time in his journal.

After pondering the whole idea of not being able to enjoy life apart from God, Solomon sits down and breaks life down into chunks, which he calls events.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every event under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter ones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Christians may trust God to do what is the right thing but they still want to understand what He is doing and why He is doing it, especially when it concerns their lives. Life just doesn’t work that way. True faith in God means trusting Him especially when His actions don’t make sense to us.

Many look at life and come to the conclusion that life doesn’t make sense. The first lesson to learn from this poem is even though life can be a mixture of many different human experiences; life does have a pattern, a design. “There is a time for every thing and a season for every event under heaven.” The term “event” conveys the idea that things happen in order; when they are suppose to happen. Thus, experience is ordered by some creative mind.

But when you read this poem closely, it does not explain the order of life. In fact it looks as though life is contradictory. All the events seem to work opposite one another. The question that then arises is “Who can know the correct order of things?” Solomon tells his reader the answer:

Eccles. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

True or False: Man has a choice in the actions he takes or the circumstances he faces.

Are there circumstances that we have little or no control over? What are the circumstances we have lots of room for human choice? Does all this relieve us of the responsibility to choose to act wisely and righteously? Why? Look at Eccles. 3:12

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

Two All-Encompassing Questions:

Two questions seem to leap from the page of Solomon’s journal when we come to the end of this list. One question is stated; the other one is implied.

What’s the profit?

When you look at life and slice it down to the essentials, what is the profit? What is the gain? What is the reason? Solomon just gave us a long list opposites, 14 are positive, 14 are negative. And in some ways, they cancel each other out so that the net result is zero. Many of these leave us on the dead end street of life. This is the point of all that Solomon writes in his journal. You live your life out side of God and in the end; there is no profit, no gain.

What’s the purpose?

Where is life going? You can receive a degree from the best universities and when you graduate, you won’t know where life is going. You can work hard and get many graduate degrees and in the end, you still won’t know where life is headed. They will equip you on how to question life, but when you graduate, all you will have is the questions, not the answers to life. And all the questions will solve nothing. And in fact, in many institutions of higher learning, you are considered intellectually incompetent if you come to hard-and-fast conclusions. You ask questions, you don’t answer them. You raise them, you don’t solve them. In our sophisticated world today, people say man is getting brighter, when is fact man is becoming more confused. Solomon asks the question, where is all of this going? (Verse 9)

Important Conclusions: We need some conclusions that take away the futility we have been reading.

First: Verses 10-11a
I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time.
God has made everything appropriate (beautiful) in His time. The one thing the whole world is missing is this understanding. When God gives the perspective we need, our time become sensible and meaningful. When all the pieces of the puzzle fit into one another, beauty emerges.

Second: Verse 11b He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

What does it mean when Solomon says God has put eternity in our hearts?

Eternity can best be defined as “curiosity about our future”. God has not only put things into perspective by having a timetable in which events run their course, he has also put within the human a curiosity about tomorrow. From the time we are little kids to the time we are older adults, asking questions about tomorrow is a daily routine in life. All of this is to lead to one important question, “What am I looking for?”

The correct answer is “GOD”!

Do you know what time it is? It is time to come to terms with eternity.

Time has started for you and me. But it hasn’t ended yet, by His grace. But are you ready for that moment when God will stop time and start the wheel of eternity? What will be your hope? What will be your security blanket when God steps up and announces, “Time will be no more?” If your not absolutely sure when it is time for you to die that heaven is your destiny, then you’re not even ready to live. I point you to Jesus.