DEADLINE                                                                                                                                         Andy Hollifield 4-16-19

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (KJV)

April 15th is probably the most dreaded day of the year. It is the day that our government has set aside to pay what we owe for the privilege of being an American and partaking of the milk and honey our country offers. It is the day that, if you haven’t rendered enough unto Caesar, you must pay up or suffer extreme persecution and then pay up with interest. The only people who probably look forward to the 15th is tax preparers. They are bombarded with procrastinators, like me, that wait until the last few days to make things right.

That is actually a pretty good simile of a lost sinner. They have had all of their life to live and do as they please except for one thing; they don’t know when their April 15th is going to roll around. Hebrews 9:27 says “And as it is appointed once to die, but after this the judgment.” That is one appointment we will all keep and none of us will be late for. As a matter of fact, some may even move their appointment up.

I personally believe that Moses was one that moved his day up when he smote the rock instead of speaking to it as God had ordered in Numbers 20:8-12. God let him look into Canaan but he never got to enter. Moses purpose was to lead them out of Israel (Exodus 3:10). It could be said that Judas shortened his days when he betrayed the Lord with a kiss (Matthew 26:48).

Ahab and his wife Jezebel come to mind pretty quick when talking about people who likely filled an early grave. In 1 Kings 19 Jezebel first threatens to kill Elijah and then in 21 conspires to have Naboth stoned to death so she could confiscate his vineyard to give to her husband. In chapter 21 also, Elijah returns to see Ahab upon hearing of Naboth’s death, and pronounces God’s judgement on both he and his wife. He told Ahab that the dogs that licked up Naboth’s blood, would also lick up theirs in the same spot. I wonder how long they might have lived if they hadn’t of had Naboth killed.

Ananias and Sapphira his wife could definitely be considered filling an early grave. They lied to the Holy Ghost in Acts 5 and fell dead. I know that God knows all things and he knew what they would do. But, if they had not conspired to go back on their vow, they could have likely been a part of the church and enjoyed the blessings of the Lord.

My point in mentioning these is that all of them crossed the deadline that God had for them probably earlier than God had planned for them. God knows all things so he knew what they would do and that it would cost them their lives. I know this may not seem encouraging at first but think about the last sentence of Hebrews 9:27 “…But, after this the judgment.” Although we aren’t looking forward to judgement, it will mean one thing for all of us that are born again and have accepted him as our Savior; we will finally be home. If we have made things right before the deadline, our deadline, we will face judgment. We’ll give an account of the deeds done in this body whether they be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).

After the judgment, we will also enter “into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:23). Matthew 6:20 speaks of laying up treasures in heaven. Paul spoke of several crowns that we may receive. A crown of life, rejoicing, righteousness, glory, and the rewards for our deeds. None of this comes until we have crossed our deadline with the Lord. All the joys of heaven await us when we finally cross our deadline. There is a payday coming, hold on a little longer. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!


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