Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 12, 1963

The Purpose Of This Day

Jack L. Holt

Through the mercy and providence of God our lives have been preserved so that we might live to this day. We need to ever keep in mind that God is the giver and the preserver of life. "It is in Him that we live and move and have our very being." (Acts 17:28) Since God has given us life so that we might live this day, it is only proper that we consider how we have, or will use it. Many have misused this day for they have wasted it. Every day that we do not use for the good of our souls, the glory of God, or for the good of others is a day that is wasted. It has been said, "If thou lovest life, do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of." God has declared, "whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest." (Eccl. 9:10) This does not mean that the grave ends all, for the spirit of man never dies, but it teaches that when death comes all of our purposes with respect to this life come to an end. It teaches that now — today — is all the time we have to do anything.

In fulfilling the purpose of this day there is usually work to be done. God never intended for any able bodied man to live on a dole. Man needs to work to develop himself and to provide for his own. Some of the Thessalonian Christians, who held erroneous ideas about the coming of Christ, had ceased to work and had created a small welfare state by living off the work of others. To correct this evil, God said, "....this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thess. 3:10)

Many men and women engaged in honest toil (Eph. 4:28) have properly used this day to make a living for themselves and their families. But all too many are so absorbed in making a living that they fail to take time to make a life.

We need to be impressed with the truth that life is worth living but life is not merely living. An animal lives, but man who is superior to the beast of the field, who is made in the image of God, is to live a life that will bring glory to his creator and preserver. Whether we realize it or not, the real purpose of this day is to give us time to make preparation to meet God. This day is only one link in the chain of time that ultimately leads to the day for which all other days are made — the judgment day! We shall each account to God in that day for our days here. (Rom. 14:12) Should we not, therefore, live every day in view of that day?

Preparation to meet God consists in doing the Will of God. It is God's will that we work to provide for our own. (1 Tim. 5:8, 16) We must labor for food, clothing and shelter. But we must always remember that while we must labor for the food that perisheth, we must not pass by the "bread of life." While we labor to protect the body from the elements by proper clothing, we must not forget to "put on" the apparel of a Christian. (1 Peter 3:3; Col. 3:12-14) And while we labor to build and repair earthly houses, let us not neglect the home that God has prepared for them that love Him. "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens." (2 Cor. 5:1) Thus, while this day may rightly be used to provide for our own, physically, it is more important we use this day to make provision for that which is eternal.

The apostle Peter teaches us that time is the gift of God to all men. A gift to men with the desire that man will properly use it. In 2 Peter 3:9, we read, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." Because God desires our salvation, He permits the world to continue. He gives us day after day that we might make preparation to meet Him. God desires our salvation, but the only servants He will accept are willing servants. He will not force us to serve Him. Man has the responsibility of choosing his eternal destiny. Joshua charged Israel saying, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve...." (Josh. 24:15) What have we chosen this day?

The Lord Jesus Christ, who provided the way to come to God, also invites all men to enter that way, saying, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28-30) He has revealed that way. In Mark 16:16, we read, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be condemned." Have we obeyed our Lord? If not, have we properly used this day? Are we prepared to meet God? If not, while we have this day, let us fulfill its real purpose by preparing to meet God.

— Dallas, Texas