And the angel which I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,…
I. THERE IS A PERIOD SET AT WHICH TIME SHALL BE NO MORE.
1. Time had a beginning. There was a day, a year, that was the first, before which there was not another. But eternity was before, and will be after time; which therefore appears at present like a small island lifting up its head in the midst of the ocean.
2. Time has run from the beginning, and is running on in an uninterrupted course of addition of moments, hours, days, months, and years.
3. Time will come to an end. It has run long, but it will run out at length. The last sand in the glass of this world will pass. The period is set in the Divine decree, the last day and hour, though no man knows them.
(1) This present world shall be no more; these heavens and earth shall pass away by the general conflagration (2 Peter 3:10).
(2) New years shall be no more. The year will come, the month, the day, hour and minute, after which there shall never be another. Let us improve our years then for eternity, and count our days so as to apply our hearts to wisdom.
(3) The different seasons will be no more. There will be no more summer and winter, seed-time and harvest. There will be an eternal spring in heaven; but an eternal winter, as it were, in hell, where is gnashing of teeth.
(4) The business of this life shall be no more. There shall be no more tilling of the ground, tending of flocks, merchandising, nor trades. How unhappy must they be who have no pleasure nor satisfaction in anything else, since these are not to last!
(5) The means of sustaining this life shall be no more. There shall be no more eating, drinking, nor sleeping.
(6) Relations shall be no more. Time going dissolves them all, as fellow-travellers part when come to their journey's end. There shall be no more magistrates and subjects, ministers and people, husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants (Job 3:19). Only the relation betwixt Christ and His people as head and members, which is not of this world, shall remain; and so the relation to God as His children (Luke 20:35, 36); who are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
(7) Space for repentance shall be no more.
(8) Tribulation and adversity of the godly shall be no more.
(9) The prosperity and comfort of the wicked (Luke 16:25) shall be no more.
II. THE WEIGHT OF THIS TRUTH, AND ITS CONCERN TO MANKIND.
1. That it is of weight and concern to them appears in its being sworn to them; which implies —
(1) That men are very heedless about it, and slow to believe it, and be impressed with it.
(2) A legal intimation made to them of its ending.
(3) That the period of time is unalterably fixed, the bounds of it set, beyond which it cannot go; for it is set by an oath.
2. The weight of the thing lies in these three.
(1) That then that which concerns mankind's happiness or misery is completed; the state of probation is over, and the state of recompense takes place in perfection, both as to their bodies and souls.
(2) That then eternity succeeds the state of all for ever unalterable, no end to be expected more.
(3) That now or never must be done what is done for eternity.Use. Then be exhorted suitably to improve this intimation of time's ending.
1. Look beyond time, this world, and the state of things in it; carry your views into the other world, to eternity (2 Corinthians 4:18).
2. Lift your hearts from off the things of time, and set them on those that are eternal (Colossians 3:2).
3. Use this world passingly, as pilgrims and strangers in it (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).
4. Let not the frowns of this world, the troubles and trials of the present life, make deep impression on us: they will not last.
5. Be not lifted up with the world's smiles, nor value yourselves on worldly prosperity; for time will put an end to this also.
6. Improve time while it lasts, for the ends it is given you for.
(1) Laying a good foundation for eternity, getting out of your natural state into the state of grace, believing on Christ, and repenting of sin.
(2) Living to the honour of God, endeavouring to act in your sphere for propagating the name and kingdom of Christ.
(3) Serving your generation in usefulness to mankind, seeking to forward the spiritual and temporal good of others; as David did (Acts 13:86).
Parallel VersesKJV: And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,