Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“My time is not yet, but yours is always ready.”
Jesus, in John 7:6
Recently, the Lord answered a question that I have had in my heart for many years. Often, I have wondered why the Lord does not tell every person the exact day that they will die. It seemed to me that if He would do that, then people would fear God and would turn from their sins. But God showed me that if He revealed to every person on earth the exact day of his death, it would cause those who love Him to humble themselves and fear Him, but for everyone else, it would provoke them to pursue as much pleasure as possible before that day came. If God revealed to the wicked the exact day of their death, then the closer that day came, the more zealously they would pursue pleasures and earthly gain.
It happened once in the Old Testament that God did tell some people that terrible judgment was coming. Their reaction? They threw what might be called “an end of the world party”. “Let us eat and drink,” they cried out, “for tomorrow we shall die!” (Isa. 22:13).
The world would become an intolerable place for the upright, a place of constant terror and abuse. Knowing that their death was approaching, sinners would become absolutely uncontrollable in their evil-doing. There would be no limit to their wickedness. No one anywhere would be safe. The entire planet would become no more than the habitation of wild animals, with men and women taking whatever they wanted from whoever was weaker than they. Abuse of women and children would be the standard among men. There would be no mercy for the sick or afflicted. Their sickness or affliction would only mean that they could no longer protect themselves from the assault of stronger people.
It is to protect those who love Him that God does not reveal to wicked men the exact day of their death. Leaving them ignorant, He spares us. Because they do not know the exact day of their death, the hearts of the wicked are tempered by fear of premature death. They do not attack others, lest those others win the battle; they obey laws and dread discovery by the authorities so that they can continue living in sin. And because their ignorance tempers the conduct of the wicked, the saints have a little rest in this dangerous and restless world.