The Clock

    On our dining room table we have a battery-operated anniversary clock that my employer awarded to me for 20 years of service. Many products today seem designed to break down or cease functioning the day after the warranty on them expires. However, the manufacturer of my clock carefully constructed it to last for many years. And for the past 12 years, the clock has functioned perfectly.

    Because of the excellent workmanship, the manufacturer can be proud of its product and not fear having to issue a recall of all its clocks. If something did function improperly, a prompt and satisfactory response from the company would ensure my continued loyalty.

    When God created Adam and Eve, He did so perfectly.

    As the first human beings, they were not His fifth, sixth, or 20th attempt to make people. God did the job right on His first try. He did not design Adam and Eve with built-in obsolescence; He created them to live forever. Not one of their body parts would ever wear out or grow old.

    God placed them in a beautiful garden and provided for all their needs. But He did not leave them there to live on their own. Unlike the manufacturer of the clock, He wanted to maintain contact with His creation continually. So, they were well acquainted with His voice and enjoyed times of sweet fellowship with Him. God gave them fulfilling work to do, tending the garden. They did not have to worry about thorns piercing their fingers, because thorns did not exist, and the lush garden grew without hindrance.

    After Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan's lies, sin's curse brought disease and decay to them, and the ground no longer yielded its produce effortlessly. The lives of the first couple changed for the worse forever. Every day became a struggle to survive in an inhospitable world.

    One thing, however, did not change. Although God's creation had rebelled against Him, He had not turned His back on them. God still longed for fellowship with them and with all human beings who would be born. But Adam and Eve's sin had corrupted human nature, and all their descendents inherited the tendency to sin. Human beings are incapable of conquering their sinful nature, no matter how heroic their efforts to do so. Without exception, sin ultimately prevails, and sin prevents fellowship between God and human beings.

    Because no human could break down the sin barrier, God took action himself by sending His own Son. Jesus did what no human being could do--He lived a perfectly sinless life. He stayed in fellowship and in step with His Father continually. But His sinlessness alone could not change humanity. No, forgiveness would require a sacrifice so great that it would cover every sin of every person in time past and in time to come.

    Jesus knew that He had come to die.

    Despite the agony He knew He would suffer, He considered it to be a worthy investment to buy back human beings from sin. Even though most people do not deem God to be worth a few hours of their time, He considers them to be worth the life of His Son.

    Because sin entered humanity through human choice, God could not simply give forgiveness to everyone without each person choosing to reach out to Him. To those who acknowledge their hopelessly sinful state and accept His Son's sacrifice for them, He grants forgiveness. However, He will not forgive those who refuse to recognize their sins and therefore reject His love. Only those who receive His forgiveness will live with Him forever in heaven. Everyone else will spend eternity in darkness, because they chose to live in sin's darkness while on earth.

    Each person has his entire life to make the choice. The clock is ticking, however, for no one knows when death will occur. A car accident or sudden illness may strike at any age. Even if a person lives to be 80, he has no guarantee that by then he will desire to make the right choice. Throughout his lifetime, he may have hardened his heart to such a degree that he can no longer choose God's forgiveness.

    Time is running out for every human being. God has made His forgiveness available. What will your choice be?

© by Nancy A. Stevens