The word time is a word that is often taken for granted. We are all guilty of often wasting time. We are all guilty of not using our time wisely. The old cliché says, “Time waits on no man.”
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines time as a nonspatial continuum in which events occur in an apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. So therefore time is something we don’t have much of. Many of us sitting here in this church have often wished that we could recapture the past. We have often said “I sure wish I could turn back the hands of time.”
Time is one of the most valuable thing that God has given us. Well we can waste money and it’s okay. Well preacher I’m not following you on that one. We have an opportunity to earn or get more money by not spending so much of it or by working a part time job to earn more of it. But on the other hand wasted time is wasted time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. There is no earning it back, there is no negotiating it back, and there’s definitely no buying it back. Time only comes from God.
For the few moments that are mine I just want to expound on two points. I’ll try not to be to long.
Point Number One: “When It’s Time To Go To Your Island Of Patmos”
There comes a time in life that we have to remove ourselves from everyone and everything. There are going to be some situations that require all of our attention, mental discipline, and concentration.
There’s going to come a time when advice from family and friends isn’t going to mean much. And as far as going to couseling, save your money. It’s not going to work either.
But I just wanted to share with you where you can go to seek counsel, peace, and solutions for some unanswered questions. It’s going to come a time where a preacher can’t be found or your pastor may be tied up and can’t get to you, or he may even be out of town.
But there’s a place you can go that can give you all the answers you seek. That place is called your “Island of Patmos.”
I know we have some Bible scholars in here with degrees, but I’m not talking about that place where John was exiled that was about 20 miles long and 10 miles wide that that a high mountain that reached almost an altitude of 500 feet.
I’m not talking about that place when John went into the mountains and received revelations from God. I’m not talking about that kind of physical place.
I’m simply talking about a place that you can go to seek God’s face.
I know 2 Chronicles 7:14 says: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
You need a place where it’s just you and God. A place that has peace. A place that is tranquil. This has to be a place and a time of separation.
This is a place where the television is off. This is a place where the cell phones and land phones are turned off. This is quiet talk between you and God.
That why we can say “Just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.” That’s why the song writer wrote the song “Steal Away.” Sometimes you have to steal away with just you and God so you can seek his face for some answers.
Going to your Island of Patmos is not a fun place. Some tears are going to be shed and some pain and suffering is going on at this time. This is a time of fasting. Now Hezekiah found himself in this situation. Hezekiah understood quite well the meaning of time.
Now the scripture says: In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death.
I don’t know about you, but if someone were to come and tell me to get my house in order it would take me for a loop. Come on now. Let’s keep this thing real. We all want to live and to continue to enjoy this thing called life. We want to continue to enjoy our friends and loved ones.
The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover."
Hezekiah was devastated by the news for two reasons:
One: He wanted to live. Hezekiah wanted life just like the rest of us. I don’t know about you, but I want to live as long as I can. I want to see Jesus for myself but I want to meet him in the future and not right now.
Two: If you look at the history the Old Covenant promised temporal prosperity, including length of days to the righteous. Hezekiah’s mind went into a whirlwind asking himself these questions:
1. Lord I walked like you told me to walk and I’m asking why is this for me?
2. I kept a high level of integrity towards you and I served you faithfully. What’s up?
3. I kept the highest standards of morality now why must I get my house in order? Did I not follow you as you instructed me to?
I don’t know about you but I know I would be asking God some deep questions as to why me? Hezekiah knew he had to seek God face.
There could be no interruptions; there could be no talking from others, and no interference.
Using my spiritual imagination, I would say Hezekiah had everyone to leave his room; he faced the wall and began to pray. He couldn’t go to the temple to pray, he needed to seek God right a way.
He needed to go into his Island of Patmos. He faced the wall and went into fervent prayer.
James 5:16 in the NIV says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16 in the KJV says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We all have to go to our Island of Patmos from time to time.
Sometimes our wives are acting crazy and we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
Sometimes our husbands are acting crazy and we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
Sometimes our friends/relatives are acting crazy and we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
Sometimes our children are acting crazy and we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
Sometimes our health begins to fail us and we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
Sometimes our jobs are acting crazy and we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
When we lose our mothers to death we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
When we lose our fathers to death we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
When we lose our children to death we have to go to our Island of Patmos.
WE ALL HAVE TO VISIT OUR ISLAND OF PATMOS!
While Hezekiah was praying on his Island of Patmos I see hope and faithfulness. The reason I see hope and faithfulness is because he could have cursed God and died but he held on to hope and to the faith.
As Mother Jones and I say frequently, I’m Just Holding On.” I can even take it a little farther because from the old Traditional Baptist Church we use to say years ago “I’m just holding on cause I want to see what the ends go be. My grandmamma didn’t have any edumacation, and she had broken English, but she had spirit! Some of us get hung up on these degrees, but Paul said, “The letter killeth, but the spirit gives it life.”
Point Number Two: “Your Condition Is Not Your Conclusion”
Some of you in here right now think that your condition is your conclusion. Some of you in here right now think that because you have an illness that that’s that. Well the old cliché says “I haven’t heard the fat lady sing yet.” I don’t hear any singing.
No matter what your condition may be, it’s not your conclusion.
Drugs may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Alcohol may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Smoking may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Sex may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Lust may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Pornography may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Pain may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Abuse may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Sickness may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Unemployment may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Homosexuality may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Lying may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Divorce may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Prostitution may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Having an Abortion may be your condition– but it’s not your conclusion.
Going to Atlantic City playing the slots may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Playing the Md. State Lottery may be your condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
Even Death may be the condition – but it’s not your conclusion.
How can you say these things preacher because I’ve been doing it for so long? I’ve been drinking for so many years. Preacher you don’t understand I have all of these children out of wedlock.
Just before I take my seat, let me share some good news with you. The good news is that your condition is not your conclusion. I can say this and I believe it because the Bible says so.
If we look at 2 Kings 20:4 says “Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, `This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life.
It’s something about that number three that makes me want to shout. Just hold on, I will revisit the number three.
God says that your condition is not your conclusion. God says that your condition is not your conclusion. When you start thinking that your condition is your conclusion, it’s a lie. Satan wants to make you feel that you are trapped into your condition. It’s nothing but a trick of the devil. It’s a lie from the deepest part of the pit. Satan is a lie.
The Bible clearly says in James 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Your condition is not your conclusion. It’s not over until God says it’s over. I’m here as a witness before the almighty God to let you know, it’s not over.
Remember what God said through the mouth of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:17, he said, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
But if we read a little further to the verse 18, it says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For what is seen is temporary, Thank God trouble don’t last always, trouble don’t last always.
I don’t think you’re feeling me yet. Come on Moses. Moses had a condition. He was a murderer. If you read Exodus 2:12, he slew an Egyptian and hid him in the sand. It was his condition, but it wasn’t his conclusion.
Naaman had a condition. Naaman was a leper. If you read 2 Kings 5:10 Elisha told Naaman to go the River Jordan, that old muddy river Jordan and dip yourself seven times and your flesh will be as clean as a newborn baby. Being a leper was his condition but it wasn’t his conclusion.
Come on Lazarus. You were sick and then you died. Death was his condition, but it wasn’t his conclusion. Jesus came to the tomb and called him forth.
I just want to revisit that special number: the number three. In 2 Kings 20:5-6 says "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, `This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life.
Come on Jesus. People just knew that your cross was your conclusion. Can I just park here for a minute. Jesus came into this world 40 and 2 generations for you and for me.
40 and 2 generations preacher? I’m not feeling you right now. Come with me to the beginning book of Matthews the very first chapter. Follow along as I read the geneology of Jesus the Christ. He came through the lineage of David, so that he could set us free on that special day. That day that Jesus went to the at old rugged cross. They hung him high and strechted him wide. He died on that Friday, but on the third day. Early one Sunday morning, he got up with all power in his hands....PRAISE GOD!!!!!