Summary: The word "moment" is used 3X in the N.T., KJV. 3 Greek words are used and applied to 3 areas: temptation, trials, and the Rapture. It's amazing how God can intervene during each "moment" and how He turns them around for our good!
3 MOMENTS IN TIME
Lk. 4:5; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:51
A. HUMOR: TAKING THE QUEUE
1. When Ruth Rowles husband, James Rowles, was in the seminary, he was invited to preach at a small rural church.
2. However, the man who was to introduce him to the congregation had trouble pronouncing his name. So James offered this verbal clue: “Remember rolls, like hot buttered rolls.”
3. It worked. When it came time for the introduction, the man announced, “We are pleased to have with us the Reverend James Biscuits.”
1. It is interesting that there are just three "moments" mentioned in the New Testament and that there are three different Greek words so translated, each used one time only in the Bible.
2. Furthermore, each of these three "moments" is used in a context which is anticipatory of the future.
3. So we’re going to look at 3 moments in time and see how they apply to us. Title: “3 Moments in Time.”
I. THE MOMENT OF TEMPTATION
A. SATAN’S TEMPTING OF JESUS
1. “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time” Luke 4:5, KJV.
2. First of all, Satan tempted Jesus by flashing before His eyes a vision of the whole world, offering it to Him immediately without His having to endure the cross, if He would rule it for the devil.
3. Here the Greek word for a “moment” is stigme, meaning a "point," like the period after a sentence. In an infinite "timeline," it would be just a dot on the line, a "point" in time.
4. Satan's apparent dominion over this world, though it lasts 6,000 years or so, is only a moment compared to eternity, and Jesus knew this was a poor bargain.
B. IMPLICATIONS FOR US
1. The enemy always tries to get us to choose temporary and transitory pleasures – instant gratification – over future rewards that have to be waited for.
2. It’s the same thing as waiting until getting married to have sex and maintaining our integrity and purity, or not controlling our urges, carnal desires and giving in to temptation.
3. We’re a people who want everything now. We don’t want to have to wait for them. We want to have nice houses and cars now, and don’t want to have to work and save to get them.
4. It’s this same impulse that causes us to cave in and yield to temptation. We need to take a cue from the Lord Jesus.
5. We should consider the temptation from the standpoint of eternity. We shouldn’t sell our eternal inheritance for a few hours of pleasure. That’s what Esau did; he sold his birthright for a single meal!
II. THE MOMENT OF TROUBLES
A. PROPER PERSPECTIVE
1. All of us have problems! From the strain of making enough money to cover the bills, to health problems, from marital relations and raising kids – life is full of challenges.
2. Oftentimes they seem overwhelming! Discouragement, failure, depression and loss are common features of life.
3. Paul gives us a ray of hope in the Book of 2 Corinthians; "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (4:17).
4. Paul says two things about our problems; they are “light” – not severe, and they are “momentary.” The word for “moment” here is parautika, referring specifically to the present moment.
B. ILLUS. OF THE DRESS PROBLEM
1. Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement – not even her parents' nasty divorce.
2. Her mother had found the perfect dress to wear, and would be the best-dressed mother-of-the-bride ever!
A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new, young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother.
3. Jennifer asked her father's new young wife to exchange it, but she refused. "Absolutely not! I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I'm wearing it," she replied.
4. Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, "Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day."
5. A few days later, they went shopping, and did find another gorgeous dress for her mother. When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, "Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it."
6. Her mother just smiled and replied, "Of course I do, dear. I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding."
C. WITH ETERNITY IN VIEW
1. But as Paul was saying, "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. 4:17).