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Summary: WE NEVER REPORT TO WORK LATE, BUT WE WORSHIP AT OUR DISCRETION.

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LATE COMERS

MATTHEW 25:10

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived, the virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.”

I was once invited to speak in an open air meeting in a remote rural village. I like keeping time and on this particular day I made sure that everything was in order in time for the meeting. I traveled to the place in good time only to find not a single brother or sister. The crusade ground was deserted, and there was nobody familiar whom I could have asked about the rest of the members. I went into the open church hall and found nobody inside. I then realized that things were not ok and thought that rapture had taken place and that I had been left behind! But why? Then I saw my friend Patrick, who is a dear brother coming, I heaved a sigh of relief for I knew that rapture could not have left him behind! Rapture had not taken place except for the hosts who had not turned up for the meeting; they were late and in no hurry at all.

Believers should be good stewards of the time that the Lord has given us. There are those who never handle time with wisdom. It is not in order for a speaker to stand in the pulpit and preach for four hours, a sermon that could have been delivered effectively in fifteen to thirty minutes. It is a pity to find men and women snoring in sleep as others yawn in turns, as if in a yawning competition, during a sermon in the church. There are others who speak in the pulpit until late at night. This doesn’t have a positive impression especially to those women whose husbands are not believers. In any case, the members must be told in advance the programme of the church services so that the housewives can make prior arrangements of their husbands’ meals in time.

I once had a teacher who seemed absent minded always. I never understood why until I had the story of how he missed a chance of his lifetime and career. He had been awarded a scholarship to study overseas, an opportunity of a lifetime. He looked forward to the day and when the day came, it was celebrations all over. The celebrations went into extra time and when he arrived at the airport, he was some minutes late. He only witnessed his scheduled flight taking off the runaway.He couldnt reschedule his flight. There was no other alternative and he therefore missed the golden opportunity. Since then his mind was never the same. I do not understand why people keep their time in issues where money is concerned; suppose men are asked to come for a package at ten in the morning, believe it, you will find men ready at six in the morning- waiting.

There is always a cost in not keeping time. Many have been sacked for reporting to their duties late. Many marriages have been destroyed by “late coming” of spouse, and many more situations affected by not keeping time. It is sad if Christians never bother keeping time. I have seen ministers and pastors reporting to meetings late when the programme movers and conductors have lost hope of their arrival. The ten virgins had an opportunity but five foolish ones amongst them were locked out. The Lord further advices us in Matthew 25:13 to keep watch for we do not know the day or the hour of his coming. How should we do it? By praying always as we are living in an evil world in which the devil is raving for unrepentant souls so that he can devour them.


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