Our life is like an hourglass and the sand is sinking. Each grain is like a mercy and what are we doing with those mercies? If we don’t run to Christ, those grains of mercy will turn into grains of wrath.
Kids, what is that? Hourglass. Why is it called an hourglass? Yeah, it would take an hour for all that sand to go through here. (young man) It’s a timer. Mark: It’s a timer. So all this sand goes through here and accumulates at the bottom. An hour has passed. And it’s called an hourglass because it takes an hour and it’s made of glass. But if you’ll notice in this illustration, there’s a bulb or bowl at the top, and there’s a bowl at the bottom. Now this is going to represent what we’re talking about here in verse 10 of chapter 5, but it’s really going to emphasize what it says in Romans 2:4-5. And if you’ve got your Bibles, you want to turn to that passage. Because Paul is going to make the point here. He’s going to say don’t you know that the goodness and the kindness and the mercies of God should lead you to repentance? These little grains of sand are like the days of your life. And here’s your life. Instead of calling this an hourglass, call it the Jayden glass, or the Tom glass, or the Frank glass. And here is your life going through here a little at a time. And each one of these grains of sand, let’s say it might be a day, or if you want to call it a week it doesn’t matter, but let’s say it’s a day. But let’s also turn that day into what it really is in Lamentations 3, that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning. Every single one of these grains of sand are the mercies of the Lord. In Romans 2:4, he talks about how the goodness and the kindness of God shall lead you to repentance. But when you don’t invest those little grains of sand that are the mercies of God, verse 5 of Romans 2 says what? But don’t you know you are storing up for yourself… uh oh, the bottom of the bowl. What started out as mercy winds up at the bottom in storage: wrath and fury and indignation from God. He’s going to hold you accountable for the mercies He gave you today. And it’s storing up. Now, this might be a guy who might be 80 years old, let’s pretend. But you see, in reality, God sets the size of the bowl and the numbers of the sand. I’ve seen some kids 8 years old who have died. What’s the difference in the bowl size? One’s got more. One’s got less. Who determines how many grains of sand is in which? God does. You don’t know if you’ve got tomorrow with sand in that bowl or not. Maybe. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. Really? All of a week left and you don’t even know it. Here it is accumulating. And at the end of the day and at the end of your life, God’s going to hold this person accountable for all that sand, and He’s going to hold this person accountable for all that sand. Not only individuals, you’ve got entire nations that are like this. God’s talking to Abraham and He tells Abraham, He says, you know, Abraham, this is what I’m going to be doing with your people in the land that you’re in. And He says in Genesis 15:16 if you turn there, you can. But He says, you know, the reason why you’re not going over there or what’s going to take place is going to take awhile is because the iniquity of the Amorites hasn’t filled up yet. It’s got to fill up to here. To this spot. And then when it does, I’m going to send in the Jews and they’re going to destroy that people and that culture. Four hundred and fifty years are going to pass from that time He talked to Abraham until the Amorites were going to be no more. So you have countries like that. Here’s America at 240 years old. Here’s the Amorites. You know what’s going to happen when all that sand goes through on those countries? When they stand before God, whether it’s a country or a person? They’re going to talk to one another according to Christ. Sodom’s going to talk to Capernaum and say let me get this straight. What kind of sand did you have go through your glass? You had the Messiah? And you didn’t repent? All we had was general revelation. Now if we would have had what you had… they would have repented. The Amorites are going to rise up on that day and say to the Americans, “What?” You had a church on every corner? A seminary in every city? You had more wheat than you could shake a stick at? Among the tares? I mean, the mercy drops that fall through you, America, aren’t the same mercy drops that fell through us. And here we are being judged for what we knew which was less knowledge like it says – he who knew his Master’s will and didn’t do it, versus he who didn’t know his Master’s will and didn’t do it. Both are going to be storing up things on judgment day. Whether it’s a culture or whether it’s a person. Whether it’s you and me. And you’re going to have to give an account for your deeds whether they’re good or bad. God is sovereign over who gets this bowl and how much sand it gets. Some kids never see the light of day because of abortion. And their bowl is very small. Others are bigger. And others live to be a long time and they’re storing up wrath on the day of wrath. Now that’s the message he preaches in the first part here in v. 10 and 11. We persuade men knowing the fear of the Lord; knowing that however old you are, you can just look at all the sand that’s come from those years. What have I done with that? Have I taken the mercies of the Lord that have been new every morning and have I repented? The goodness and kindness of God, he says in Romans 2. But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God who will render to every man according to those grains of sand that was given to them – their deeds, how you handle those grains of mercies that fall through that hourglass. This excerpt was taken from the full sermon: “Transformation For Proclamation.”