Good morning my brothers and sisters. I pray you will experience the joy of the Lord this morning. We are moving into 1 Corinthians 7 this morning.
This is an odd chapter and one that is hard for us to relate to in our current age. It is odd because Paul mixes God's commands with his own advice on things that he has not received direction on. Paul is simply giving some direction where people are a bit confused because of the attitude in the Church. The last sentence says:
In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God. v. 40
Paul believes his advice and counsel are pretty solid because he is guided by the Spirit. However this chapter is also odd to us because it is written in a tone that we find hard to relate to.
The Church was living in such an expectation of Jesus' immediate return that people were not sure what to do about relationships. They were living as if Jesus was about to walk through their front door at any minute so they were unsure how to respond to normal every day life. It was because of this expectation that Paul worked as hard as he did because he was trying to rescue as many people as he could. Every day could have been the last day and for that reason Paul did not want to miss any opportunity. He writes:
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. vv. 29-31
Please do not read this out of context. Read the entire chapter and you will see that Paul told husband and wives to fulfill their duties to one another. Paul was speaking here of the urgency to be about the Father's business. There was a lot of work to do and very little time. We certainly live in a different attitude now.
There is very little expectation of Jesus' return. If we do acknowledge it we see it in a distant future. We certainly do not approach each day as if it is the last. We also get very attached to the things of this world, relationships and materials. There are those who have given up their salvation for the sake of retaining a relationship. I think what most definitely comes across here is that Jesus must be the most important person in our lives.
I am curious, what would you do if this was the last day of your life? Who would you talk to? What would you say? What would be the most important activity in your day? Would you seek forgiveness from people? Would you try to convince unsaved friends of the love of Jesus? Or would you spend it in selfish pursuits; have one last ice cream, watch that one last TV show, play that one last video game?
Jesus had pondered whether he would find any faith when he returned? He also warned us many times to be found faithfully working when he returns. I wonder how many faithful followers he will find diligently carrying out their duties compared to those who are too busy fulfilling their own desires? How will you feel if he does return today; excited or ashamed? There is still time to do something about our attitude but I would not say we have a lot of time left. Let's take care of this while we have the only day guaranteed to us, today.