Title: Old People Seldom Seek The Lord
Text: Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
Subject: The Urgency Of Faith In Christ
Date: Sunday Morning - December 9, 1990
Tape # U-
The title of my message today will raise some eyebrows when I announce it. To many, it will appear to be, at first consideration, both untrue and unkind. But I hope you will hear what I have to say. My message today should arrest the attention of every national person. If God will enable me I want to talk to you about this fact that I have observed in twenty-years of pastoral work - Old People Seldom Seek The Lord.
I am calling for faith in Christ. I want you to know and trust the Lord Jesus Christ. I want you today, this very hour, to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
1. Believe God’s testimony concerning his Son.
2. Confess your sin to God.
3. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ - His blood atonement - His perfect righteousness - His glorious intercession.
4. Commit yourself to Christ the Lord.
Salvation does not come by your will. But you will never be saved without, or against, your will. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” May God make you willing to trust his Son today! Salvation is not the result of a decision you make. But you will never be saved without a willing, deliberate, voluntary decision on your part. So I am saying to you, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.”
And I give you this word of assurance from God - The Lord our God is able and willing to save to the uttermost any and all who come to him by faith in Christ. His arm is not short that he cannot save. His ear is not heavy that he cannot hear. If you trust Christ, you cannot be lost. If you trust Christ, God will save you.
· No matter how young you are, or how old.
· No matter how moral you are, or immoral.
· No matter how religious you are, or irreligious.
If you seek the Lord you will find him. If you call upon him, he will answer you, no matter what your condition, no matter what your position is, no matter what your age is.
But I know this also - Old men and women seldom seek the Lord. I have been around and preached to a lot of old people. When I was twenty-one years old, I became pastor of a congregation of primarily older people. The average age was about 60-65. I visited in their homes, preached to them, observed their religion and observed their superstitions for nine years. Some of them are still alive. Many of them are dead. But this I observed - Men and women usually die just like they have lived. Those who spend a lifetime without Christ usually die without Christ.
Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that old people are not religious; they usually are very religious. They are usually very sentimental, very superstitious, and very religious. But generally their religion is confusion. They have no understanding or discernment in the things of God.
Illustration: The old lady who left $30,000 to Henry Mahan, E. J. Daniels, Jimmy Swaggart and a Campbellite preacher.
· Gurney Barker
NOTE: Those who do have understanding and discernment in the things of God, for the most part, got it when they were young.
I’ve been in a lot of rest homes. But I have never seen a revival in a rest home. I have yet to hear of a man being convicted of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment in a convalescent center. I used to visit the sanitorium at Beckley, WV regularly. But I never met a person there who was seeking the Lord.
This is what I am telling you, and my text will bear me out, Old People Seldom Seek the Lord. I did not say, “Never.” I said, “Seldom.” Old People Seldom Seek The Lord (Eccles. 12:1-7).
I. “REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR.”
You can call this a command, an admonition, or an exhortation. But it is a warning to young men and women, those who still possess their faculties, to seek the Lord while they have opportunity to do so. This warning is addressed to you and me. Some of us are older and some are younger than others. But we are all yet in retention of our mental faculties. So in the sense of our text, we are all here yet in our youth, at least mentally.
Someone said, “Forty is the old age of youth. Fifty is the youth of old age.” Most of us fall in there somewhere. But I am not talking about years. Solomon is warning us that the day will soon come when we will not be able to remember our Creator. So, if you are wise, you will do so now!
The word remember means much more than “call to mind”. It means, “Set your heart upon and never neglect, forget, or fail to think upon thy Creator.” The word, “remember” is used like this frequently in the Scriptures.
1. To the rich man in hell Abraham said, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented” (Lk. 16:25).
2. The penitent thief cried out to the Lord Jesus, as they were dying - “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Lk. 23:42).
3. Our Savior says to you and me, as we eat the bread and drink the wine of the Lord’s Table, “This do in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:25). (Set your mind on me. Never forget me. Never neglect me. Remember me.)
B. “Remember now!”
“Now” is the time of opportunity. “Now” is the time of grace. “Now” is the time of salvation. “Now is the accepted time.” “Behold, today is the day of salvation!”
1. Now is the time when God is speaking (Prov. 1:23-33).
Illustration: “Jesus of Nazareth passeth by!”
2. Now is the time we have.
We have no promise of tomorrow, much less of old age. So Solomon says, “Remember now!” Do not delay. Do not neglect your soul. Do not neglect your God.
C. “Remember now thy Creator!”
The word “Creator” here is really in the plural. It should read, “Remember now thy Creators,” clearly expressing the foundational truth of Holy Scripture that the Lord our God is one God in the Trinity of his sacred Persons. God who is one said, “Let us make man in our own image and after our own likeness.”
We are Trinitarians! (1 john 5:7).
· Malachi says, “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?” (2:10).
· And Isaiah says, “Thy Maker is thine Husband: the LORD of hosts (God almighty) is his name...The God of the whole earth shall he be called” (Isa. 54:5).
· Yet, in that same verse he says, “Thy Maker is thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
· And in the Book of Job we read, “The Spirit of God hath made me; and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Elihu - 33:4).
NOTE: As all three of the Divine Persons are involved in the work of salvation (Eph. 1:3-14), all three were involved in the work of creation. The world, all things in it, and you and me were created...
· According to the purpose of God the Father.
· Through the mediation of God the Son.
· By the power of God the Spirit.
1. Remember that our Creator is God alone. There is no God but him.
Allah is not God any more than Bhudda is God or the Hindu’s cow is God. Jehovah is God, great and glorious. He alone is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, just and true. “He hath made us!”
2. Remember that God in Christ is love, mercy, and grace, pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin.
3. Remember that this Lord God is our Creator.
· He brought us into being.
· He preserves us in life.
· He favors us with the blessings of his providence.
· He feeds us with our daily bread.
· He owns us, rules over us, and disposes of us as he will.
4. Remember why God created you (Prov. 16:4).
God made you and me to glorify himself. And we will serve the purpose for which we were made!
· The glory of his grace in salvation.
· The glory of his power in judgment.
5. Remember that you and I are not worthy to live before the Lord God and we are not fit to die in our natural state.
· We have transgressed God’s law.
· We have despised his grace.
· We have trampled his dear Son under our feet.
· We deserve his wrath.
6. Remember what the Holy Lord God, our Creators, must have done and have done to save such worthless sinners as we are.
a. We could never have been saved if God the Father had not loved us with an everlasting love and chosen us unto eternal salvation by his grace (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
b. We could never have been saved had not God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ come into this world in human flesh, had he not lived for us, had he not died for us under the penalty of God’s holy law as our Substitute (2 Cor. 5:21).
I’ve been to Calvary, and I can say
“I’ve seen the Lord
I’ve been to Calvary through the riches of His Word.
Each day at Calvary, what a thrill of love Divine
Just to think - This Savior is mine!
c. We could never have been saved by God the Spirit had he not revealed Christ in us by his grace.
7. Remember that God has not forgotten to be merciful - He is good and gracious to all who call upon him.
a. He will receive you.
b. He will forgive you.
c. He will save you. For Christ’s sake.
“Remember now thy Creator” - My daily bread comes from him. My breath I have borrowed from him. My life is in him! My hope is in him! MY salvation is in him! My righteousness is in him! My soul, set your mind upon him! Never neglect him! Remember him!
II. “REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH!”
Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, other than the God-man, our Savior. He is now an old man. No man knew more, experienced more, and understood more than Solomon. Young man if you would be wise, hear Solomon. Young lady, if you would be wise, hear Solomon. There is nothing in the world more valuable, beneficial, and necessary than this - “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.”
Many reasons might be given why we must remember our Creator now, in the days of our youth. Let me just give you three.
A. First, These are our best days.
As God claims the firstfruits of the field, he deserves the best years of our lives. As the Lord God claims the firstborn of the flock, he deserves the choicest years of our lives. Dare I take the firstfruits for myself and bring God the leavings?
1. Remember your Creator now, while your mind is capable of being enlarged and improved - Able by Divine revelation...
· To lay hold of the things of God.
· To apprehend the mysteries of the Godhead.
· To grasp the deep wonders of the Gospel.
2. Remember your Creator now, while your body is strong and in good health, to serve the interests of his kingdom.
B. Second, these are the days we have.
Not everybody will have old age. But everybody has youth. So remember your Creator in the days you have. You may not have another day. “Today, while it is called Today, harden not your heart.”
C. Third, there is nothing in all the world so useful and beneficial to your life.
Never was there a man who set his heart upon God in his youth who in his old age regretted it. Many a man has cursed the day of his birth. But never did a man curse the day of his new birth!
Without exception, God’s ways are the “ways of pleasantness and peace.”
II. “REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH, WHILE THE EVIL DAYS COME NOT NOR THE YEARS DRAW NIGH WHEN THOU SHALT SAY, I HAVE NO PLEASURE IN THEM.”
I assure you that the days will soon come when you will wish you had sought the Lord your God in the days of your youth. The “golden years” are not what they are cracked up to be. Life in old age usually becomes uncomfortable and troublesome. Usually, the companions of old age are affliction, pain, sorrow, weakness, loneliness, and grief.
Illustration: Dick, “The alternatives is not very appealing.
A. To some these are days of joy.
The believer in his old age rejoices in his knowledge of Christ and his hope in Christ. But the ground of his joy is not in his present experience and knowledge so much as it is in what he learned and experienced yesterday and hopes for tomorrow.
NOTE: Paul the aged - 2 Tim. 4:6-8. Old men rejoice in a well spent life, the lives they have touched, the generation to follow them.
Illustration: Barzillai - 2 Samuel 19:33-37.
B. To all these are days of weakness and trouble.
Those things that young men and women rejoice in afford little, or no pleasure to old men and women - The world, the flesh, riches, lands, children, grandchildren. The days will come when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them...” There are few exceptions.
If you and I live long enough, this is what is going to happen to us. It has been happening this way for six thousand years. And it will be this way unto the end of time.
1. Our minds are going to get weak (v. 2). “ The sun, the light, the moon, the stars...” All light will be darkened.
2. Troubles will come like constant rainfall (v. 2).
3. Our arms, “the keepers of the house,” will get feeble (v. 3).
4. Our legs, “the strong men,” will begin to weaken (v. 3).
5. Our teeth, “the grinders,” will begin to fall out (v. 3).
6. Our eyes will grow dim (v. 3).
7. Our lips, “the doors,” shall be shut (v. 4) In eating - No teeth. In talking.
8. Our sleep will be easily disturbed (v. 4).
9. Our voices will begin to crack (v. 4) - “The daughters of music.’
10. We will begin to fear falling, because our bodies will not mend - So we will just stay home, and not go out (v. 5).
11. When our hair is white like the almond tree in winter, the slightest trouble, the noise of a grasshopper, will be a great burden to us (v. 5).
12. Our desires, all that the flesh desires and seeks, shall be failure and frustration (v. 5).
What on earth am I talking about? I am talking about old age, the decay of the body, the fruit of sin - Dying! “Many goeth to his long home” (vv. 5-7).
· The silver cord that holds body and soul together will break.
· The golden bowl, the head, the brain, will break and congeal.
· The fountain of life shall cease to flow - The heart.
· This dust will return to the earth.
· Then this spirit shall return to God who gave it.
What is old age? To some, to believers, these are days of joy. To all these are days of weakness.
C. And to most, to the unbelieving, these are days of evil.
If we come to old age not knowing Christ, our last days on earth will indeed be evil days, because then the possibility of knowing him will be very slim. Old men and women who refused to remember their Creator in the days of their youth usually have nothing left in old age but evil days.
1. Evil days of sickness.
2. Evil days of loneliness.
3. Evil days of reprobation.
4. Evil days of misery.
5. An evil day of death.
6. An evil day of judgment.
7. And evil days forever in hell.
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them."