« Home | Take Christ Out of Christmas » | Owe No Man Anything » | Remembering the Reformation » | Bad Plagiarists for the Reformation » | The Way of the Heathen » | Future Trends Every Pastor Should Know » | Feeling Traditional? » | Do You Really Know the Gospel? » | How Much Do You Love Jesus? » | The Lord's Supper Part II - Calvin's View »

The New Year

Good Evening. A Puritan’s Mind brings you the old time radio program The Wild Boar News Podcast from Sunny South Florida. Welcome, I’m Dr. Matthew McMahon.

Contemplation is the hallmark of the wise. Solomon said, in Proverbs 6:6, “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” Consideration or reflection, taking time out to do so, is one of the most godly and important aspects in the Christian life. Without reflection and consideration one would not excel in their sanctification.

In thinking about the New Year, one of the most obvious reflections arises from the familiar figure by which life is compared to a journey, and the different years of life to successive stages in our course. Just as a traveller is reminded, by looking on a mile-stone, that he has left another stage behind him, and that he has one fewer in his journey ahead, so the commencement of another year should awaken the thoughtful reflection, how large a portion of life is already past, and how much less remains for us before we reach our final destination. Were life bounded by a limit which, besides being fixed and certain in itself, was also ascertainable by each of us – could we all count securely on the full tale of forty years – even on that supposition we might be expected to be seriously impressed by the succession of one year after another, each vanishing away, and leaving a smaller number before us? A young person may say, “Twenty years are gone how short they seem in the retrospect! Yet if I travel fifty more, my race is run!” And the man of mature age might say, “More than half of my allotted time is expired, and in less time than I have already spent here on earth, I shall be in eternity.”

Thus, as one stage after another was completed, it is natural to count how many mile-stones have been passed, and to figure out how few remain before us. But how much more natural, and how deeply solemn the thought in the actual circumstances of our case, that we have reached another distinct landmark in our course – we, who “know not what a day may bring forth,” and who are passing on with the assurance that beyond a certain limit, we cannot live.

At the same time we remain in the scope of the constant hazard of an early and unexpected death! The maximum of life is known – the minimum of life no man call tell. It is a journey which may extend to seventy years, or it may terminate in one year. It is a voyage on a flowing stream, whose utmost reach may carry a few onward for seventy years, but it is a stream which has many divergent channels opening at every point into the great ocean of eternity.

Might not the close of one year and the commencement of another be expected, in such circumstances, to suggest the thought that we have really no certainty except in regard to the years that are past and gone? What do we know? We know that those years they are gone forever, and can never return. But what about the future? We know only this, that our years are drawing fast to an end, and that possibly this may be our last year. Every person has one life. Every person has one life in which to roam the earth and make something of themselves in the light of God’s ever piercing eye. We know what years have been passed over, but at any coming moment we may drop down and die. How long is a moment? How many moments do you have left? The commencement of a new year is only a proof that we are nearer, by one long interval, to the end of our journey. We are nearer, by the time that has passed, to heaven or hell. If the last step – the step by which we pass from this life into eternity is so awful that the very thought of it harrows up our feelings, and makes our flesh creep and our blood run cold, should not every step we take in advance towards it be solemn, and should not every year, which brings us nearer to death, leave us more ready to die? And are you so certain, listener, that the moment you step into eternity that you will be safe under and covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ and His work in redemption for His elect? Are you one of those who contemplates the New Year in light of the work you will do for God, and are you certain that the New Year will shine forth as one which brings you that much closer to your Savior? Certainly, this is something that wise men contemplate.

This is Dr. Matthew McMahon signing off.

Keep checking back at A Puritan’s Mind – the series on Election and Reprobation has just been completed. Go to www.apuritansmind.com and click on “What’s New?” There you will find information on this 9 part lecture series. For more on Reformed and Puritan Theology that honors the Lord Jesus Christ, visit http://www.apuritansmind.com.