Scripture tells us our lifetime is about 70 or 80 years.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, . . . ” (Psalm 90:10 KJV)
In Luke 13, Jesus says that not only are our days brief on this earth, but they could end at any moment. He reminded His listeners of a tower over the pool of Siloam which had recently and unexpectedly fallen and killed eighteen people.
“Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:4-5 KJV)
He is saying that these people didn’t die suddenly and unexpectedly because they were evil. It can happen to anyone at anytime. We shouldn’t live our lives as if we have all the time in the world to repent and turn to Christ. We should do it now while we are here, and God’s door is still open. We are living on borrowed time.
I think everyone envisions their life as going on into old age, and maybe, because each of us thinks we are so special, we will live 90 or 100 years! But, of course, it doesn’t always work that way.
The Parable of the Fig Tree, which follows the above scripture, further develops the same message - we are living on borrowed time.
“He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” (Luke 13:6-9 KJV)
This parable is loaded with symbolism. The man is God. The dresser is Jesus. The fig tree is the Jewish church and individuals. The fruit is righteousness. The vineyard is Israel.
“For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,” (Isaiah 5:7 KJV)
The lesson here is clear. God’s patience has a limit, and we are living on borrowed time.
The man was dissatisfied with the fruitfulness of the fig tree, but allowed the dresser more time to make the fig tree bear fruit. God gave Jesus more time in his ministry for Israel to repent and follow Christ. In the remaining months to the crucifixion, there were more miracles, including raising Lazarus from the dead. As it turned out the nation of Israel as a whole did not believe, but certainly many individuals were saved.
Currently God is allowing more time for all of mankind to believe and repent, but that will not last forever. The end of this age can come at any time.
Each individual who is currently alive is also being given more time to believe, but like the eighteen people in Siloam, our lives can end unexpectedly.
God’s patience is not going to last forever, either for each individual person, or for the world as a whole. We are living on borrowed time.
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”
(Isaiah 55:6 KJV)