"TIME ENOUGH YET"
"…To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts…" (Heb. 3.15)
INTRO.: A song which exhorts the lost sinner to hear the Lord’s voice today and not harden his heart is "Time Enough Yet" (#632 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune was composed both by Tillit Sidney Teddlie, who was born at Swan TX, on June 3, 1885, and died in 1987 at Greenville, TX, at the age of 102. I have not been able to fund a date for it. Teddlie apparently never copyrighted it but said, "This song is free to all Music Publishers." In many of his own books and others which copied from them, there was a notation affixed after the title which read, "A false promise! Yesterday is forever gone. Tomorrow may never come. Today is the day of all days." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1938 Spiritual Melodies edited by Teddlie. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard; in addition to Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
The song has been effectively used as an invitation song.
I. Stanza 1 expresses the desire to wait until one is old to choose the heavenly way
"O soul of mine, be not alarmed At what the Lord may say.
Some future time, when I am old, I’ll choose the heavenly way."
A. What the Lord says to us is to come to Him: Matt. 11.28-30
B. Thinking that "religion" is just for older folks, some may think that they will wait until they are older before responding to the Lord’s invitation, but the fact is that we do not know what will happen on the morrow: Jas. 4.13-14
C. Therefore, we should choose now to enter the strait gate and walk the narrow way that leads to heaven: Matt. 7.13-14
II. Stanza 2 expresses the desire to wait until one has enjoyed life’s pleasures to be saved
"I’m strong enough, I need no help; It’s pleasure that I crave.
When I have drunk life’s sparkling cup, I’ll call on Christ to save."
A. Some people think that they are strong enough and need no help, but the only way that we can be truly strong is in the Lord and the power of His might: Eph. 6.10
B. Such folks often believe that they are able to dabble with sinful pleasures, but they often find that the pleasures of this life will choke out the influence of the word: Lk. 8.14
C. Like Moses, they need to learn that the pleasures of sin are but for a season and choose to follow Him who is invisible: Heb. 11.24-26
III. Stanza 3 expresses the desire to wait until one has gone in sin so far to obey the Lord
"The Holy Spirit’s tender voice Entreats me night and day,
And ere I go in sin too far I’ll turn and Him obey."
A. The Holy Spirit’s tender voice speaks to us through His sword which is the word of God: Eph. 6.17
B. He entreats the sinner night and day that now is the accepted time for salvation: 2 Cor. 6.2
C. Some may think that they will turn and obey before they go in sin too far, but they may reach that point sooner than they think where it is impossible to renew them to repentance: Heb. 6.6
IV. Stanza 4 expresses the truth that one should not wait because today may be the last
"Today, O friend, may be the last; Stop now and count the cost.
You stand condemned before the throne, Your soul forever lost."
A. Each day may be our last because it is appointed for men to die once: Heb. 9.27
B. Therefore, each day we need to stop and count the cost of our condition: Lk. 14.27-28
C. That cost is that if we die in a state of condemnation, we shall be forever lost in eternal destruction: 2 Thess. 1.7-9
CONCL.: The chorus repeats the thought of the first three stanzas and then in the fourth entreats the sinner to come before it is too late.
"Time, time, time enough yet; O soul, why be alarmed?
The heavenly I’ll choose some day, But there’s time, time enough yet."
The chorus for the fourth stanza reads,
"Lost! Lost! O what a cry From souls along the shore;
In darkness to go, in sorrow and woe, And be lost, lost evermore."
Those who are lost in sin, whether never having obeyed the gospel to receive salvation or having fallen away from Christ, need to be reminded that, because life is so uncertain and eternal punishment for unforgiven sin is a reality, regarding the opportunity to turn to the Lord and receive His forgiveness there may well not be "Time Enough Yet."