The Eleventh Hour
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In November 1918, German representatives were permitted to pass through the Allied lines to meet the Allied Commander-in-Chief to discuss terms for an Armistice. The discussions were held in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne, and at 5am on 11th November agreement was reached for a cease-fire to take effect at 11 am on that day, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Fighting meanwhile continued at some points along the front between the opposing armies and minutes before 11 am Canadian George Price of the North West Saskatchewan Regiment was hit in the chest by a sniper’s bullet in Ville-sur-Haine near Mons. He died at 10.58 am, the last British Empire soldier to be killed in the Great War. Tragically for him, the eleventh hour was just too late.
Many people scarcely give a thought to dying, to meeting God, or to eternity. Some are so busy living life that they think there will be time at the eleventh hour to think about such things. Any fleeting concerns are pushed to the back of their minds. Have you been like that? Serious and sober thought reveals the folly of leaving vital matters to an hour one may never reach. One hundred years ago hostilities ceased with the Armistice, until the signing of a Peace Treaty formally ended the state of war between the former enemies. You may be shocked to read this, but you are an enemy of God. The Apostle Paul writing to Christians in the town of Colosse reminded them, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled” (Colossians 1.21). Sin and disobedience is the cause of the enmity. It is awful to think of being an enemy, yet that is just what you are if not reconciled. Can the enmity between men and God be ended, and if so, on what basis? The answer to the first questions is “Yes”, and the answer to the second is “through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1.20). The blood of Jesus shed upon the cross at Calvary when He died for our sins is the basis upon which God can forgive sins without compromising His perfect righteousness and holiness. The Bible states, “Without shedding of blood, is no remission” (Hebrews 9.22). Our sins can only be remitted, that is put away, because of the sacrifice of Christ upon Calvary’s cross. He made peace through the blood of His cross. Dear reader, you do not have to remain in your perilous state of enmity against God. The means of being reconciled are available to you. Acknowledge that you are a sinner, accept the provision that God has made through the death of His Son, believe the Gospel, and trust Christ, the Saviour of sinners. “Be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5.20). But time is not on your side. Dare not to trifle with the vital all-important matter of being reconciled to God.The Bible makes statements that we all know to be true, for example, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27.1). Remember that for you the eleventh hour could be too late.