The Autumn of Life

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
      1. Isaiah 64:6 = "…We all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have 
        taken us away.
        "
      2. Jude 12 = "These are spots in your feast of charity, when they feast with you, 
        feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.
        "

      NOTE: Both of these phrases in the Hebrew and in the Greek have reference to the season 
      known as "Autumn": when trees shed their leaves and they fall to the ground. VINES’S
      EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF BIBLICAL WORDS , SAYS, [Phthinoporinos, an 
      adjective signifying autumnal (from phthinoporon, "late autumn," from phthino, "to waste away," or "wane," and opora, "autumn"), is used in, Jude 12, where unfruitful and worthless men are figuratively described as trees such as they are at the close of "autumn," fruitless and leafless (KJV, "trees whose fruit withereth").]

      (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers).

    2. AUTUMN:
      1. This is the season of the year when leaves in many parts of the country begin to fade and 
        fall to the ground, reminding us that summer with all of it’s life energetic warm colors of 
        life fade away into the cold colors of gloomy winter.
      2. The passage in Isaiah 64:6, has specific reference to the gloomy spiritual state of the Jewish
        nation, as they had, by transgression, separated themselves from God, the source of life.
      3. NOTE: What Jehovah had said in Deuteronomy 30:17-20 = "But if thine heart turn 
        away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
        "

        As a result of their withdrawal from God, they began to fade as doth a leaf – the same as 
        a leaf in the autumn fades and dies.

      4. I will use the thought of Isaiah 64:6, "Fade as a leaf" , Or Autumn, to represent the 
        last season of physical strength.
        1. It is in our Autumn of life that we all do fade the same as a leaf.
        2. The thoughts of the hour are presented with a combination of feelings mixed with 
          sadness and joy.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. AUTUMN IS A SEASON OF DECLINE:
      1. The season is seen in several ways about us:
        1. Days become shorter.
        2. The rays of the sun are not as hot.
        3. The green vegetation begins to turn brown.
      2. The season is also seen in the decline of physical life:
        1. The energetic strength of our youth is not what it was.
        2. The mental powers of knowledge begin to fail.
        3. The winter of death is just outside the door of life. I Corinthians15:22 = "For as in
          Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive
          ."
      3. In view of the changes that the Autumn of life brings forth, how should I spend my days 
        in the Spring of life?
        1. I should be cautious not to waste them in worldliness and "riotous living" 
          (See Luke 15:13; Galatians 5:19-21).
        2. I should be concerned about what the Lord would have me to do:

      John 9:4 = "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."

      Philippians 4:4 = "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice."

      Colossians 3:1-2 = "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection of things above, not on things on the earth."

    2. AUTUMN IS A SEASON FOR REVIEW, OR SELF EXAMINATION:
      1. The season when the farmer looks back and considers:
        1. The work activities before the harvest.
        2. The cost involved in preparation for the harvest.
        3. The inventory of the bounty from the harvest.
      2. Those of us in the Autumn of life need to make a similar review.
        1. Examine the leaves (pages) of your book of life and take a long, steady, and prayerful look at your life.
        2. II Corinthians 13:5 = "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

          Revelation 21:27 = "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life."

        3. We are concerned about physical growth, the Lord is concerned about spiritual growth.
        4. II Peter 3:18 = "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

          NOTE: Have you grown from a baby to an adult? I Corinthians3.1-2 = "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able."

        5. The Lords is expecting us to walk. What improvement have you made since you began to "…walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

      REMEMBER what Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:1 = "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."

    3. AUTUMN IS A SEASON OF REJOICING IN THE HARVEST:
      1. The farmer as this season has gathered in his harvest.
      2. We need to look back at the fruit from our labors as well.
        1. The fruit of our influence (Matthew 5:14-16).
        2. The fruit of the Spirit working in us (Galatians 5:22-23).
        3. The fruit of spiritual growth making our "calling and election sure" (II Peter 1:5-11).
        4. The fruit from the harvest of good works (Colossians1:10).
        5. The fruit of leading others to Christ.
          1. Matthew 9:37 = "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;"
          2. Luke 10:2 = "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."
      3. How tragic to have lived through the Spring and Summer of life, and have no fruit in the Autumn.

  3. CONCLUSION: AUTUMN IS THE SEASON OF PREPARATION:

    1. THE FARMER MAKES PREPARATION FOR:
      1. The approaching winter (night, death, or when no more work can be done).
      2. The coming Spring time (when life is full, bright and rejoicing).
    2. THE CHRISTIAN SHOIULD PREPARE FOR:
      1. The winter of death:
        1. As recorded in Amos 4:12 = "…Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel."
        2. Now the working time is past. John 9:4 = "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."
        3. All the work now must already have been done: It is past the plant work stage. What has been left undone will not be done. John 17:4= "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."
      2. The eternal springtime – The joys that await in the heavenly home.
        1. The anxiety of the harvest is removed. John 14:1-3 = "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
        2. Having a right to "the tree of life" (whose leaves and fruit will never fail), being obedient to the Lord’s commands. Revelation 22:14-15 = "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
        3. Remembering that the only things that we can carry from the Spring of life into the Autumn of life is the beneficial works of the Spring.

      Revelation 14:13 = "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."

    3. HOW PREPARED ARE YOU FOR THE AUTUMN – WINTER OF LIFE?

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