Friday, 6 December 2013
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Romans 13:11
“And do this” refers to the thoughts of the previous verses, culminating in the commandment to love one another. It is our obligation and it is all the more necessary because of “knowing the time…” He states this and takes it as an axiom that believers should in fact be aware of the time in which we live. And what is that time? It is the indeterminate span known as the church age.
This dispensation began at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2 and it will end suddenly and without prior notice at some point in the future. Christ will return at the rapture for His people in “the twinkling of an eye.” Because we don’t know when it will happen, nor will we have time to prepare when it comes, Paul says “that now it is high time to awake out of our sleep.” Being awake implies being alert and ready. Being asleep implies being not ready.
Taking this and tying it back to the previous verses, Paul is telling us to always and at all times have a loving attitude (how difficult that can be!). The imminence of the return of Christ should direct our every thought and action. Who would want to be found living in disobedience to the Lord’s directive at His coming? If we look at it from this perspective, then we should endeavor to always live in a manner worthy of our high calling.
Though it has been 2000 years, and many will dismiss the Christian religion simply because things have continued unchanged for so long, to the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. Time is of no consideration from His eternal perspective. He has a plan and that plan is being worked out in a meticulous manner. When it is complete, there will be no delay. Therefore, as we live within this stream of time, we should be ever-expectant of His return “for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
Every believer since that first day of the church age has been added as a “living stone” to that Temple which He is building. When the final stone calls out in belief, there will be no need for more stones. No architect continues to order materials for a building which has enough for its completion. And so each new person who believes brings us nearer than when every other believer first called out in faith.
Life application: There will be a moment when the building is complete. When that time comes, Christ will return for His church. Let us not be found filled with bitterness and hatred. Instead, we need to live our life in love, thus fulfilling the law we have been given. Christ could come at any moment; let us remain awake and alert.
Lord Jesus, the thought of Your return gives me a continual reminder that I need to be about Your business. Help me to be the loving Christian, the faithful witness, and the helpful, cheerful person that You would have me to be. I don’t want to be found sleeping or backslidden when You come. Help me in this and keep my feet on the right path until that great Day. Amen.