December 26, 1993, for New Years, 94
This season of the year recognizes the passing of time. Time
is something that must be recognized, but must not be allowed
to control us.
Clearly, time is one resource than man, if wasted, can never
recover. Time can never be regained, nor stock-piled for future
Man has basically two views of time:
One sees time as totally present. Everything
is to be done and used in terms of the present benefits or pleasures.
Time is exploited for its present pleasures, and nothing else
has any meaning. Thus time is totally controlled by what it can
bring in the present. This philosophy is calledExistentialism:
"What will happen to me in the present is all I care about."
The other view of time is totally future oriented.
This view holds anything in the present with contempt. There are
two present realities that exemplify the fatalistic, futuristic
view of time:
One, the church. We we have a present day development of a
thought that contemptuously regards all material things in the
present. This idea sees only prayer, Bible study and "witnessing
for Christ" as spiritual. This view of time delivers everything
in the present time into the hands of the enemy to do with as
he pleases. This brand of "Christianity" spiritualizes
everything. Some have gone so far as to spiritualize away the
Bro Dilly had a young man working for him several years ago
who had attended a "Christian" college in Pensecolla,
Florida. No, not Pensecolla Christian College; he went to school
under a man named Peter Ruckman. This young man was taught total
disregard for anything material.
Example: Bro Dilly found an electric drill
that the young man had used laying out in the weather. He picked
up the drill and asked the young man why he left it out. The young
man answered, "It's all gonna burn, so we have no need to
be concerned about it."
From what I understand, Ruckman's students are very evident
in Pensecolla because they dress, act and look like bums. They
drive junk-heaps for transportation, and if confronted with their
total disregard for material things, they say, "It's all
Certainly, Ruckman is extreme, but his extreme theology of
time shows us the reality and fallacy of totally dismissing the
importance of the present for the future.
Another group that holds this extreme, futuristic view of time
is humanist educators. They have a future goal: a universal world
order of peace and harmony where law is no longer required.
In their view, if they can cause everything in the present
to conform to their plan, they can achieve the glorious, autonomous,
harmonious, humanistic man that will be able to control himself
and his environment by his knowledge.
As they pursue their dream state of the future, they care very
little about the present effects of their implemented plan. They
care very little about the individual person. So what if kids
in the first grade experiment with sex and sodomy, just as long
as these children are educated "properly" for the future
good of all mankind, the world-wide state. Someday though, they
believe, paradise will come because all people have been properly
educated in all things. And because the individual is basically
good, the properly educated person will be controlled by the good
of the group.
In their future, dream society, people will be content and
civilization will be fixed in time with no need to change.
Their humanistic dream has been around for centuries, and has
cropped up many times throughout history. It is presently seen
in OBE and the Indiana 2000 curriculum.
Their dream of a timeless, changeless society is seen in what
they use to represent the perfect society: a bee hive. The bee
hive represents every one content in his place in society, with
the vast majority of the "bees" contented "servant-workers"
for the good of the hive.
Of course, it is an aristocratic elite who determines what
the good for the hive might be. The individual becomes no more
that "collateral" to be disposed of to reach the desired
goal of the elite. In order for the worker bees to be content,
they must be retrained and "dummed down." It takes work
and dedication to be able to turn out functional illiterates after
12 years of education.
Our present society, both inside and outside the church, is
almost totally controlled by either or both extremes of ungodly
views of time:
Present oriented regard for time, "Existentialism,"
or what will work for now. The thought is that when problems with
present decisions crop up tomorrow, we will deal with them then.
Future oriented regard for time: has little or no thought of
present consequences and responsibilities and PEOPLE.
So, what is the Christian view of time? Certainly, we must
have a view of the future, but we are living in the present. The
word of God deals with present acts and responsibilities and the
future results of those acts. As Christens, we must define everything
in the context of God's purpose as revealed in His word.
Some thoughts about time:
First, let me mention an ungodly view of time, then we will
develop the godly view.
The ungodly view time as an opportunity to develop and enjoy
the world and flesh, and to accumulate worldly goods for their
Isa 56:12 Come ye, [say they], I will fetch
wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow
shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant. Am 6:3
Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence
to come near; Lu 12:19 And I will say to my soul,
Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine
ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry. Jas 4:13, 14,
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such
a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is]
your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time,
and then vanisheth away.
Furthermore, Ps 2 tells us that the unconverted
sinner sees time as the opportunity to overthrow Godly order.
We are living in such a time.
Now, a Godly view of time:
1) The Child of God is not to be controlled
by time, but he is to be controlled by the word of God. Honoring
the Sabbath, one day a week set aside for Godly worship and rest
in Him, recognizes that time does not control us.
Failure to honor the Sabbath confess to the Lord that we control
time and events, not God.
2) A godly view of time results in patiently
doing the will of God in the present and trusting Him for the
Heb 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured,
he obtained the promise. Heb 10:35, 36, Cast
not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence
of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done
the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Of course, our enemy tells us that doing the will of God and
patiently waiting on Him is a waste of time. Our enemy will bring
all kinds of things our way to convince us that we are doing the
wrong thing and that we must take things into our own hands or
2 Pe 1:1-11
Notice the steps here in Christian groweth. We take these steps
in the present time in which we live with the confidence that
we will obtain the exceeding great and precious promises.
Vv. 1, 2, Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle
of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith
with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus
Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge
of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
The Spirit, through Peter, explains what is the goal of a Christian
and what is the promise of God,
v. 3, 4, According as his divine power hath
given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and
virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious
promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Then the Spirit outlines the actions that must be taken and
character traits that must be developed in order to obtain the
goal established for us by the Lord of our Salvation:
V. 5, And beside this, giving all diligence
(earnest effort, hard work, discipline), add
to your faith
virtue (purity & modesty in thoughts & actions); and
knowledge (better understanding of God's word concerning right
living, or Godliness); And to knowledge
temperance (self-control); and to temperance
patience (used in the NT to define the characteristic of a
man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose which is established
from the Word of God. Not even the greatest trials and sufferings
sway him from his loyalty to faith and Godliness. He remains steadfast
in his faithfulness to what he professes to believe from God's
word); and to patience
godliness (reverence, respect and Godly living); And to godliness
brotherly kindness (brotherly & kindness
are the same word, meaning in the NT the love which Christians
cherish for each other as brethren); and to brotherly kindness
charity (brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence).
Then the Spirit gives the positive side of the development
of these Christian attributes in our lives:
v. 8, For if these things be in you, and abound,
they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Maybe we should examine ourselves and see if we are fruitful
or unfruitful for the Lord Jesus Christ. How many people have
been influenced for the Lord Jesus through us this last year?
Then the Spirit gives the negative side of not developing these
V. 9, But he that lacketh these things is
blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was
purged from his old sins.
The negative aspects of not living Godly in the present is
1) blind: unable to view the present properly, i.e., unable to see what is going on in the present. (Therefore, one cannot take godly action in his surrounding society.)
2) cannot see afar off: unable to view the future properly.
3) hath forgotten: unable to view the past
All three aspects of time are used together. A corrupted view
of one period (past, present or future) will corrupt the other
Then the Spirit, through Peter, compares the two, the positive
& negative, and reaches this conclusion: work hard
in our present time frame to develop very practical Godliness
because of the promised future rewards:
V. 10, 11, Wherefore the rather, brethren,
give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if
ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall
be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of God was not presenting anything new; He only
restated an old law of God that was already well established:
Ps 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently
for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his
way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Ps
37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself
in any wise to do evil.
4) fourth thing about time: One of the marks
of a Christian view of timeis that he is able to calmly face the
afflictions of life and wait upon the Lord. The child of God knows
that the Lord controls time and that He will work all things for
the good of them who love Him and are called according to His
Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD,
Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone,
a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth
shall not make haste.
The Spirit used this verse in the NT, but with a little different
Ro 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever
believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Thus the Spirit implies that the genuine NT Christian will
not be ashamed to do good and wait upon the Lord to work all things
out for His praise, honor and glory.
On the other hand, time controls the ungodly
in that he must hurry to do something in the present because time
is all he has. We are not to make haste.
5) but we cannot allow our command to wait
upon the Lord to justify procrastination:
Mt 25:11, 12 Afterward came also the other
virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said,
Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Ac 24:25
And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment
to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time;
when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. 2
Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted,
and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now
[is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)
The reason that procrastination is prohibited is because of
the brevity of life:
Pr 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for
thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Jas 1:10
But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of
the grass he shall pass away. Jas 4:14Whereas
ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your
life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and
then vanisheth away. 1 Pe 1:24 For all flesh
[is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.
The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
6) The Lord recognizes that time "flies"
for man whose days are short. Time is extremely swift, so the
Lord gives commands concerning time:
1 Co 7:29-31, But this I say, brethren, the
time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives
be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they
wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not;
and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that
use this world, as not abusing [it]: for the fashion of this world
Eph 5:15, 16, 17, See then that ye walk circumspectly,
not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming <1805> the
time, because the days are evil.Col 4:5,
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming
the time. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding
what the will of the Lord is.
Redeem, speaks of buying for our own use.
This passage tells us that we buy time as we would purchase something
with money. We buy time be using it to do the will of God, Heb
The idea here is to take special care, take special pains to
guard against the temptation to foolishly waste time. The people
of the world live to pursue foolish pleasures and desires, but
we are to be controlled by the heavenly wisdom, the Word of God.
Rather than foolishly waste time, we are to redeem
the time. Time must be redeemed by:
A) gaining Godly wisdom, Col 4:6
Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that
ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
B) doing good to others.
C) earning an honest living.
D) prayer and self-examination for sin which
must be confessed so we can live and walk closer to the Lord.
E) in seeking the salvation of others.
Redeeming the time could be illustrated as
redeeming the land. This area of Indiana at one time was useless
swamp. That is very evident even today by the many man-made drainage
ditches and the water standing in the fields. But man moved in
and redeemed the land by draining it and making it useful.
As Christians, we must redeem the time by
first, our own personal spiritual care, and second, by genuine
concern for both the physical and spiritual welfare of those around
The Christian view of time sees time as an opportunity to preach
the gospel into all the world and stress the gospel's implications
into every area of life. The Christian view of time sees it as
opportunity to glorify God.
The reason given by Paul for redeeming the time is because
the days are evil. The times in which we live are evil. There
are many areas of temptation in which to foolishly waste our time
as does the world. The world tempts us to go to places of sinful
indulgences and wasted time.
Foolish waste of time is seen in:
A) reading foolish novels and stories.
I know a lady who always has a lustful, sensual novel with
her. She is caught up in the evils of the time and she needs to
throw out those foolish, vain novels. I go to the library, and
I see ladies bring back those "Romance" novels. They
are caught up in the evils of the times.
B) worldly ambitions to enrich one's self.
D) day-dreaming of what one would do if he
won the lottery.
E) indulgences in luxury such as dress, food
Eph 5:17, Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what
the will of the Lord is. Paul calls on the child of God not to
misunderstand proper use of time as do the unwise fools of this
6) Sixth point about time: In our faithfulness
to the will of God in the present time, we must remember that
this world is not our home:
Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having
received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were
persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they
were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Heb 13:14
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
1 Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as
strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war
against the soul;
7) proper use of time is something that must
be taught to us by the Spirit of God:
Ps 90:12 So teach [us] to number our days,
that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom.
8) Time passes and our desires change. The
Lord commands young people to make time for Him and His service:
Ec 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days
of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw
nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
There is much work for the King to be done this side of death.
Let us not be unwise in foolishly using our time and avoiding
our responsibility to properly use our time.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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