Set Your Clock According to Bible Standard Time

We refer to nine different letters in the New Testament where we are reminded of the times in which we live. We need to be diligently aware and constantly reminded of God’s viewpoint of time in the days in which we live.

1. It’s time to wake up (by William Kelly)

Romans 13:11 – 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. 

Man slumbers heedless of danger, spite of solemn and reiterated warning. His evil conscience forbids his crediting the grace which is in God; his self-complacency blinds him to the moral beauty of the dependent and obedient Man, as well as to his own need of such a Savior and such a salvation as God urges on him; and so he sleeps on till he perishes, waking up too late to the truth he has rejected and the grace he has slighted irreparably then. The believer with his soul saved already looks for a salvation worthy of Christ and of His redemption at His coming; and though the interval may seem long sometimes, he knows that it is ever growing nearer.

2. The time is short (by J. R. Caldwell)

1 Corinthians 7:29 – But this I say, brethren, the time is short...... 

I do not believe that the apostle refers to the period of a man’s natural life. It is in prospect of the return of our Lord that the apostle says that the time is short. In the New Testament we find that the thing in prospect before the minds of the writers is invariably the near approach of the Lord Jesus Christ. In connection with our Feast—the Lord’s Supper—we are to keep it till He come  (1 Cor. 11:26). We are continually exhorted to be waiting, looking, and hastening to that hour when the Lord will come and take us to be with Himself. Many have said about this subject that it is not practical. I do not know any subject more practical. Suppose it was known that the Lord was coming tomorrow, what an influence this would have upon our minds and ways.

3. God’s time is now or never (by James Denney)

2 Corinthians 6:2 – Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  

What is striking in the passage, and characteristic both of the writer and of the New Testament, is the union of urgency and triumph in the tone. “Now” does certainly mean “now or never”; but more prominently still it means “in a time so graced with opportunity.” The best illustration of it is the saying of Jesus to the Apostles: “Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” (Matt. 13:16,17) Now, that we live under the reign of grace; now, when God’s redeeming love, omnipotent to save, shines on us from the Cross; now, that the last days have come, and the Judge is at the door.

4. Time can be redeemed (by Matthew Henry)

Ephesians 5:16 – Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 

Redeeming the time is literally, buying the opportunity. It is a metaphor taken from merchants and traders who diligently observe and improve the seasons for merchandise and trade. It is a great part of Christian wisdom to redeem the time. Good Christians must be good husbands of their time, and take care to improve it to the best of purposes, by watching against temptations, by doing good while it is in the power of their hands, and by filling it up with proper employment—one special preservative from sin. They should make the best use they can of the present seasons of grace. Our time is a talent given us by God for some good end, and it is misspent and lost when it is not employed according to His design.

5. Time is an opportunity to reach the lost (by Harry Ironside)

Colossians 4:5 – Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 

We need the grace of decision that will enable us to seize the opportune moment and act upon it in the fear of God. In our intercourse with men of the world how we need to remember that opportunities to warn of judgment to come and to point them to Christ, once given may never come again. Therefore the tremendous importance of buying up such privileges of service in the light of the judgment seat of Christ. The day of grace is fast passing away. We meet men once, perhaps, never to see them again, and while it is perfectly true that we cannot be forever pestering people about what they would call our religious notions, yet it is the part of wisdom to be on the lookout for every opening to minister Christ.

6. This present time of the church age is a time of apostasy (by W.E. Vine)

1 Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. 

In later times, strictly, in times future to that in which the Epistle was written. The phrase, however, seems to cover the whole period of this age. Some shall fall away from the faith, corresponding to our English word apostasy. This is defined in Joshua 22:23 as a turning away from following Jehovah, and in Hebrews 3:12 as falling away from the living God, as Israel did in the wilderness, Acts 7:39-41. The faith is the sum, or body, of Christian doctrine. Departure from it had already begun in the Apostle’s time.

7. This present time is a difficult time of great stress and trouble (by C.H. Mackintosh)

2 Timothy 3:1 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. 

Perilous times are anticipated. A form of godliness without the power; the mantle of profession thrown over the grossest abominations of the human heart; men not able to endure sound doctrine; heaping to themselves teachers after their own lusts, having itching ears which must needs be tickled by the fabulous and baseless absurdities of the human mind. Who can fail to see that our lot is cast in the very midst of the evils and dangers here contemplated? And is it not well to have a clear perception of these things? Why deceive ourselves with vain dreams of increasing light and spiritual prosperity? Is it not better far to look the true condition of things straight in the face?

8. The rest of our life may be a short time (by F.B. Meyer)

1 Peter 4:2 – That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 

The rest of our natural life could be a very short period of time—just a day, a few weeks, or a year. How are we going to spend whatever time remains?  “On the one side is the broad way, trodden by so many feet, of indulgence of the flesh. When man fell, appetite broke from the enfeebled grasp of the will, and began to seek after its own gratification. Each one of us is therefore born into the world, subject to the action of appetites which are no longer in the same pure and holy state in which they came from the Creator’s hand, but are biased strongly in the direction of lawless and unholy manifestation. What a glorious contrast to the will of the flesh is the will of God!”

9. Time is ending - the last days have become the last hour (by Griffith Thomas)

1 John 2:18 – Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that  it is the last hour. 

The last hour refers “to the period just before the close of the dispensation.  The substance of the warning is that antichrist is coming, and not only so, but even now have there arisen many antichrists. This was the proof that it was the last hour. Antichrist is associated with the denial of Jesus as the Messiah, and thereby the denial of the Divine Fatherhood and Sonship. The fact that there were many antichrists shows that there was real danger of false teaching leading to false practice. Perversions of Christianity become opposing forces, the spurious develops into the hostile. When a false conception of religion is in possession, it soon degenerates into undisguised hostility to the true faith”.

No doubt about it. We need to get our clocks set according to God’s standards. We are fast running out of time. Let us seek God’s face and ask Him to awaken us.