Redeeming The Time In 2015

Our excerpt today in our Words of Grace for Strength series is from the message “Do You Know What Time It Is?” by Dr. Ray Pritchard

Dr. Pritchard writes:
Paul challenges his readers, “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 NKJV). Do you know what time it is? It’s time to wake up! Why? “Because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” That’s a reference to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus is coming, and each day brings us closer to that great world-shattering event.

In light of that, Paul tells us to wake up, put off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. The long night is fading away, the sun is peeking over the eastern horizon, and Jesus is coming soon!
Christian, do you know what time it is? It’s time to wake up and get dressed!

This is something we must know!

“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. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12).

What “time” is Paul talking about in verse 11 and what “hour” does he mean? He means that this present age is sinful and dark and ultimately passing away (Galatians 1:4). It won’t last forever (1 John 2:17). Colossians 1:12-13 uses the image of darkness and light in many places to explain what happens when someone becomes a Christian. They are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Do you know what being saved is like? It’s like living in the darkness for twenty or thirty or forty years and suddenly the lights come on.

What time is it right now? Check your watch and see. Now read verse 11 again and answer the question.
What time is it? It’s time to wake up. You sleep at night. You don’t sleep during the day. All of us understand what that means. It’s hard to sleep during the day. It doesn’t feel right. It’s not natural. Day is for waking and working; night is for sleeping and dreaming.

Why does Paul say that the long night is over and the day has come? Because the coming of the Lord is at hand. How near is it? Very near indeed. When Billy Graham preaches on the Second Coming, he often tells the story of a grandfather clock whose chimes rang every hour, once for one o’clock, twice for two o’clock, and so on. One night the clock malfunctioned, causing the chimes to ring thirteen times. A little boy heard it and raced through the house yelling “Get up, everyone get up! It’s later than it’s ever been.” How true that is. It’s later than it’s ever been, and we’re closer to the coming of Christ than ever before.

Words of Grace for Strength

In a few days we will enter into a new year. 2015 is nearly upon us and we will begin anew the process of counting down the 365 days of the year. What will this New Year hold for you? What will transpire in the world which will affect your life? As each year passes we grow closer to the time in which Jesus Christ will return for His Church, when the time of Tribulation will envelop the earth, and ultimately when Christ will return in power and great glory to defeat Satan and establish His Kingdom reign.

Knowing this, we are aware that the day in which we live is still very dark. Satan, as the ruler of this present world is still doing everything he can to exercise control over world events. It is his plan to subvert the cause of Christ, to marginalize the church by watering down its message and commitment, and to cause derision and persecution to fall on the True Church.

Yet even in this dark day we still have the light of the Gospel. When the Gospel light meets the darkness it destroys its hold and power over those who have experienced it. Ephesians 5:15&16 and Colossians 4:5 encourages us to redeem the time. As we enter into 2015 we should take this admonition of the Apostle Paul to heart. God has given us a mandate to serve Him in these Last Days and until His return, we should make every day in 2015 count for the cause of Christ.

I am not one who “makes” New Year’s “resolutions” but I do believe that as a member of the Body of Christ there are some things every believer should do to redeem the time. What are they? Let’s make a list:

1. Set aside daily a time to meet with the Lord in Bible Study and Prayer. Make it a personal habit to talk to the Lord and listen to the Lord.

2. Determine to live daily by biblical principles and sound doctrine.

3. Be involved in your local Church. Don’t just attend, commit to an active role and participate in all of the ministries and Bible Studies of your church. Don’t let “life” interfere with your commitment to your local church family.

4. Commit yourself to being a good steward of your time, resources and finances by giving to the Lord your tithe in every area. As Christians we should understand that absolutely everything we have is from Him and we owe Him everything.

5. Become a disciple. Find a more mature believer to disciple you and become an accountability partner to you. Then commit to becoming a disciple to a less mature believer. (Men to Men, and Women to Women)

6. Learn to trust the Lord in everything. He has promised to take care of you and provide everything you need. When it seems everyone or everything is against you, when your burdens seem to be too big for you to carry, trust in Him!

7. Set personal goals for ministry and service in your church family. Be ready to challenge yourself to stretch beyond your “comfort zone” as you follow His will for your life and the life of your church family. Make a plan to accomplish your goals!

8. Never fear your past whatever it held, let past failures be put under the blood of Christ and allow God to use your future. Determine every day to serve God and let Him establish your future.

9. Support your pastors and follow the leadership of the shepherds God has placed before your church family. These men have uniquely been chosen by God, and understand the gravity of the responsibility they have before God as leader servants in the local church. In his shepherd role your pastor will be held to a higher standard of accountability for the way he follows God and the way the members of the local church family follow his leadership as pastor – teacher.

10. Be excited that you are living in these times. As Christians we live in the most exciting time that this earth has experienced. The Signs of the Times are very clear and we can say with certainty that “our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” The Rapture is imminent and Jesus is coming soon! Live every day believing that this could be the day.

Redeem the time in 2015! Let this be the year in your life that you walk closer to the Lord than ever before; let this be the year when you serve the Lord with all of your heart, mind, and soul; let this be the year when others can say without reservation that they see Christ in you.

Redeem the Time!

Lovers of Darkness

My good friend, Dr. David R. Reagan, recently wrote an outstanding article titled, “How Did God Speak Through the Prophets.” He mentioned that the little known prophet, Micaiah, is one of his favorite prophets and he told the story about Micaiah, Ahab and Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:1-38).

What Dr. Reagan said is better than anything I can come up with, but his article left me with a thought that I want to try to expand on.

Syria had captured the large city of Ramoth-gilead from the Northern Kingdom called Israel and the wicked Israeli king Ahab wanted it back. He saw the opportunity to get it back when the godly king Jehoshaphat visited him from the Southern Kingdom called Judah.

While they were talking Ahab asked Jehoshaphat if he would join him in a war against Syria to retake it. In essence, Jehoshaphat said he would, but he wanted Ahab to seek the will of the Lord first.

Ahab called about 400 prophets in (false prophets or prophets who thought their job was to tell the king what he wanted to hear) and they said, “Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.”

This sounded a little suspicious to king Jehoshaphat so he asked king Ahab, “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might inquire of him?” Jehoshaphat wanted God’s opinion not man’s opinion. He wanted the truth whether he liked it or not.

King Ahab replied, “There is one man, Micaiah …but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” King Jehoshaphat told king Ahab he shouldn’t say that and to satisfy the good king Jehoshaphat, Ahab sent for the prophet Micaiah.

While they were waiting for Micaiah to arrive, Ahab’s approximately 400 prophets assured him that the Lord would deliver Ramoth-gilead into his hands.

When Ahab’s servant reached Micaiah he told Micaiah what the other prophets said and urged him to “speak that which is good.” That is to say if you want to get along with the king, prophesy good things instead of bad things.

Micaiah’s response was, “As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.” His prophecy would be what the Lord says whether it is positive or negative. Skipping down to the end of the story for the sake of getting to the point, Micaiah said to Ahab:

“I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd.” He also told Ahab, “the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.”

Four things: 1) Israel would be defeated, 2) Ahab would die, 3) his prophets were lying to him, and 4) God’s judgment was coming instead of God’s blessing.

Micaiah was slapped in the face by one of Ahab’s prophets and he was cast into prison to receive nothing but bread and water until Ahab’s return from the battlefield. Nevertheless, Ahab listened to his lying prophets, Israel was defeated, he was killed and his body was buried in Samaria.

Many people are like Ahab because they don’t want to hear negative prophecy even if it comes from the Lord and even if it is true. And many preachers are like the prophet that slapped Micaiah in the face because they are not preaching the whole counsel of God and they resent those who are.

Paul told Timothy, “The time will come when they (most church members) will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3).

The time will come when many church members will not listen to everything that is in the Word of God. They will listen to a positive message, but they will not listen to a negative message. They will bring in preachers that say things that make them feel good, but they will not tolerate preachers that say things they don’t want to hear. They will love darkness more than the truth.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com