“How much time do I have?”
If you are a busy person, this question sounds very familiar—and perhaps strikes a chord of fear within your soul. We live in a world where we constantly seem to feel rushed, pushed and up against the clock. The pressure is mounting and deadlines are looming.
Some of us thrive under pressure—or, at least, so we tell ourselves. But perhaps the only reason we have practiced this is because we foolishly procrastinated and allowed the pressure to mount to begin with.
I have spent all of my adult life as a pastor, teacher or journalist, or in some combination of these roles. What do these three occupations have in common? They all involve deadlines, as well as interruptions—a deadly combination.
Thus, sometimes the question posed in our title is breathlessly rephrased: “Can I have just a little more time?”
Throughout Scripture, we find similar themes. Hezekiah wanted more time to live (cf. 2 Kings 20:1-11). The antichrist “shall intend to change times” (Dan. 7:25). Even Satan “knows that he has a short time” (Rev. 12:12).
Jesus’ disciples were also fascinated with the timing of His return (cf. Matt. 24:3; Acts 1:6-7). This date is currently unknowable (cf. Matt. 24:36), and we are left instead with such all-encompassing admonitions as this: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matt. 24:42). By contrast, we are amazed to find that relatively few apparently comprehended the revelation given to Daniel that would have allowed them to calculate the date of Christ’s first coming (Dan. 9:24-27; cf. Luke 19:42). Modern dispensationalists, learning from that mistake, are very focused in their intent to make sense of “the times and the seasons” (1 Thess. 5:1; cf. Dan. 2:21). We understand the precision of Biblical chronology, for “those days will be shortened” (Matt. 24:22).
The Bible actually has a great deal to say about time, and in particular how we make use of it. The word is found in 710 instances in the New King James Version. Here are just some of the most outstanding exhortations that it gives us regarding its usage:
- “Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Prov. 27:1)
- “My times are in Your hand.” (Ps. 31:15)
- “Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Heb. 3:15; cf. Ps. 95:7-8; Heb. 4:7)
- “So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90:12)
- “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16)
- “The night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)
Time will not last forever. In a day yet future, during the seven-year tribulation, there will come a point when “there should be delay no longer” (Rev. 10:6). We live during this church age at a very strategic time. Indeed, according to the Apostle Paul, it is us “upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11).
What are we doing with this incredibly precious gift of God called time? How are we making use of this fleeting commodity? Once it is gone, there is no more.
May the Lord help us always to realize its value and utilize it for His glory.
Copyright © 2016 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.