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VERSE OF THE DAY
THE TIME HAS COME
CHURCH, IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP
Ephesians 5:14-16; Romans 13:11-12
January 17, 2016
Previous: Teaching The Truth In Love
We live in a time when evil seems to be getting a foothold. The Government and the courts are enabling the rise of such evils as homosexual marriage and abortion, which are clearly condemned in God's Word (See What Did Jesus Say About Homosexual Marriage and What Does The Bible Say About Abortion) by making decisions and laws that make "evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20; See Woe Unto Them). Our Founding Fathers framed the First Amendment to the Constitution, which states:
<Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Yet, these days Islam has become a protected religion while Christians are forbidden "free exercise" of their religion in many places, while Islam is allowed free exercise. There is a war on Christianity in America (See Society's War).
So what is the Christian to do? Remember this is not the first, nor the worst, persecution the church has undergone. The book of Revelation was written to give hope to the Christians who were under persecution from imperial Rome. John wrote to the seven churches of Asia, namely the church at Smyrna (Revelation 2:10):
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Jesus commended the church at Pergamos for holding fast His name "even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you" (Revelation 2:13). The "blood of the saints" is often mentioned in the book (Revelation 6:10; 16:6; 17:6, etc.). He concludes the book by promising a home for the saints in a "new Jerusalem" (Revelation 21:2).
Paul encourages the Christians in Thessalonica, telling them that God will repay those who trouble them with trouble, and give rest to the troubled when Jesus comes to take vengeance on the disobedient (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). Tribulation is from a Greek word meaning, "pressure (literally or figuratively):-afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble", according to Thayer. Pressure is the form of persecution most afflicted upon Christians in America today. We are pressured to refrain from speaking out against sin, and for Jesus Christ. Paul says the day will come when we will have rest from our troubles and the troublers will be punished. Paul tells us to cope with tribulation by, "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).
Paul writes in Romans 13:11, "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." He writes in Ephesians 5:14, "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Christians are partly responsible for the problems that we are in. Many have been asleep for a long time. We have not been diligent to spread God's word and do the work of Christians - teaching the lost, restoring the erring, and helping the needy. We have sat in our church buildings and expected the world to come to us, instead of going into the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). As Paul writes, it is "high time" for us to wake up and get to work.
Notice what Paul says in the next verse (Ephesians 5:15): See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise." Circumspectly is from a Greek word meaning, "exactly, accurately, diligently" (Thayer). It is time for Christians to wake up and start diligently being Christians - followers of Christ! Christianity is more than going to church on Sunday. It is a way of life born of faith and love for Jesus and fellow man. It strives to keep one's life empty of sin and full of good works. It is living and teaching God's word.
Paul concludes, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:16). Redeeming is from a Greek word meaning, "to buy up, that is, ransom; figuratively to rescue from loss (improve opportunity)" (Strong). Adam Clarke writes:
Buying up those moments which others seem to throw away; steadily improving every present moment, that ye may, in some measure, regain the time ye have lost.
What is the most important thing we can do to regain our status, as it were, in American society? Wake up, get up, and get out and use our time diligently to teach the lost, restore the erring, and help the needy. In short, be Christians!
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