In view of all that is happening in our world, the words of Paul seem so appropriate. “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” (Rom. 13:11). When these words were written, Nero was on the throne and the life of a Christian was so difficult. While our world is not nearly as dangerous as theirs, the principles given by Paul are needed by us today.
We must know the times. It is easier to ignore what is happening around us than to deal with it. The faith of every one of us is under attack and those of us who believe the Bible are being mocked repeatedly. Think of how we are so out of step with the world in our views of the sacredness of marriage and the sinfulness of divorce. The world has seemingly accepted casual sex in dating and living together before marriage. When we simply repeat what the Bible says about specific sins we are called homophobic, judgmental, narrow minded and closed minded bigots. We cannot afford to ignore the reality of the world in which we live.
It is high time to awake out of our sleep. Read the words of Paul again. He does not, in some casual way, say that we should become concerned about matters, but that “it is high time to awake.” These words demand that we act immediately. Such times cannot be ignored, hoping things might change. It is not just time to act, it is high time!
Salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The brevity of life should remind us about how few days we have compared to what we once had. However, as we see the tsunami of sin around us, we must never forget that the chance of losing our salvation is so much greater. The opportunities we once had for righteousness are not as numerous now simply because we have fewer days to impact the world. Now is the time to act and react to the times in which we live.
Paul’s practical application of these truths. Read the rest of this chapter and see the contrast of living godly in an ungodly world. He writes of light, darkness, walking properly, revelry, drunkenness, lewdness, lust, strife and making plans for fulfilling fleshly lusts. The point is that our salvation as Christians depends on the choices we make and that the time to make those choices is right now! As he said, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand . . . put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” We must know the times and how to live in such times as these!