Read: Romans 13:8-14
Salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. (v. 11)
I love the energy of playoff football games in January. The fans pulse with excitement. The teams play as if every down could be critical to their success. There is an urgency in January that barely exists in the preseason games of August, because in January everyone knows the end is near and they pay full attention.
In the same way, Paul wants us to “know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep” (v. 11). The Greek word here for “time” is kairos, which in this verse indicates a “period of time,” specifically the present “season” or “opportunity.” Biblical time is not measured in the hours and days that frame our schedules. Season is an occasion for opportunity. The season we are living in is the overlap of the “now” and “not yet.” The kingdom of God has come near with Jesus’ first coming. And Jesus will one day come again in glory. When that happens, we will experience the ultimate goal of our salvation as we live in the new heavens and the new earth forever and ever.
No one knows when this kairos or present time will end. We only know the end is nearer now than when we first believed (v. 11). Waking up to this reality brings urgency. Waste no moment. “Love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 9), and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 14). Every encounter is an opportunity to point people to Jesus. —Jon Opgenorth
As you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to help you know the time.
About the Author
Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.