The Reformed Witness Update
The Reformed Bible Church
In Suffolk County and Central Virginia
PO Box 2397 Appomattox, Virginia 24522
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE STRATEGIES
In the Beginning, God created TIME. The word ‘beginning’ is a reference to time itself. Therefore, we learn that within the expanse of eternity, Time and History exist in a distinct frame. The scope of Time is limited. It is given boundaries and perimeters in which it cannot pass. It begins at the beginning of creation and extends until the end of the world, where there will be "time no longer". Cf. Revelation 10:6
Each of us has been issued a set amount of time in which to live. We are born at a precise moment in time, and we die at a precise moment as well. All this is Divinely ordained and orchestrated by God, perfectly.
In order to profitably grasp this concept of time, we must consider time in the terms of investment. God has deposited into each of our "life’s account" a set amount of time each day. All of us are given an equal share. In the dispensing of time God is perfectly fair. He gives the very same amount each day to be either invested wisely, or squandered slothfully. The spending of time is perhaps the most important stewardship issue of all; more than money can every be. Yet, unlike money, God requires of us to spend every last second of our time by the close of each day. There can be no spill-over of time into the next day to be spent or invested. We must spend all the time allotted within each day.
What is TIME?
By definition, it is a portion of duration which exists within history. Time includes past, present and future. It is defined in the Scriptures as season, opportunity or occasion. All these terms properly signify both what Time is, and how it should be viewed.
The Covenantal Questions
Since time is an investment, given by God, does He have say in how it is to be used? If He does reserve the right to dictate how time is to be used, is He angry when it is squandered and wasted? Does He give direction in His Word as to the proper use of time? In light of all this, how should we then use our time?
In Psalm 71.15 David declares that he hasn’t the knowledge of his life’s duration. So it is with us. We know not the number of our days. Yet, for many of us, we suspect we still have a "few more good years left." If we are young, we rationalize that we will get old. If we are middle age we think that by reason of strength we will ripen into elder years. If we are older, we give ourselves at least 5, maybe 10 years before the inevitable. Although this mindset is certainly not to be considered as sinful or wrong, this line of thinking can lead to problems.
The Biblical admonition warns us to "Redeem the time for the days are evil". The Lord Jesus Himself cautions us to be observant as to the work which needs to be done in the whited fields. Cf. John 4:35. Much of what mankind does revolves around how much Time they think they have left in life. This is especially true of Christians. Many of those in the churches refuse to accept that their time is running out, and death for them is a reality. They seek to extend their time in the imagination of their hearts by giving themselves "a few more years."
Christians fall into one of two groups: Those who think time will run out for all mankind while they are still upon the earth, and those who have embraced the reality that they will die and generations will follow. While it is true that there will be a generation that will not see death, for the majority of the saints this will not be the case.
The Spirit, through the apostle Paul, cautions those at Thessalonica against this "apocalyptic thinking." Cf. 2 Thes. 2:1-3. What Paul was cautioning against was not necessarily apocalyptic thinking, but apocalyptic thinking which refused to maintain a generational view of the Gospel presentation. Whenever a people cease to establish and maintain long term endeavors for the generations to come, they are ripe for oppression and destruction.
Not only has Christendom embraced the godless system of the Egyptians, and the laws and principles of the Amorites, but it has failed to follow the precepts of the Holy Scriptures, as it pertains to the children. " ...for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." 2Cor. 12:14b
Time is of the essence. If we are to ever fulfill the commission of Christ in time and history, we must understand Biblical Strategies as it is found in the Whole Counsel of God. We are dispatched into the realm of time and exist in the confines of history, therefore, we are called to work within that venue. Christianity cannot merely exist amidst frames and notions of what is right and wrong. It must live out the applicable exercise of that which is right and wrong, according to the Word of Truth. The Captain of the Lord of Host has commanded His army to be Salt and Light. That is the commission. But if the salt loses it savor and if the light becomes darkness how then can the Kingdom prosper?
If the church continues to refuse the warning of scripture, destruction will come. If Christians continue to buy into the lie that they are to remain silent because the world belongs to the devil, or the wicked, or the state, or the ignorant, or the rich, there will be no future Christian generation. May God stir His people to proclaim that the Lord, HE is God, so let the people fear. RW
The Well Ordered Family
There are a number of important issues that must be addressed and regarded seriously before there can be any hope for reformation and revitalization. The first, and most important aspect of reformation, concerns the family. It is within the confines of the family that the Church is established. If there is a breakdown in the family structure, there will be a breakdown in the structure of the church. The one is hinged upon the other .
This is precisely the reason for the pastoral admonitions, of the Scriptures, concerning elders and deacons, and for that matter all church officials. If the family is out of order, the man is not to be shepherd over the flock. Cf. 1Tim 3, Titus 2. This commandment is expressly given as a safeguard for the people of God. It is further given so that the leaders of the church will not be overcome and destroyed by the pressures of the ministry, compounded with the added daily troubles at home. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to have the family in Biblical order if the church is to be prosperous.
What does it mean to have the family in order? Does it mean to rule with an iron fist? Does it mean to oppress, with rigor, the wife and children of the home with long drawn out Bible lectures, when a simple Scriptural account or precept will suffice?
As fathers and mothers, can we ever hope to impress Godly principles upon our children when our words conflict with our lives?
As parents we need to be sensitive to our flock at home. We need to know them and their tendencies. We need to be quick to grasp opportunities for teaching within the confines of real life. Fathers must encourage with love, as a nursemaid tends to the feeble. Mothers must be careful not to exasperate the children because of some self -imposed, or statist academic agenda. Within the confines of the Christian home, there needs to be a well balanced, sober approach to care, education and discipline.
What needs to be stressed here is that the root of all order in the home stems from the relationship between the husband and wife. When these are out of step with the principles of tender love, considering the other greater than self, there can never be any true Biblical order. If there is no Biblical order, there can be no true Biblical Peace.
The fundamental problem, which brings disunity and dissidence to the family, is the lack of communication between husband and wife. This confusion ultimately leads to the confusion of the entire household. It must be firmly asserted that this was the root of difficulty that plagued Adam and Eve after the fall. Not only was loving communication severed, there was a sinful tendency to cast blame upon the other. This hatred was so intense between Adam and his wife, that while hiding from God for their shame, they also hid from one another.
In light of this, our focus must be upon the family. As fathers and mother, we need to rethink how we are ordering both our relationships and our home. As Pastors and office bearers we must encourage Godly family living, carefully considering what God has to say about so important an issue. RW
The Reformed Witness Update is a Ministry of the Reformed Bible Church
c/o PO Box 2397 Appomattox Virginia 24522
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Additional issues of "The Reformed Witness"
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Other articles by Pastor Paul Michael Raymond