What Time Is It?
By Lois J. Stucky
At the time I am writing, it is a fitting time for planting crops in the part of Indiana where Herald of His Coming is located. Driving through the countryside, one sees beautifully cultivated fields on both sides of the road, stretching away to the horizon, and some fields show tiny plants breaking through the sod. Praise God for the soil He created suitable for growing plants, and for the seeds He created well suited to use the soil’s elements to produce the fine looking crops that will soon dominate the scene! One thinks of the industrious farmers who worked, some day and night, to prepare and to plant at the opportune time. Growing season follows as God gives the increase. Then comes harvest time and acres of crops are gathered in to provide food for men and their animals.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Eccl. 3:1). God has "made every thing beautiful in His time" (Eccl. 3:11).
The way God so wisely and beautifully orders things in His world of nature to provide for man’s physical needs, calls to mind His ways of working in His spiritual kingdom. Think for a few moments of what time it is as concerns God’s more enduring purposes than the physical seasons which come and go annually. We need to discern what God’s spiritual purposes are in this hour even as farmers must discern in their realm.
The Apostle Paul’s keen discernment of his time came from his intimate walk with the Lord Jesus. So alive and awake was he to the Lord and His ways that he saw many Christians as being asleep in comparison to the life and zeal they might be exhibiting. He jolts us with these words: "…knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed" (Rom. 13:11). He beseeches believers to present themselves as a living sacrifice to God, behaving themselves in a holy, unworldly way, conformed to God’s will and Word. "Awake to righteousness, and sin not" he strongly exhorts the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:34). He seeks to stir the Ephesians by writing, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light...walk circumspectly...redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:14-16).
If the Apostle Paul indicated the great seriousness with which he viewed his day, what more might he say to us if he wrote us today, seeing we are much nearer the coming of the Lord than was his generation? He wrote: "…denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works" (Titus 2:12-14).
The description which the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy of the perilous times of the last days should make us take diligent stock of ourselves (2 Tim. 3:1-9). We do not know how much worse these conditions will become, but we see them around us even now and it is essential that we flee in any way absorbing such dangerous behavior into our lives.
Friends, we to whom God has given light need to be awake to our opportunities to help others realize the significance of this hour and what time it is! Thank you one and all who are partnering with us through your gifts and prayers to send God’s Word through Herald of His Coming messages far and wide, echoing and re-echoing Christ’s words to "be ye also ready" (Matt. 24:44). Let us beseech God that His Word will be an awakening, life-transforming word for many. Thank you! And for His dear sake, may God help us ourselves to take His Word to heart and live worthy of the high and holy calling He has graciously given to us in this significant time in which we are living!