The Day is at Hand
By Dave Breese
It is certain that no one really understands life without realizing that we are moving through a continuum called time. Yesterday becomes history and tomorrow becomes today. Everything is in motion, including the single life which we spend in the midst of the vicissitudes of time.
This being the case, the most valuable commodity available to us is a wonderful set of facts called Bible prophecy. The Scriptures are not merely history or merely sweet spirituality about our present experience. No, indeed, they present the one key to the futurea most necessary key in life.
A very pointed note of prophecy in this regard is sounded for each of us in the Word of God. So that we may understand where we are in life, the Bible says, The day is at hand (Rom. 13:12). In this memorable chapter of the Word of God, the Apostle Paul has reminded Christians of many privileges and many responsibilities. He has given them the shorter list as to how to live their lives. He then takes a moment to enhance these earnest calls by saying in most reassuring fashion, It is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof (Rom. 13:11-14).
These words should certainly come as good news, like a breath of spring to all believers. The implication is that we have been laboring through the night, but this labor is not forever. No, indeed, the time of perspiration and sacrifice will soon give way to the glorious dawn of a most rewarding eternity. The day is at hand is the implicit promise of all of these things. The night is not forever, the road has an ending, the glorious rewards of a life spent in service for Christ are soon to be bestowed upon all who have been through the night of labor, of prayer, of sacrifice for the Savior. The day is at handwhat an encouraging promise!
Having reminded us of this promise, the Scripture then gives one last short list of the things that we should do and be in that soon we are going to step into eternitys day. In the light of our early appointment at the Judgment Seat of Christ, what should be our response? The answer is before us. That answer comes in the form of a telling list.
1. Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness. This means, of course, that we should hurl away in disgust any vestige of the mean, lowly, grubby, dark and dirty world with which we may have compromised. Like grave clothes, these associations should be thrown in the ditch beside the highway of life. Too many believers have walked in the counsel of the ungodly, leaned on the arm of flesh, exhausted themselves in the pursuit of human, worthless things. It is time for a repudiation of all of these.
2. Let us put on the armor of light. When we step into heavens fadeless day, we will be clothed in magnificent splendor. We will live in our glorified bodies and possess apparel like nothing we could have known in this world.
In this world, however, it is time to anticipate that great moment, to live like it, to wear the apparel of heaven while yet we walk in this world. The lives that we live should bring to others the breath of heavens springtime. We ourselves should be a foretaste of glory in the lives of others.
3. Let us walk honestly as in the day. How sad that the Bible speaks of those who handle the Word of God deceitfully and even others who steal and lie. These characteristics of the old life should be put away. They should have no place in our present lives and certainly will have no place in heaven. Even in this world, honesty is not only the best policy, but it should be our only policy.
4. Not in rioting and drunkenness. Our present generation is more and more characterized by the leadership of the violent, the radical, the brutal, the drunken and the addicted. These have no place in the life of a Christian. The Christian, walking in civility and reasonableness, will thus be an even better testimony for Christ.
5. Not in chambering and wantonness. The immoral lives that some people live should not be mentioned even once in the life and conversation of a Christian. Sexual immorality is ruining our world and the Church is not without its damage. For this, many will bow in shame before their Lord.
6. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh. What is the attitude and the posture of life that is a contrast to the wickedness of the world? How can we know and present this kind of contrasting righteousness in our time? The answer is, pointedly, that we should put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible describes the Christian as being in Christ and it also reminds us that we fulfill the picture of Christ in you, the hope of glory. The most intimate relationship which the Christian has is with Jesus Christ, his Lord.
The implication of this verse is that we should regularly check ourselves to see if we are wearing properly the clothing, the adornment which is Christ. Is our testimony bright and clean and, when the world looks at us, do they see Christ? They should, the Bible says. In fact, if we are to influence this world for Christ, they must.
The meaning of make not provision for the flesh is perfectly clear to anyone who is not a fool. The Bible hereby implies that acts of sin rarely overtake the Christian by surprise. Rather, the Christian, giving place to his weakness, anticipates sin as an opportunity. He makes provision for it. Indeed, most of sex education in our time is merely making provision for the lust of the flesh. It is anticipating the fulfillment of human lust. This, of course, is utterly repudiated by the Word of God. It is a gross violation of the will of Christ for our lives.
We must remember again then that the Bible says, The night is far spent, the day is at hand. That means, of course, that soon is the day of reunion with Jesus Christ. We are close to the time of the light and life of eternity, rather than the dark environs of this closet called earth. In that the day is at hand, no Christian will ever be sorry for purifying his life and being ready to meet Christ face-to-face. By so doing, he will miss nothing but the disapproval of our Lord. He will gain everything, including the congratulation of Jesus Christ on the Judgment Daywhich is everything. In that "the day is at hand, we must conduct ourselves so that when we stand in the presence of our Savior, we may hear Him say, Well done. The day of that congratulation could be tomorrow. In fact, it could be today.Are We Approaching the End of History?
This is being asked by more millions of people in today's world than ever. Many look at the critical issues of our timeeconomic, military, medical, politicaland fail to see how the course of this earth's life can move along much further. The promises of the politicians seem very empty and the assurances of the religionists empty as well. What is the answer to this question?
First of all, we should remember that the last days of earth will indeed come. The Apostle Peter says, But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (II Pet. 3:10).
There is no doubt, therefore, that the final days of earth will come, inevitably and inexorably. In His infinite wisdom, God has not told us exactly when that day will be. This because we are to be looking up and laboring for Christ every day. But Peter continues saying, Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? (II Pet. 3:11).
Destiny Newsletter continued