It’s closer now (Romans 13)

11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. Romans 13:11

Years ago, when I was a little boy, my parents took me to see a movie that altered my life.  The movie was about the Second Coming of the Lord.  At the end of the movie a local pastor stood up and asked one question: “If Jesus had come back five minutes ago, where would you be now?”

I was just seven years old when I heard the truth of that question.  Forty-three years later I still feel the heaviness of that question.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 13 continues to address the spiritual graces we are to evidence as Christ-followers.  This chapter is rich in instruction:

  • God has called us to respect those in authority, 13:1-7.
  • God has called us to love all people, 13:8-10.
  • God has called us to be ready for Jesus Second-Coming, 13:11-14.

It is to the last bullet point that I want to focus for just a moment.  So often I look at life in terms of what do I need to do today or what will happen in the next 25 years.  But could it be that I should be thinking in terms of “what if the Lord returns today?”

The church in Rome had been lulled to sleep (thinking time would last forever).  The church needed to awaken to the lateness of the hour.  The church needed to cast off the things that were of the old nature and they needed to put on the things that belonged to the new nature.

This is certainly a daily battle.  I believe the key is simple: “We are not to focus on where we used to be or where we are now.  We are to focus on where we are headed!!!  It is true, “We are closer now to the Lord’s return than we have ever been.”  So let us live in light of His Second Coming.

Here is an older song that speaks volumes to this topic:

This morning’s front page headline reads,
Disaster strikes once more,
Writing on the wall is just too great to be ignored,
Floods and earthquakes everywhere,
Violence plagues our land,
The last days are upon us,
Christ’s coming is at hand.

Where would you be,
Had Jesus come back five minutes ago,
Would you still be here,
Alone and lost with without hope,
He will return as a thief in the night,
Will you be taken or left behind,
Where would you be,
Had Jesus come back five minutes ago.

The lost and dying world must face,
The judgment seat one day,
They’re hanging in the balance,
For this crime they must pay,
Refusing to accept God’s grace,
How could they be so blind,
The sand is quickly pouring through,
The hourglass of time.

Mother Nature, Father Time,
Won’t stop or change God’s plan,
Prophesies have been fulfilled,
He’s coming back again!

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