Summary: A Study of Romans 13:11-14
1. Martin Luther said he only had two days on his calendar— today and "that day."
2. I believe we should all live like that, looking for “that day” when the Lord snatches us out of here, to meet Him in the air.
3. That Day.
Trans: Lord willing, this is where we are heading in the next few messages. We’ll begin with that Day; then we want to look at the Departure itself; then Death, because there is a possibility some of us might die before the Rapture; and finally the Delay [only from our perspective, God is always right on time], what are we to do if we face Disaster [not talking about the Tribulation Period, but tribulation before that time] before the Day or Death.
I. FIRST, THERE SHOULD BE A RESPONSE TO LOVE SUPERNATURALLY.
And do this – what is the this? In context it connects back to verse 9, “For this”, and thus we do these things out of a motivation of love, specifically agape [ag-ah-pay].
• We are loved by the Lord (Rom. 5:5/1 Jn. 4:10).
• Therefore, we are to love both God and man (Gal. 5:22).
• While we wait for the Lord to come, we need to realize He is already here, living in us and cultivate that first-love (Rev. 2:4).
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19
Trans: Science writer Hope Jahren shares an interesting fact about plants, especially how a tiny seed starts to put down roots—the most essential thing for a plant's survival. She writes:
No risk is more terrifying than that taken by the first root. A lucky root will eventually find water, but its first job is to anchor … Once the first root is extended, the plant will never again enjoy any hope of relocating to a place less cold, less dry, less dangerous. Indeed, it will face frost, drought, and greedy jaws without any possibility of flight.
She calls taking root a big "gamble," but if the seed takes root it can go down twelve, thirty, forty meters. The results are powerful. The tree's roots can "swell and split bedrock, and move gallons of water daily for years, much more efficiently than any pump yet invented by man." If the root takes root, then the plant becomes all but indestructible: "Tear apart everything aboveground—everything—and most plants can still grow rebelliously back from just one intact root. More than once. More than twice."
II. FURTHERMORE, RECOGNIZE THE NEED TO WAKE UP FROM OUR SLEEP.
A. Needs to be an Awareness.
knowing the time – The verb knowing is a perfect tense, speaking of a settled understanding. The noun time is preceded by an article which is kahee-ros' and speaks of a certain kind of time, a fixed appointed season.
32 Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command. 1 Chronicles 12:32 See Mat. 16:1-3.
I believe we are living in the last days of the church, just before God removes His church. It will be followed by a seven-year Tribulation Period, the Second Coming, and the establishment of Christ’s earthly kingdom.
This is our hope! Our hope is not in the restoration of America; not in personal prosperity down here or in bodily health; etc. Our blessed hope is the Removal of the Church (Tit. 2:13).
While we must never set dates, I believe we can know the rapture is near. I have no time to develop this but things like:
• Israel is back in her land.
• Russia’s alignment with Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and others. Ezk. 38
• Europe is united but cannot get it together until the Anti-Christ comes. Shadows of the Revived Roman Empire.
• Moving toward a one world government and religion.
• The downfall of America, she will not be a major player in the last days.
As we see the stage being set for the Tribulation Period, we know the Rapture must be near because it comes before the Tribulation Period. But the Rapture is always presented as an any moment possibility. Paul said “we” shall be changed.