Summary: Exhortation to the take the gospel to the next generation.
A. Do you know what time it is?
B. After doing a word study, I wrote this
paraphrase of Ephesians 5:15-17.
"Be aware of the circumstances around you and
live for God. Don't be void in understanding,
but with open eyes, realize what is going on.
Make the most of the opportunity before you.
We are living in wicked times. Because of the
times in which we live, don't take lightly
God's call on you. Allow Him to accomplish His
purpose through your life."
C. There are many things we know as Bible
1. The Bible is the verbally inspired Word of
2. God is the Creator;
3. Jesus is the virgin born Son of God;
4. Salvation is wholly by grace through faith
without human works or merit;
5. The NT Church is local, has been specially
called, equipped, and authorized to be
engaged in the redemptive purpose of God
throughout the world;
6. The child of God is eternally secure in
7. Jesus is coming again...soon!
D. There are many things we know; but do we know
what time it is? Do we understand that the
4:3); that time is coming to an end (Luke
21:28); that the time for the ultimate
salvation is near (Romans 13:11).
E. It is wrong to think there is plenty of time.
In fact, it is more biblical to assume there
is little time.
1. Time (Greek, "kairos") - a fixed time or
a. characteristics of a particular time in
b. in the midst of chonological time there
are opportunities that must be taken
2. Time is under the providential control and
care of God.
3. God is fulfilling history according to His
purpose and plan.
4. We may well be living at the most exciting
time of the history of the church age.
5. History is headed for its proper
conclusion in Christ.
6. Chronology we leave to God; however, the
Lord expects us to step into the
opportunities before us for advancing the
cause of Christ in this world.
F. The text (Ephesians 5:15-17) should stimulate
an evaluation the the way things are today. We
must evaluate our ministry, our mission
efforts, and our methods. Time is of the
essence! Redeem the time!
G. Using this text as a basis of evaluation,
let's realize three things:
I. TIMES ARE CHANGING
A. Change is inevitable. Change is reality.
1. You don't have to like it, or
necessarily embrace it with open arms.
2. "For the sake of your church, your
ministry and the cause of Christ, you
must confront change; and do so in an
intelligent, strategic and intentional
way" (George Barna).
3. Change is not an illusion. It will not
simply go away if we ignore it.
4. Though these changes strike many of us
hard, recognize that with them come new
and exciting opportunities to preach
Jesus, and advance the mission work of
B. The changes occurring in our society are
1. Most everyone agrees that we are living
at a turning point in history.
2. The world in which the Lord's churches
live and work today is fundamentally
different from the world a generation
3. Surveys indicate that the culture in
America is redefining itself every five
years (Source: George Barna, The Second
Coming of the Church).
II. UNDERSTAND THE TIME
A. Understanding the times is absolutely
necessary if we're going to make a
difference. 1 Chronicles 12:32 states:
"And the children of Issachar, which were
men who had understanding of the times, to
know what Israel ought to do."
1. Knowing what time it is, is more than
knowing about the times. It means to
understand the times and know what to do.
2. The tribe of Issachar was known for being
wise. In fact, tradition holds that
representatives from the tribe of Issachar
tended to be the wisest men on the
3. It isn't exactly certain how David's
counselors went about "understanding the
a. It seems reasonable that they were able
to perceive trends, discuss major
issues, evaluate information, and
b. Apparently David was able to unify the
kingdom and establish a growing empire
because of the wisdom and influence of
4. Today, God's people still need
to "understand the times."
a. Our world is undergoing extreme changes.
Some describe them as chaotic.
b. We must be people who can penetrate this
culture with our faith, and let people
know Jesus is the answer.
(Source: Nelson's Electronic Bible
c. "But they aren't listening," you say.
Maybe you don't understand the times.
B. Understanding the times helps us see the
mission field. Jesus said, "Do you not
say, 'There are still four months and then