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Summary: Exhortation to the take the gospel to the next generation.

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Introduction:

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

believers:

1. The Bible is the verbally inspired Word of

God;

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

Christ; and

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

time is evil (1 Timothy 4:1,2; 2 Timothy 3:1;

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

season.

a. characteristics of a particular time in

history

b. in the midst of chonological time there

are opportunities that must be taken

advantage of

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

God.

B. The changes occurring in our society are

paramount.

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

ago.

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

Sanhedrin.

3. It isn't exactly certain how David's

counselors went about "understanding the

times."

a. It seems reasonable that they were able

to perceive trends, discuss major

issues, evaluate information, and

consider strategy.

b. Apparently David was able to unify the

kingdom and establish a growing empire

because of the wisdom and influence of

these men.

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

Reference Library)

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

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