Summary: New Year's: Kairos (God’s time) vs. kronos (the devil’s time). Kairos looks for what God is getting ready to do in the present moment; but kronos is a distraction that keeps people from using their lives - and time - wisely for the Lord.
To begin our message, I want to point out a couple of concerns we often hear expressed by pastors and church leaders, which are: 1.) Christians rarely share their faith, and 2.) Christians are not going to church as often as they once did. If these concerns are legitimate – which I believe they are – they pose some serious challenges to evangelism and church growth; and thus, challenges in taking the gospel to the nations. And Jesus said that “the gospel must first be preached to all the nations” (Mark 13:10) before His return. So, what must change in order for Christians to start getting serious about their faith, and for them to begin evangelizing and going to church more?
Time and the Great Commission (Colossians 4:2-6)
2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; 3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, 4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time (kairos). 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Two Christians were out sharing their faith, and knocked on the door of a woman who wasn’t happy to see them. She told them she didn’t want to hear their message and slammed the door in their faces. But to her surprise, the door bounced back open. So, she tried it again, and she really put her back into it, but the door wouldn’t shut. Convinced that these rude people were sticking their foot in the door, she reared back to give it a slam that would teach them a lesson, when one of them said: “Ma’am, before you do that again you might want to move your cat!”
These verses speak about using time wisely in regards to evangelism.” In this passage, Paul told the Colossians they needed to be earnest and vigilant in prayer on his behalf; praying for opportunities that he might share the Word; or rather, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. And not only pray that doors would be opened, but pray that he would make the Word manifest as he ought to speak; meaning, they should pray that he would open his mouth and not be faint of heart or distracted whenever opportunities presented themselves.
Paul’s passion for sharing the gospel came from the Great Commission. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
So, what does the Great Commission tell us? It says to make disciples and teach people the commandments of Jesus Christ; and this is a commission given to all Christians. No believer is exempt. Now, in order to disciple people, we first have to go out and win them to Christ; and the part we read about “baptizing people” shows us that evangelism is implied in the Great Commission, because you have to lead people to faith in Christ before you can ever baptize them and disciple them. In fishing terms, you have to catch ‘em before you can clean ‘em!
Paul tells us that the best way to be a witness is to walk in wisdom and be ready to give an answer with well-seasoned and tantalizing words of grace. But he also told us it’s imperative to be “redeeming the time.” If we need to be redeeming, or repossessing time, then apparently we have lost time somewhere along the way. How this has happened is something that we’ll touch upon in a moment.
I think I should let you know that I’m getting ready to share some highfalutin Greek. I only make it a point to share from the original languages when absolutely necessary; and believe you me, it is necessary in order to fully understand why time has been lost and why it’s still being lost.
The Greek word for “time” in verse 5 is kairos. Kairos is a word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment; also meaning to manage well the circumstances encountered day by day, and possessing a judgment which is accurate in meeting occasions as they arise (Wikipedia). So, when Paul talks about redeeming the time, or redeeming kairos, he’s speaking of keeping our eyes wide-open to what’s going on all around us, being on the lookout for what God is getting ready do right now in the present moment and in our present circumstance. Kairos deals with spontaneity in our response to God and service in the kingdom.