Summary: Time is passing, the future is upon us, how shall we behave?
Time To Wake Up Rom. 13:11-14
INTRO.: When traveling, it’s important to be awake on time. We have "wake up calls" at hotels and places where we visit so we won’t miss planes, trains, buses. We use alarm clocks and clock radios so we won’t be late for work.
In our text, the apostle seems deeply concerned about the passage of time. We are all concerned about this. Mostly, we can’t believe how fast time goes.
The thought of the return of Christ adds urgency. Not only is time passing, but with every hour and minute the coming of Christ draws nearer. We don’t know when He will come, but we know He will and we know He will come at a time unexpected. This is the constant teaching of Scripture.
" the time is short". - I Cor. 7:29
"The Lord’s coming is near" - Jas. 5:8
"The end of all things is near." - I Pet. 4:7
"This is the. last hour" - I John 2:18
"The time is near." - Rev. 1:3
America has endured several tragedies in the past few years. When God allowed disaster to strike His people, Israel, it was to wake them up to their condition and to their need for Him. When thousands of people die in hurricanes, terrorist attacks, or epidemics, it should serve as a wake up call to the rest of us.
We make our plans, set our goals, and look to the future. We expect to be here tomorrow. But, none of those who died expected to meet their God as soon as they did. We don’t know if the Lord may come today or tomorrow or if we will have today or tomorrow to prepare for His coming. It’s time to wake up.
This passage calls our attention to three important truths:
I. Time is passing: "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here."
A. The darkness of sin is passing:
1. Satan has had his day far too long.
2. Man has had every opportunity to try it his way.
3. We have all tried to overcome sin in our own lives and failed.
4. When Jesus returns, God will give us final victory.
B. The darkness of confusion is passing:
1. There is a great deal about God and His creation we don’t understand.
2. We can’t fathom the reasons for suffering in the world and in our lives.
3. It’s often hard to see God’s hand at work.
4. The time is coming when we will see all things clearly.
C. The darkness of sorrow and pain is passing:
1. When we next see Jesus sickness and death will end forever.
2. Loss and loneliness will be things not even remembered.
3. There will be no more disappointments and frustrations.
II. The future is upon us:
A. Scripture says, "The day is almost here."
1. What day? The "day of the Lord." I Thess. 5:2
2. When I visited west Texas, I was impressed with the suddenness of the sunrise. With no trees or hills to interfere, the sun virtually burst over the horizon. It will be like that when the Lord returns.
3. This may be the very day He comes. Trite, but true.
B. "Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed."
1. This puts the urgency in our message. We have little time.
2. In terms of light and darkness, time is night, eternity is day.
3. Life in the flesh is night. Immortality is day.
4. Ignorance, confusion is night. Total enlightenment is day.
C. There are critical times in life and our response makes the difference between night and day:
1. When faith challenges us to confront the claims of God.
2. When surrender and obedience brings us into Christ.
3. Each opportunity for growth and service.
4. When God calls to "fields white unto harvest."
5. And, of course, when Jesus returns and the day fully dawns.
III. The past is behind us, the future is before us. How shall we live in the present?
A. God calls upon us to wake up:
1. If we are awake, we will see His day coming. We can see the great spiritual war becoming more intense.
2. If we are awake, we can prepare for His coming by living for Him.
3. Too many are spiritually asleep and not aware of the signs of the times or the need for righteous living.
B. God calls us to change. I Thess. 5:5-8
1. Put off the things of the night. Pajamas are not appropriate for daytime. Nor is sin.
2. "Put on the armor of light." We are soldiers who can’t take our armor off to carouse at night.
3. The call of Christ is to a conflict with the world. A reveille.