Summary: When we discuss time we usually think of hours and minutes, but there is another type of time that is measured by opportunities, that is the theme of this message.
Billy Graham preached the same message for over 50 years, and thousands came to Christ through his simple presentation of the Gospel. Sometimes we make God’s Word to complex—we forget the simplicity of the Good News that Billy Graham has preached for all these years.
But that simple message of hope did not begin with Billy Graham, it was the message preached by John the Baptist, and it was the message preached by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The heart of that simple message can be summed up in two statements: 1) Repent, 2) The Kingdom is at hand.
Text: Mark 1:14-15
14After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God: 15“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!”
I want us to also read these verses from the New Century Version:
14After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, preaching the Good News from God. 15He said, “The right time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Change your hearts and lives and believe the Good News!”
In our study today I want us to ask the question: WHAT TIME IS IT? The simple answer is: “It’s time for our HEARTS and LIVES to be changed!
What Time Is It?
When we think of time, we most often think about a clock, hours, minutes, seconds, and so on. In Jesus’ day, there were two different words for time. One was the one we are used to: chronos, which is where we get our word chronology, chronograph, etc.... This is the word that describes the measuring of time.
Now chronos time is important, and I can tell you from first hand experience that we need to pay attention to “what time it is” based on our watches.
Several years ago Lenea and I left Sacramento heading for a visit with my sister in Chicago. We had a layover in Salt Lake City, and just before we landed the pilot came on the speaker and told us the temperature and the local time (which is one hour ahead of time here in CA). I thought to myself—“change your watch,” but I didn’t. Big mistake!
We got off the plane, figured out where the gate was for our connecting flight to Chicago, and then went to get something to eat. We had a leisurely dinner, and then proceeded to wander through some of the shops in the terminal. Lenea and I both went to use the restroom. After I came back out into the terminal, I looked down at my watch while I was waiting for Lenea, and then it hit me—“It’s not 3:55 its 4:55! And we’re going to miss our plane!”
I discarded all concern for potential embarrassment and yelled into the ladies restroom, “Lenea, come on, we’re going to miss our plane!” We ran to the gate, which now had no one waiting, and as we got there the lady at the counter said, “Are you the Inscore’s?” Yes, that’s us—and let me guess, we missed our plane?
Everything turned out OK, we were able to get on a flight the first thing Friday morning, but none of that would have been necessary if I had simple changed my watch—if I had “known” what time it was!
What Time Is It?
As important as that kind of time is—there is another word for time, and it is the word that Jesus used in verse 15. That word was: kairos, which described an opportunity, or a "point of decision." It would similar to our expressions such as: "an opportune moment," or, "window of opportunity."
Jesus was saying that it was time for a decision. The window of opportunity was open. Now was the right time! What was it a right time for? A decision about God’s Kingdom. Jesus said the kingdom was at hand.
This is the same word for “time” that Paul used in his letter to the Galatians:
4But when the completion of the time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
This phrase could be illustrated by what happens when a child is waiting for their Grandparents to arrive. The child sits on the front porch waiting, and then as soon as they recognize Grandpa & Grandma’s car, they run in the house and announce to everyone, “they’re here, there here!" Do we have that kind of anticipation about Jesus?
We need to ask ourselves: “What are we doing with our time?" We’ve all either heard, or said, “Quit wasting time!” Usually, our concern is with the clock, and the possibility of running out of time. That is why we have alarm clocks—to help us deal with our “time issues.” While that works fine for chronos time—time that is measured by a clock, it doesn’t necessarily work for kairos time.