Time – A Persistent Illusion
By Ronald Graham
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1. There is a time for everything under Heaven and God established those times. Time is so elusive that no human being will ever completely figure it out, that realm belongs to God. Time just keeps going, but sometimes we run out of time. Our lives are engulfed and ordered by time. Time is all around us, it moves past us yet we can’t see it, it even seems to speed up and slow down.
“A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;” Ecclesiastes 3:2. Scientists have been working diligently to zero in on just how the idea of time works in relation to the rest of the universe. So many theories have been postulated that nowadays the libraries and book stores are replete with ideas promoting their various scenarios all involving time and its basis for existence. Yet only One individual truly understands the nature of time perfectly – after all, He’s the One who created time.
“God made time so everything didn’t happen all at once.” I read that quote recently and it amused me, but it also moved me to give time a little more serious thought. As we read and study our Bibles we come to the conclusion that the restraints we feel and live by because of time seem to have no effect on God. He is the beginning and He is the end. God has placed a time frame in place for every season to occur as He has determined. With His knowledge of time God is involved in every detail of each of earth’s occupants. “A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” Ecclesiastes 3:3-4. All aspects of time which have been seen by human kind throughout history God sees simultaneously. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2. Time is God’s creation and He determines the boundaries and sets times duration.
In the book of Revelation Jesus tells us “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” Revelation 1:8a. Of course God is from the beginning and He will be here at the very end. It’s His creation; He’s in charge of every detail including every nanosecond of time. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46:10. Every moment of time is established for God’s good pleasure. As His children, we take comfort in knowing we are doing His will according to His time frame, His good pleasure.
John tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3. Then Paul tells us in Colossians that “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16-17. Jesus Christ is the Creator of all time and we live within His constraints.
Humans can record what has happened in the past and those records can be passed on to all posterity. If we study the past we can learn a lot from those recordings. We can actually travel back in time by way of reading history books. Some of those travels can be very exciting, filled with intrigue, love stories, and many wonderful adventures which give us endless hours of entertainment. Entertainment that will keep us glued to our seats until we finish reading. All this and more can be found in God’s word. All we need is the time to read.
“A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;… A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:5, 6, & 8. The Bible is set in increments of time blocks. That’s how God set it up to be understood. We read it and find that God has given mankind their complete history in advance. We call that prophecy; God sets the time for every occasion all for His glory.
Even to achieve as simple a task as seeing what lies just a moment ahead during our daily routine is impossible for mankind. We can plan for tomorrow – make plans for a career change, a summer vacation, a trip to the doctor, or even our own funeral – but we really don’t know if tomorrow will be a part of our future. So the only prudent plan we can make out of all I mentioned is the one that involves our own funeral. Baring the Rapture, that plan is the only plan that will, with certainty, come to fruition at a point in time, according to God’s plan for our future.
God can see our future and He knows what our plans consist of. But His plan for our future may not be what we’ve planned at all. Tomorrows come and go almost without notice, especially in these rushing to and fro filled days. Since each day has us looking forward to a tomorrow, it becomes obvious that tomorrow is only a function of time designed to entice us to look forward. Tomorrow, then, becomes merely a persistent illusion. It’s akin to seeking after a mirage – it just isn’t there, but today is.
There’s only so much time in the life of every human being. Time, even though brought into existence by our Creator God, can be a real enemy to humankind, specifically to those folks who continually stand opposed to their Creator. Since tomorrow is such a consistently stubborn illusion, decisions and the follow through of those decisions must be accomplished in the present. For those of you who weren’t paying attention, that’s today. As Christians, we are bound by a command from our Savior God to work today. “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38. The Lord saw the multitudes and He knew there was a huge harvest. Today that harvest is even greater. Jesus sends you as a laborer into the field of harvest. Are you willing, or are you content to allow others to do all the labor? Ask yourself, when the time comes and we find ourselves standing before Christ to give an account of our lives, what will your response be as you face the Creator of the universe? Sorry God, I just ran out of time.
Many folks have no desire whatsoever to know God or to even believe He exists, unbeknownst to them, time becomes a most horrible enemy. When I was just a youngster I had a teacher who became so irritated with the students who were obvious time watchers, that he attached a sign to the bottom of the clock in his room which stated “Time will pass, will you?” God says “Time will pass, will my child bear fruit for my Kingdom?” Sadly, most Christians today won’t have anything to do with bearing fruit. They are so self-absorbed in the world they love they have no time for following God’s will.
Time is a most fleeting phenomenon, especially when speaking to a person whose eyes are blinded by the god of this world; time instead of being a luxury or something we take for granted becomes a hindrance. Time is a dangerous foe as a person remains in unbelief. Sooner or later time will take its toll on lost individuals as they continue in their stance against God. Why? Because those who remain in this condition risk the very predictable result of hardening their hearts even more against their Creator God. Their father the devil gains a far greater foothold over their lives as they remain in rebellion to God. These folks will finally realize how important the dimension of time was, but it will be too late. As believers in Christ we need to be very diligent in our witnessing attempts. Time is running out.
Here’s a thought provoker; this is my own concept, and it’s only conjecture meant just for fun. Since we know that God created time it would be safe for us to say that God is not restrained by any portion of His creation, including time. Since God dwells in another dimension called Heaven we may assume there is no time passing in that dimension. So here’s my conjecture. God Raptured Enoch when he was 365 years old. When the Church is Raptured we will enter Heaven at the exact instant that Enoch stepped through that same portal into the Heavenly realm. Question, how can we get to Heaven at a different point in time than Enoch if there is no time in Heaven? Purely conjecture on my part, but give it some thought and the possibilities are endless.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… …A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7. Bottom line, there’s a time to sew and a time to speak; the time to keep silence has passed. None of us know how many tomorrows we have left. All we know for sure is what we have today. As born again believers in Christ we may not have any more tomorrows, as we should all be aware that the Rapture is imminent, which makes the urgency of speaking to our lost family members, friends, and even those strangers that cross our path about the saving grace of Jesus Christ paramount . Yesterday, today was tomorrow. Tomorrow, today will be yesterday. But today, today is today. So in all actuality today is all we’ve got. What will you do with your today?
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed