And now consider this. You know well the times you are living in.
It is time for you to wake up and see what is right before your eyes: Our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The darkness of night is dissolving as dawns light draws near, so walk out of your old dark life and put on the armor of light. Letter to the church in Rome Chapter 13: 11-12
Do we understand the times we are living in? There are many similarities to Rome, the center of the known world at the time of Paul’s writing to the church, and the United States today. Paul’s warning in chapter 13 spoken over 2000 years ago to a fledgling group of believers who had been touched by the power of the Gospel, speaks to us today. He touches on major themes that we would do well to examine in our time.
Submitting to Authority: In the preceding verses of chapter 13 Paul talks about submitting to authority and that all authority ultimately comes from God v. 1 “God establishes all authority in heaven and on earth.” But it is meant that the power is entrusted to them by God; and that he has the authority to remove them when he pleases. If they abuse their power, however, they do it at their peril; and when so abused, the obligation to obey them ceases—** It is true that if we follow the truth of the gospel under the banner of Jesus we may find ourselves at odds with the powers that be.* It does not honor God, or serve His purpose if we go looking for a fight, but when the choice is forced upon us, we obey God rather than man Acts 4:19, 5:29.
Understand the times: The world as we know it is drawing to a close. Having an appreciation for the shortness and the value of time we understand that in previous times we lived in darkness but God has revealed the Good News and brought us into the light. In view of 2 Peter 3:9 , we know God does not desire that any should perish. There has never been a better time in the chaos, and darkness and sin of our world to share that light with others.
Live in the light: The darkness is dissolving as dawns light draws near, so walk out of your old dark life and put on the armor of light. In these times that we live our most effective weapon and protection is truth. Both in the way we live and what we believe. We cannot live as the world does and expect to be relevant to a culture that needs desperately to know His grace and forgiveness.
The night is nearly over, the day is almost here!
**Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament