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In The Fullness of Time

In the Fullness of Time

     It is certain that none of us like to wait. Our society has been so indoctrinated with all things instant that many have seemingly lost the art of waiting. Impatience is evident in nearly all aspects of life.   But have we ever considered that waiting has always been included in God’s plan? (Isaiah 40:31)

     It is obvious from Genesis 1:4 that God did not intend that everything happen at the same time. If God did not intend that man abide within the constraints of time, why did He divide the day from the night, and create time and its divisions? And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

   Cain had to wait for the harvest before he could offer his offering unto the Lord. We can see this from Genesis 4:3-5, as well as the fact that Cain’s offering was not accepted.   And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

     God had a plan for humanity from before the foundation of the world.  That plan included the sending of His Son. God chose a people through Abraham. Even Abraham had to wait for the child of Promise. Genesis 17:17 shows that he and Sarah had to wait for God’s timeframe for this to happen. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?  In the “fullness of God’s time” God’s promise was fulfilled.

     We also know from 1Peter 1:18-20, God’s plan for humanity was in place from before the creation. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,  Man had to wait until redemption was available till he could be a beneficiary of the plan.

     The question now is: “Why are not more people obedient to the gospel?” One no longer has to wait. The gospel plan is now in place. The “fullness of time” has arrived and one can now be saved.   In Galatians 4:4 we see that when the time was right, God sent His Son to fulfill God’s plan to save those who will obey the gospel plan. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,.  When Christ had died on the cross, had been buried and arose, He ascended to the Father. Shortly after that the final plan of God was offered to man. We are told in Romans 13:11 that it is now “high time” to awake out of sleep, and be faithful to God. This is even apparent in verse 12. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

    Mankind, now only has one thing for which to wait, and that is the second coming of Christ, and following this will be the judgment.  The judgment will also happen in accordance to God’s timeframe. When Jesus spoke in Matthew 24:36 the times of the events of which He spake were only known by the Father. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

     The other thing we need to address is the fact that we don’t know how much time we have remaining.   Job 14:1 is one passage that speaks of the brevity of life. Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  As we look to James 4:14 in the New Testament, we are again reminded that our time here is not guaranteed.   Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.    Ecclesiastes 3:1 is very clear in that there is a time for all things.   To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  Now, since we see that salvation is available and we don’t know how much time we have remaining, why not seek salvation now? Paul was directed by the Spirit in 2Corinthians 6:2 to tell those brethren that the “fullness of time” for salvation is now.     (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.   Why wait?   Now is the fullness of time.       

                                  Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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