Understanding The Present Time

present time



Romans 13:11. “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.

INTRODUCTION- Do you know what time it is? Many people are living in their own little fairy tale world and they don’t know what’s going on spiritually. In the sense that they are not living in the real spiritual world. They don’t recognize what’s going on and what is going to happen in this world and perhaps, in their own lives. They need a wake-up call of some kind.

2 Timothy 3:1. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Sophia was 14 months old, do you know what she wanted to do? All she wanted to do: was play blocks. She just wanted to play. That’s pretty normal for a baby her age, but it’s not normal for adults to want to play all the time, that is unless they are still living in some childhood fantasy. Many people are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Play and pleasure rule their life.

The reality is this: life will come to an end and we’d better be prepared! And there is only one way to prepare for the end of life and that is a matter of seeking the Lord in all things and doing His will as best we can.

2 Corinthians 5:7. “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

All some people do is live for play and pleasure when we all should be living to please God. Life begins with God and life ends with God. We need to sandwich God in between, that is, in all of life. He should be in the middle of everything we do in life.

Romans 13:11. “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.”

In The Light Of Our Salvation, What Must We Do?

1- Put aside the deeds of darkness.

2- Behave decently as in the daytime3- Clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus.


Romans 13:12. “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.”

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Is there any darkness in your life? Any dark deeds? Are any dark thoughts?

Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll discovered a drug whereby he could transform himself into a man devoid of conscience and able to wallow in every kind of vice. Stevenson named this monster Mr. Hyde.

When Dr. Jekyll wanted to become Hyde, he could do so with a dose of this drug. And likewise, when Hyde wanted to become Jekyll, he could transform himself almost instantly by the same means. But the time came when the inclination to remain the evil Hyde was so great that he could not recover himself to assume the kindly and respectable life of Jekyll. Against his will, he now became Hyde, and much as he wanted to return to the sphere in which Dr. Jekyll lived, he was unable to do so.

There are many people today who change into an evil Mr. Hyde in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s through drinking or drugs. These do transform people into evil people at times. Drinking and drugs make people do things they would not normally do: steal, fight, cuss, rant, rave, rape, and even murder others. The truth is: we all seemed to have a dark side. If we were put in the wrong place at the wrong time we’d all be in trouble. The danger lies in doing wrong too long.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. The point of scripture is that we must fight the dark side and the deeds of darkness. We must grow up and put these aside.

1 Corinthians 13:11. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

There is a point where we need to stop acting like children.

When we allow the Lord into our lives and stay busy serving Him we will have little time for any kind of darkness or evil. There is only one cure for the deeds of darkness: fill up our lives with doing God’s will. I’ve said before: I am at my best when I am writing sermons, studying scripture, in prayer, or calling on people in need.

Thomas Edison was once asked how he resisted temptations. He said, “Never have any. I don’t have time.” The way to overcome the deeds of darkness is to fill your life with deeds of goodness.


Romans 13:13. “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”

Our time changed back in November. We lost our daylight savings time and went to Central time. That means it gets lighter in the morning and instead of staying lighter an extra hour in the evening. That Sunday morning one man mentioned that he didn’t like the time change. He liked that extra hour of daylight in the evening. Well, he’s got it back now. And I know why he likes it better. Why? Because it helps to keep him out of trouble. He stays busier with more daylight time. He behaves better in the daytime than at night! But don’t we all act better in the daytime?

Paul says, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”

Haven’t you noticed how much bad stuff or evil stuff takes place under the cover of darkness? Most people do their evil deeds at night when they are not easily seen. Attitudes even change in the darkness.

Preacher Wayne Smith who preached in Lexington, Ky, used to say, “When it gets dark you ought to be home and in bed.” Well, seriously he thought everybody should be home at night and not out running the streets because that’s when people often get into various kinds of trouble.

Live like it’s daytime. Live like everybody is watching what you are doing. Live like God is watching what you are doing because He is. There are many things that people do at night that they wouldn’t do in the daytime where more people could see them. We are to behave decently like people of the day, like people who walk in the light of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:8. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  12.For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arises from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16.Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”


“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

We are to behave decently as in the daytime, as people of the light.


Romans 13:14. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

I’m not big on clothing, are you? I believe in getting dressed but I’m not into dressing up with fancy or expensive clothes.

We should be somewhat concerned about how we dress but even more concerned about how we dress spiritually. We should be more concerned with our spirit than with our flesh. And how do you clothe your spirit? According to this text, we should clothe ourselves with Christ.

And how do we do this? We spend time with Christ and with His Word. The more we behold Him in scripture, the more we will think like Him and be like Him.

It’s like we can become another person by studying that person’s life and character. And this is no different for us.

WE MUST STUDY THE PERSON AND CHARACTER OF CHRIST. The more we do this, the more we will clothe ourselves with Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:18. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by  the Spirit of the Lord.”

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which conforms us to the Lord, by His Spirit.”

New Living Translation. “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

We clothe ourselves with Christ by saturating our minds with scripture: reading scripture, studying the meaning of scripture, memorizing scripture, quoting scripture, and living out scripture in our lives.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


A few months ago this was a big news headline: “Leaders express hope fiscal cliff will be averted. Leaders expect a deal by Christmas. Tax rates still biggest hurdle.”

What is your fiscal cliff in life? I’m not necessarily thinking about a financial fiscal cliff from which you could fall. It could be anything in life: a family problem, work-related, financial, health-related, etc.

Where are you in life? And are you about to fall off a cliff? If so, the Apostle Paul has a message for you: “Put aside the deeds of darkness. Behave decently as in the daytime. And put on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is your only hope of a better life and a life that pleases God.”

By, James L. Thornton


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