“And do this, understanding the present time: the hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.” Romans 13:11-12a
Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. This is a fact although we all live in a form of denial about it. That’s why we need the reminders.
Each day that passes brings us one day closer to the day when our faith will be sight. If we could know how many days were left until the end of this age, when Jesus returns, we might live differently. But maybe we wouldn’t.
In this passage about the return of Christ, the only time references are these: the hour, nearer, nearly over, almost here. It seems confusing at first because to us, almost 2,000 years is not “almost here”. But God doesn’t see time as we do. He is not constrained by time and doesn’t operate within time. In contrast, we live inside the seconds, minutes, days and years of our lives.
I believe the reason God speaks this way is to stir our expectation for his coming. He could come at any time. And that expectation of his coming should cause us to behave in a certain way. We don’t know exactly when he will come, but when that day comes, God’s people should behave in a certain way.
“So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:12b-14