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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE TIME HAS COME

Ephesians 1:9-10 Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.

You can spend a lot of time describing time. Time can be the period between two occurrences, or the period in which one thing occurs. Time can be a specific period of history referred to as an era, or a particular period in which a famous person lived. The rhythm of music is measured in time; so are athletic events, and periods for baking and microwaving foods. A person may have a full-time, or a part-time job. One can lose time and fall behind in time, which may require you to make up time, or gain time by doing a number of things at the same time, in order to be on time once again. To retire, you simply take time out, and have the time of your life, by passing the time of day, keeping abreast of the times.

Much is written in God's word about time. Although it is rather lengthy, a study of time could not be complete without including Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 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; 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 rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Everything has its time. Some things occur naturally in due time, but people set the time other things are to be accomplished, or are to take place. This passage in Ecclesiastes tells us there is a season; a best, or proper time, things are to be done by mankind.

In the lesson text we read of God's will being accomplished in the dispensation of the fullness of times. There are times that God alone controls. Mankind has no voice in the time frame in which God's will unfolds. In the beginning (of time), God created the heaven and the earth. God's will was carried out in the time He had chosen. There were other times God chose to carried out His will. There was a time when the earth was corrupt...and filled with violence (Gen. 6:11), and God destroyed all inhabitants of His creation, saving Noah, his family, and two of each animal species to repopulate the earth. There was a time God selected to call Abram (Abraham), his son, Isaac, and grandson, Jacob, into a covenant relationship with the promise of a new land, and a heritage through which all the nations (families) of the earth be blessed (See Gen. 15:18, 26:4, & 28:14). Thus, at the precise time chosen by God, the nation of Israel was established through which the Messiah, the Savior, would be born, to offer salvation to the world.

At the time only known by God, His Son, Jesus, was born unto the virgin Mary. Paul tells of this event in Galatians 4:4-5, But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. At the approximate age of 30, Jesus' time came to begin His earthly ministry. He...came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel (Mark 1:14-15). The time chosen by God to reveal His plan of salvation had now come. Although it took approximately 4000 years to take place, it did come, and it came at the time, as planned by God, that it should be fulfilled. The mystery of salvation had now, in due time, been made known,which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9).

Have you taken the time to read God's word and understand the mystery of salvation that is now revealed in its pages? How much time do you have left to do so? Remember, life is short - a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (Jas. 4:14). This lesson closes with these admonitions from the apostle Paul: be wise, redeeming the time (Eph. 5:15-16). Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). Take the time right now to do so! There may not be another time!

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