AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH
November 10, 2013
A Presbyterian Church following the Bible
and the Lord Jesus Christ
without Compromise by Faith
Ecclesiastes Ch. 3 and 7
THE PORTENT OF TIMES AND THE PORTAL TO ETERNITY
How strong is Ecclesiastes' emphasis on time, and then getting beyond it to its author!
I THE TIMES
There is time. There are times.
To start, break, bend, twist, die, be born, rejoice, to hate, to make war, to speak, to savour, to continue, to cease:
for all this there is both time and a time.
There is an apt time; but more, there is an appropriate time; and indeed, there is a time of necessity if you are going to meet the needs of the case, as defined by God (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14); for divine commandments come from the timeless and bend all time to the tune of truth in the hearts, manners and ways of the faithful. These, they are to be faithful ALL THE TIME (I Cor. 4:1-5, Acts 20:20-27, and contrast with Acts 22:19!).
2 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TIMES
It is not only that the events have their place, whether with passion or compassion, fearless confrontation or patient continuance, but their placement has significance. The event of continuation of heart beat and pulse is a timely thing if life is to be sustained on this sinful earth; the significance however comes in what is done with the strength resulting. There is the underlying timeliness of what occurs, the overlying significance of its being done and the supervening place it has in the entire program, vision and commission. Ascribe strength to God, says Psalm 96, yes strength and glory.
Those who know the Lord will know that now is the time to USE the strength of the Lord, in serving Him; and never to act in one's own, at any time. There is some 'weakness' which is implicit rebellion, but acting in the Lord's strength MEANS having awareness simultaneously of one's own weakness, but also perceiving "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," (Philippians 4:13). Every day of one's l ife, there is time for that approach, for just as the love of the Lord is better than life, so the life of the Lord through His Spirit by His word is better than exaltation. Fruit ripens once; the Lord refreshes frequently, is available always (Psalm 145:17-19).
Woes happen often; unfaithfulness on God's part happens never. Inimitable, He is insuperable.
There is a time to listen and to rebut; to be patient and to condemn. And which you do, and when, has significance. If you hide from the reality of the subversion of children by an effectually atheist teaching squad in secular-conversion units called 'schools', there is a time to repent; and if you do not, there is a time to suffer, and the children with you. When the highly specialised Dr Sanford of Cornell University research in profound detail, writes concerning his findings, that there is a considerable NET degeneration of our genes, in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which being a law has applicability until proven wrong, then there is a time to wake up, even if previously asleep, and consider the death of the race, its worthiness for it and the burden to come in degenerative disease, which this race is already furthering in its own bluster and lack-lustre fraud and force, with considerable agility.
When this nation is close to so discarding the Almighty, reverence for whom is in line with the Preamble to the Constitution, that it actively ponders instituting a clearly contra-design thing to break the bounds of marriage with mere words, as if a careful injection is the same as an oral dose, for example, then the significance of "letting it go" or imagining that it does not matter shows not only that it is time to wake up, and place means of life well below the mischief TO life. It shows also that peril has become a professional gambling addiction, playing with peril about source and destiny, with knowledgeable ignorance and baseless irrationality, all of a piece, miseducation, sociological disturbance, junking of foundations both implicit in history and Constitution, and a sibilance of spiritual sedition as if it were liberity, just as happened in its own way in Russia and China. It is time to see the significance of these times.
The significance of laissez-faire in such a case is this: that you do not act, where able. If this nation as an event contrary to its time, should so act, then the significance is this, that God, the God of the Bible in whose name this Commonwealth was founded by the formally Protestant Britain, is mocked as is a teacher by cheeky students, a father by rancorous sons.
Do this, like Sodom and Gomorrah before (for this now goes far beyond mere liberty, but seeks to DEFINE marriage in terms hostile to that God, breaching His ruling out of such things as if to say reproductive marriage, the null option at that level and adultery are the same, in one boat called licence, for the one is like the other forbidden), and what then for the nation ? Is this to be merely human or does it ascend to reckless assertion against the God who placed the energy in matter, the laws and the forms of all things together with the energy, His own power to act and invent unlimited, so that they could not merely EXIST but do so while showing no ability to make THEMSELVES!
Do this, like Sodom and Gomorrah before (for this now goes far beyond mere liberty, but seeks to DEFINE marriage in terms hostile to that God, breaching His ruling out of such things as if to say reproductive marriage, the null option at that level and adultery are the same, in one boat called licence, for the one is like the other forbidden), and what then for the nation ? Is this to be merely human or does it ascend to reckless assertion against the God who placed the energy in matter, the laws and the forms of all things with the energy, the power to act and invent unlimited, so that they could not merely EXIST but show no ability to make THEMSELVES!
Making a pen or universe is not the same as watching or using either. If your pen makes other pens, well, look even then for the maker of such an object, for nothing is causeless (cf. Causes); but if it does not make pens, then simply see who make it, and check out the relevant skill levels intelligently.
Very well, it is like those in Jeremiah 44, who after the overthrow of Israel, asked for divine guidance, and not liking it, when it came, said this: We will do whatever comes out of our own mouths!
Being limp in the hands of the lawless, who invent what is not there, imagine what never shows itself and become vexatious to drown the voice of the majority about marriage, in the interests not of liberty but of creation of new standards: this is like presenting your neck to an assailant, being a pacifist while you are struck down and robbed. If you act and fail, there is honour. If you fail to act, however, there is an RSPV invitation to be treated as treacherous under assault, if not actively, then in needless acquiescence.
IF this land wanted a referendum on the point, and fairly asked, responded on matters at LAST put to a national vote, and the majority favoured it, then as a democracy, the nation would duly join the demasted, where no reverence for the Almighty God of creation remains, and inherit what is due to it. It would ask and be given. To acquiesce in anything less, without such a transmutation in formal approach, is to make democracy demagoguery, and political will an adventurer, irresponsibility a fashion model and deserts a fiction; but the matters are no fiction. It is will that then becomes a monarch.
NEITHER REASON NOR REFERENDUM ?
NOT to have a referendum, accordingly, or to seek one as here, is not a painless forfeiture of things past, but a needless bowing to a new god, the government, a new necessity, social swill, and a new destiny, consequent on signing and documenting the rebellion against God which has for so long become more and more obvious in the wayward works of selective, forcibly seductive education, and directive notions in parts of science which guess and avoid logic, as if the method had been dead and buried, and needed to be consulted only in odd times.
There is a time to vote, and a time to acquiesce, and a time not to, depending on the significance, direction and kind of the issue. This is a time to act. The same is true in the insidious and hideous misuse of child minds as gutters for the overflow of philosophic fancy (cf. Why not Believe the Lord's Christ ? Ch. 12, Department of Bible ... Vol. 1, Ch. 4).
3. THE PHASES AND POLITICS OF INTERNATIONAL TIMES
But this is merely one phase. What of the political, international phase of things ? The Bible with its customary poise and precision spoke in Daniel 2 and 7, of four great empires to come, at his time, that of Babylon being the first, the last being the Roman, which has had both the site of Rome, and that of the separated Eastern part in Constantinople, as also the Holy Roman Empire manifestation, and the Roman Catholic religious phase and phenomenon, as noted in Revelation 17-19, and indeed an expression in alliances of nations, in the Roman Empire style of territory, with a cited end time aggregation of ten kings or rulers.
Thus already there have been pointers enough. For over 30 years, there have been either ten nations or united bodies in the European conglomerates of unity, from the day of the Common Market to the EU, or else that number in the Western European Union, which till very recently was viewed by some as a military arm, for the union, or a strategic one for the rest. In 1992, Greece became accepted as the 10th member of the WEU.
This number has been applicable centrally since a short early contribution in 1970, to the array 1981-2012 (as disclosed in SMR pp. 930ff., 958) - from 1992 the WEU holding the ten parade in Europe in motion to 2012. Now new bondings are in view and under discussion, various workable divisions.
What then ? The continuation of the Roman Empire related body, as above, for the last 2000 years, with its ramifications, renewals and power, it fulfils prophecy OVER MILLENIA; moreover the statement in Daniel that it would be partly powerful and partly fragile, in view of 410 A.D. and Rome's fall as a city, and 1453 with that of Constantinople, have with much else, shown the strange combination of strength and fragility. The case has not been simple but its formations have been continuous. Even the demarcation of the 10 leaders as the end of the Age draws near, merely adorns it. The burning of Rome as in Revelation 18-19 in view of the ecclesiastical topic in Revelation, fits equally well, the Vatican for example not being large in today's terms.
Meanwhile, Israel is back as Christ foretold, in a further index to the nearness of the end of the Age (Luke 21:24). THIS fact is timely, and its significance as in Luke 21, is this, that the time for the return of Jesus Christ as Lord is near.
If one rejects the testable scientific and empirical evidence on all sides, both natural and supernatural, political and prophetic, and ignores the criteria of causality*1, then the significance of this use of time, is that such actions in themselves are an INDEX to unbelief, an ACUTE infection of a wandering imagination, and foretold in type (II Timothy 4, II Peter 2:1-3, 3:1-7, II Thessalonians 2:1-10).
It is time to see the significance of the times; and timely as always, but now the more impellingly so, to repent (a thing NOT desired, by the bulk of the peoples, as shown in Revelation 9:20). Nevertheless, some DO come home from the professional, political and prophetic outage (Revelation 6:9-11), and not before time.
4 THE SITE FOR ETERNITY
These are matters of time, that impelling topic in Ecclesiastes 3. In Ecclesiastes 7:29, the Lord gives this testimony, concerning significance and perspective.
"Truly, truly, this I have found,
that God made man upright,
but they have sought out many schemes";
and again in Ecclesiastes 3:11, He declares:
"He has made everything beautiful in its time;
He also has planted eternity in their heart,
without which man cannot find out the work that God does from beginning to end."
The eternity in the heart, the leaning, the learning, the constitutional capacity, the access and seeking for access to God, which is involved, what does it show ? It means that without finding out the meaning and base of all things in the Lord, there are results for self-stranded man. Not only then is man frustrated, unstable, excitable like a machine with the ignition left on in the presence of lawless kids with fitfully ungoverned impulses and desires, but also he is ignorant of his role, of what his TIME IS FOR!
He must fear God and keep His commands, with which point Solomon ends the book given, having seen the poignancy of death without hope, or meaning, and looking beyond and before. Only in God is man's significance found, man's handbook received, that test-rich Bible, only then is the inter-personal fellowship for which man is made, with God, achieved; and even that it is by grace through the mercy of the voluntary sacrifice of Christ on the Cross (Titus 2-3, Galatians 6:14, Romans 3:23-27).
Let us then have time for God, for it is timely; and failure to seek with all the heart is significant, as it would be if one consented to an operation to remove one's heart from active function. Awareness of eternity is a grand gift, and without it, man is as you see, led more and more tempestuously into a torment of untruth, callow callousness, pride, lust, passion, confusion and intemperance which kills millions almost as if it were putting on one's shoes. This is not cause for spending one's time amiss, but for finding the marvel of the One who made us with spirits which can consider, find, look, perceive in these areas, and seeing our own deficiencies, find and follow the grace of God in the face of Christ Jesus, worshipping Him in the Trinity, not only in this Age, but in that to come (Ephesians 1:21, Revelation 5:13).
Some things are abundantly simple; but their significance is simply phenomenal.
On this see the following:
DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY,
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST.