Romans 13:11B – 12 - The hour has 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. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
These are the “last days.” Every one of us lives in the “end times.” Whether or not Jesus returns while I’m writing this, or I fall over dead while writing this, or I live to be as old as Methuselah, I (we) are in the midst of the darkness of the last days that must and will give way to Light.
Therefore. Therefore, we must wake up. For we are all in the land of the walking dead (literally, before our regeneration) and all too often in the land of sleepwalkers after our regeneration.
Fallen, unregenerate man assumes that because God hasn’t brought down judgement upon him yet, God therefore won’t. What contempt. The confused worldling refuses to see this “inaction” of the King as supreme patience and thus rejects the call to repentance (Romans 2:4). Tragic.
Sadly, the heirs of the covenant don’t appear to do much better. We look as though we are in a slumber…or perhaps a stupor. And so Paul commands us to – Awaken! Arise! He declares, “salvation is nearer now than when we first believed,” and that “the night is nearly over; the day is almost here.” And everything is exposed in the light of day. That’s why Paul says in verse 13, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime…”
And so we must put aside the deeds of darkness. We must put off the old man. We must put to death the mind that is set on what the flesh desires (Romans 8:5ff). We must instead put on the armor of light for we are soldiers of the Light and we are at war (Ephesians 6:10ff). We must put on the armor of the King – his righteousness and salvation and mindset – for we now have the very mind of the King (1 Corinthians 2:16). We are called to be transformed by renewing our minds to the King’s standards (Romans 12:2), and by setting our minds on what his Spirit desires (Romans 8:5).
We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We must be on our guard out of loyalty to our King (Mathew 24:42-44; 25:12-13). If we would honor and glorify him then we must stand firm, remain vigilant and faithful to the end, whenever that end will be. This is how God has ordained that his Kingdom be advanced – by faithful, fruit-bearing subjects of the Crown. Of course, his subjects are impotent without the life-giving power of his Spirit coursing through their veins, but faithful they must be.
In Romans 9-11 Paul spoke at length on the sovereignty of this King we serve. Yet, Paul has no qualms about telling the believers at Rome to – WAKE UP! QUIT SINNING! OBEY CHRIST! LIVE! For the hour has come. It is almost day. May the church at Southside and beyond hear those same words today. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria,