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Time in the Bible

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever, Ezekiel 37:25. How long is for ever? Well, God said this; Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers, Jeremiah 33:20,21.

As long as there is an earth, there will be seasons. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease, Genesis 8:22. Will these things continue on the new earth? Yes they will. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD, Isaiah 66:22,23. Time will be measured in eternity.

What is time? The Oxford English Dictionary puts it succinctly; ...the interval between two successive events. We measure our time in solar years based on how long it takes the sun to be back in the exact same position it was a year earlier. We measure months based on the rotation of the moon. We think in terms of seasons. Will this ever end? No. There will always be events and there will always be measurable intervals between those events.

This probably seems obvious to most, but increasingly I am hearing preachers claim that time itself will vanish in eternity. They get this from Revelation 10:6, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer. If that was the only verse in the Bible there would two ways to look at it. Either time itself is being banished, or a deadline has been reached such as when a teacher proctoring a test might say, "there is no more time."

Incredibly, despite the fact there there are simply no other verses in the Bible which suggest that time itself will be gone, and that God will no longer measure the intervals between events; and despite the countless verses throughout the Word of God that promise to keep measuring time, preachers seem to find a delight in a Twilight Zone type of eternity wherein we live in some celestial bliss in which time does not exist.

God promises two types of life in the Bible. He promises "everlasting life" and he promises "eternal life". That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life, John 3:15. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3:16. "Eternal" is something that has no beginning and has no end. God is eternal. He promises his eternal life to repentant sinners. He also promises everlasting life. "Everlasting" is something that had a distinct beginning but will never end.

A person's life begins with a birth. It begins at a specific point in time. With the salvation of God that life will never end, hence it is called "everlasting life". God also gives us something greater. He reaches into his own bosom and gives us his own life, that is "eternal life". Eternal life can never be measured from beginning to end because it has no beginning and it has no end. There is an immeasurable time span before God ever created the earth, and there is an immeasurable time span after the creation of the earth. Nevertheless, intervals of that timespan can be measured. There will be events happening in eternity and the span of time in between those events will be measurable. Even in eternity, the events that happen will be divided by time, but the very nature of eternity demands that time itself will never end.

From the first book of the Bible onward, the Lord has warned that he would not suffer mankind's rebellion forever. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, Genesis 6:3. Those who choose to remain in sin will find the patience and longsuffering of God at an end. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still, Revelation 22:10,11.

The verse following the vow of the angel that "time should be no more", tells us that, "the mystery of God shall be finished", Revelation 10:7. There is no more time on earth for the machinations of men. God is blowing the whistle at time when he, and only he knows. Men conspiring in back rooms to overthrow nations, leaders exulting in their power, nations rising up against nations and men rejecting the overtures of God will all find the great rug of time pulled out from under them. The referee will blow the whistle. The great Baltimore Colts quarterback, Johnny Unitas once said that, "he never lost a game, he just ran out of time." Time shall be no more Johnny, you lost.

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