I once heard the story about a grandfather clock which chimed every hour on the hour as such clocks are designed to do. One day the clock rang out thirteen times. Hearing that never heard before sound, someone in the house asked, “What time is it?” A little girl responded. “I don’t know, but it’s later than it’s ever been before.”
There is another aspect of the clock analogy, and that is that clocks wind down with the passing of time. Indeed all things tend to wind down as time passes on. Wood decays, metal rusts, food spoils, and yes, our bodies become an undeniable reality. These simple examples are stark reminders of a simply profound truth sprinkled throughout the pages of the Bible. Holy Scripture encourages us to not hold tightly to the temporary, but rather cling earnestly to the eternal.
Common logic will tell you that it is later than ever before. Each passing day verifies the fact. Time from both a chronological and theological perspective is addressed in the Bible. The birth of the church occurred during the Jewish festival of Pentecost, early in the first century. This was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy concerning what God would do in the last days. Now some two thousand years have elapsed, and it is later than it’s been before.
There is a tendency in the human nature to ignore this inconvenient truth we are considering. The Apostle Peter reminds us that, “… scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.” They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’ ” (II Peter 3:3-4 NLT)
Apparently believers also need a wake up call. To the Christians the Apostle Paul wrote, “This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11 NLT)