Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Paul doesn’t specialize on eschatology in the book of Romans. This book is dedicated to the issue of salvation and how to live it out. We must turn to other works by Paul to determine what his views on the end times are. It only stands to reason, though, that living in the light of Christ’s coming would come up at some point in Paul’s letter dedicated to living out the salvation that He has provided. That occurs in the passage above.
The imagery that Paul uses is one of a long, dark, evil night coming to an end. The day is just about to break, even though it is still dark outside. In light of the fact that it will soon be broad daylight out, those who have been living in the dark of night need to change in order to prepare for the day to break forth.
The evil of the night is explained in no uncertain terms in this passage. Paul lays out the evils of this age which we read about and hear about on a daily basis. Oh, did I mention that we participate in these evils as well? As much as we want to look at this passage and fill someone else’s name in the blank for those who commit these sins (Ephesians 2:3), it’s pretty clear from scripture that our name goes in that blank, I Corinthians 6:9-11.
The encouragement from Paul is that even though the night is still here and it is still dark out, we can begin living like it is daytime right now. Since Jesus has appeared and shown Himself to the world, we know that we are much closer to the daybreak now than before this occurred. In casting off the works of darkness and putting on the armor of light, we are preparing for the day to break before it even happens. In short, we begin living like it’s day out while the night still seems to dominate. We put on Jesus knowing that this darkness will soon be gone.
The evil of this world has not dissipated. The hearts of mankind remain unchanged in their sinfulness. But something is coming just around the corner: Daybreak. We are to shine our lights now while it is still dark out. We live according to the rules of daytime even while it’s still night, I Thessalonians 5:5-8. It’s like we are living in a future kingdom that will be established before the king actually arrives to establish it. It’s like we are living in the presence of the future (cf. Ladd).
Don’t let the darkness discourage you. It will be dark. But daybreak is coming, and quite soon. Be prepared by throwing off every evil work which is popular at night. Begin living like it’s day out right now. Jesus will be here present on the earth. Live like it now.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman