Revelation 1:3—God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.
John started writing Revelation in the first century A.D—but one of the first things he says is that “the time is near.” It’s been about 2,000 years since those words were first written. How could they be true?
If I relied only on my human intelligence and understanding, I might stop reading here because I know that 2,000 years isn’t “near.” Or, I can let myself be open-minded enough to consider these words from God’s viewpoint.
The Bible reveals that time and eternity are different than we think. Psalm 90:4 says, “For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.” God has a different definition of time than we do. And 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, “…A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
That shows just how full of grace God is. We are messed-up—we make mistakes all the time. But God is giving us plenty of time to listen to what He has told us and come to Him. We are all eternal beings, and we will live for all eternity either with or without God. He wants everyone to live with Him, but gives us the choice to listen to Him or go our own way.
The enemy wants us to believe that we don’t have enough time. He loves playing with our minds, making us believe that the time we have left isn’t long enough to bother changing. But the years we spend here on Earth are nothing compared to eternity. When we focus too much on the present, we risk losing sight of what will matter for eternity.
Don’t live in fear of time getting shorter and shorter; God intends for us to live our lives full of blessed hope! But that won’t happen unless we focus on the long-term rather than the short-term. With an eternal view in mind, we can endure the hardships we will face in this short life, and look forward to the magnitude of eternity with God.