Point in Time
Introduction: The Bible presents time as being important. The Christian is told "redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5: 16). Familiarity with time is taught and enjoined (Rom. 13: 11). The Bible also contains instances of particular points in time being critical (I Pet. 1: 11, Gal. 4: 4). At a certain point in time, babes in Christ should become mature and able (skilled) to teach others (Heb. 5: 12-14). In this study, we shall endeavor to explore some specific points in time relative to some controversial subjects.
I. Death - point in time
A. There has always been fascination regarding death. This fascination does not only concern what happens after death, but the point in time death occurs. I have done extensive research on this subject from a scientific perspective and I was amazed at all the conflicting data seeking to medically establish the exact point in time death takes place. The Bible not only reveals to us what happens after death (future study), but the point in time when death becomes a reality.
a. "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also," James wrote (Jas. 2: 26). The language "the beggar died" and "the rich man also died" simply means their eternal spirit left their physical bodies (Lk. 16: 22).
II. Life - point in time
A. When does life begin, does it begin at conception, at a certain time in the stage of development after conception but before birth, or at birth?
a. Many contend life begins at birth (first natural breath of air). Hence, "abortion" is not murder. However, the Bible presents life being present before birth (Lk. 1: 41, Ps. 139: 16, Jere. 1: 5, Ps. 139: 13, 15).
b. The Bible does not speak of the embryonic state as lifeless, but as being a living entity (Ibid.) Exodus 21: 22-25 is a pertinent passage in establishing the point in time of life. I submit the language "and if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life" is ambiguous for a reason (mother or child). Since we cannot exclude from the language the aborted child, the language must be viewed as inclusive of both mother and/or aborted child. You see, if God had meant to limit the language to the mother, he would have done so. To precipitate the death of the aborting mother or the aborted child necessitated capital punishment because such an act was considered murder (vss. 23, 24, 20: 13).
c. The only reasonable conclusion, then, is life begins before birth and at the point of conception (if not at conception, where do you demarcate in the developmental progression?).
III. Salvation - point in time
A. Most religionists would agree salvation is available and is complete, but at what point in time does it become a reality?
B. Most of denominationalism insists salvation occurs at the point in time when the lost believes (isolated act). Hence, the famous expression "salvation is by grace only, Christ only, and faith only."
a. Of course, if this is true the demons are saved because they believe (Jas. 2: 19). "The demons believe, but they do not have saving faith," the objection states. What is saving faith? Saving faith is trust in God which manifests itself in implicit obedience (Jas. 2: 19-26 Heb. 11).
C. Many verses reveal the point in time of initial salvation as being at the time of water baptism which is preceded by belief, repentance, and confession of Jesus' deity (Acts 2: 36, 38, 8: 37, 2: 38).
a. It is at the point in time of baptism that one is buried with Christ, puts on Christ, and the old man is put to death and the new man arises from the watery grave to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6, Gal. 3: 26, 27, see "Salvation" home page button).
IV. The Kingdom - point in time
A. Notice Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Dan. 2: 31-45). There were four world kingdoms (Babylonian, 600 BC until 536 BC, Dan. 2: 32; Medo-Persian, 536 BC until 360 BC, 2: 32; Macedonia, 360 BC until 323 BC, 2: 32; and Roman, became a world power in 30 BC, 2: 33).
a. It was to be "in the days of these kings..." (vs. 44, 43, 33, the Roman Empire). The Kingdom was established in the days of the Roman Empire in Acts 2, AD 30. (Cp. Matt. 3: 2, 16: 18, 19; Col. 1: 13.)
Conclusion: We have seen that the Bible does recognize time and often places importance on a particular time. In the forgoing matters, time does matter!