What is your most valuable possession or commodity?  Many people will say that their house is their most valuable possession while others will indicate that their savings or investment accounts are the things that they value.  There are others who will state that other possessions such as furniture, collections, sports equipment or clothing are the assets that give their lives significance.  Is it true that assets attribute importance to our being?  Are assets the things that really are valuable in each life or is it something else?

The Christian would and should probably say that Jesus Christ is the most important aspect of his life but for the sake of this article, we are exploring the idea of possession of assets or things that may be expended.  Associated with the idea of items that can be converted into something of value is the concept of time. 

We must first ask ourselves, “What is time?”  Time is nothing more than a measuring rod that we use to mark the passage of existence.  Time was created as a tool for man.  It began with creation.

Genesis 1:1

** New International Version

King James Version

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.


The beginning marked the commencement of time as we know it.  Before the beginning there was no time, i.e. time was meaningless.  If God exists, as many suppose, outside of time, then time has no meaning for Him.  That being the case, it may be surmised that past, present and future is all the same to Him.  He can see it all because it is nothing more than just a picture if you will, a canvas on which He paints eternity, allegorically speaking.

For us, time is a commodity that can be measured and expended.  It can be converted into something of value and in the lives of most people, it is converted into value.  We measure time by its length and by its value.  It is an asset that in many companies is considered to be the company’s most valuable asset because it is tied to the employees of that organization.  It can be lost or squandered; hence, we give meaning to the expression, “What a waste of time.” 

The argument can also be made that time is priceless, i.e. beyond measure.  Most people would trade everything they have at the end of their lives just to extend their time a bit longer.  We invest untold billions on life-saving and life-extending measures just to buy more time.  This concept of time being priceless could be illustrated by the credit card commercial which goes through a listing of possessions or events ascribing value to each one until you reach the end when ultimately something is designated as being priceless.  Time well spent would fall into that category.

Time is also the only possession in a person’s life that is truly finite.  There are only so many minutes in a person’s life and those minutes cannot be replaced once expended.  Unlike other assets or possessions of life, the time allotted to you cannot be insured or replaced.  As soon as it happens or is realized, it is gone.

As a fan of the old black and white series, “The Twilight Zone” with Rod Serling, I particularly enjoyed the episode which depicted a young man trading part of his life to an aged, wealthy individual for money.  He discovered that he could continue to parlay life and money thereby lengthening his existence and increasing his net worth.  The episode concluded when he traded money for moral character (which he had previously lacked) in order to win the heart of a woman he loved and the consent of her father.  The only problem was that he had traded his money with the father for the father’s moral character.  The father ended up killing his daughter’s suitor, i.e. the main character, and the suitor was unable to garner additional time for his life even though he desperately tried at the end.  Ultimately, the main character’s time on earth was cut short because of his greed.  He found out that his time on earth had been squandered and that you could not put a price on that time.

Solomon, the son of David and king of Israel, understood and cited by many to be the wisest man who ever lived, understood the concept of time.  He wrote about time and tried to communicate the role and importance of time in life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

** New International Version

King James Version

1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  


2 a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.


3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:


2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


Solomon saw that there was a time for all of man’s experiences on this earth.  Everything that a man would do had its time under heaven.  Solomon did not advocate killing his fellow man nor did he advocate hating another; however, he recognized that these activities took place as part of man’s activities and that there was a time for each of them.

Jesus also spoke about the concept of time and the importance of our time on earth.  When He spoke of time, it was always in a spiritual context and in many instances either directly or indirectly invoked images of consequences for time squandered.  Perhaps Jesus Christ spoke in this manner because He knew that His time on earth was also limited and that every moment spent was precious.

At the very beginning of His earthly ministry and immediately prior to the calling of His disciples, Jesus spoke about time and stressed the importance of a changed lifestyle through repentance.  The reason – the kingdom of heaven was imminent.

Matthew 4:17

** New International Version

King James Version

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."



17From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Similarly, He spoke about the kingdom of God and the way to salvation.  When speaking on this topic, He invoked a sense of urgency.  That urgency was predicated upon time.

Mark 1:15

** New International Version

King James Version

15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"


15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.


The King James translation of this verse is particularly interesting as it conveys the fact that time (and its accompanying events) have been completed or “fulfilled.”  The kingdom of God evidenced by the presence of Jesus Christ upon earth was there, in the here and now.  It was a time for sinners to repent or turn away and believe in the gospel, i.e. the gift of salvation through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.  This was the good news preached to the masses.  The urgency implied was that with the completion of time, there was no guarantee of additional time for one to come to belief.  That statement was made almost two thousand years ago and is still true today:  the kingdom is still at hand and it is still necessary for sinners to come to Christ through repentance and belief.

Later, when confronting demon possession, Jesus did not speak of time Himself but instead encountered spiritual beings who were very well aware of their time and therefore, the extent of their power and influence.  It is interesting to note that the demons or devils somehow understood that their time was limited and that there would be a time when Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would invoke His righteous judgment and consign them to eternal condemnation.

Matthew 8:28-29

** New International Version

King James Version

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 "What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"


28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?


Jesus also recognized and spoke of the end of times when there would be a gathering, if you will, of the elect and also of the lost.  The first part of this gathering concerned the rapture of the church or body of believers.  His disciples wanted to know when this event would take place and Christ, speaking as the Son of Man, informed them that:


Mark 13:32-33

** New International Version

King James Version

32 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.


32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.


At that time even Jesus did not know when time would end for the church age.  This was a time known only by the Father in heaven and had not been disclosed to anyone.  However, Jesus believed that the end could very well be looming on the horizon and if that were the case, His disciples needed to be alert, to watch and to pray. 

Today, we are in this same position as the believers of two millennia ago.  We also do not know the day nor the hour but the end of time has become a frequent topic in the media.  People now speculate on whether God is trying to get our attention with frequent tragedies throughout the world or whether it is nearing the end of time.  Believers and unbelievers alike are looking to the heavens wondering if God is coming.  Are these the “birth pains” spoken of in the New Testament?  Are we witnessing the beginnings of these pains?  Are we in the midst of the seasons that Christ told us we should recognize?  Many believe that we are and that the end is about to happen.

As for me, I do not know the day nor the hour but this I know:  Jesus Christ said that the kingdom of heaven was near and He urged us to be alert.  We are now two thousand years closer to that time and every minute that ticks by propels us closer to the rapture of the church and the final judgment of God.

Finally, Jesus spoke of a terrible time to come, a time worse than the trials and difficulties to be experienced by mankind during the Tribulation period.  He spoke of the end of time when God’s righteous judgment would be demonstrated for all of creation.  That time would be one of great joy for God’s children but it would be a time of horrendous anguish for those who had refused Him.  It would be a time of “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  It would be a time of harvest.

Matthew 13:30

** New International Version

King James Version

30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"


30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.


At the end of time and commencing with eternity when time shall have no more meaning, the believers in Christ will be gathered together to be brought into the storehouse; however, the tares or weeds shall be separated and bound together to be thrown into the flames.  These represent those who refused the invitation to repent and believe.  Their destiny is foretold and it is eternal.

God’s gift of time is beyond measure.  It is truly priceless and there will be a day when we will be asked to account for our time spent on this earth.  When that day comes, how will you account for the time allotted to you?  Will you have spent your time on eternal matters, on things that rust does not corrupt and moth does not destroy?  Or will you have spent your time on the things of this world that in the end were just things? 

A friend told me this week that on that day you will either look up into the face of the Savior or you will look down wishing that He hadn’t come just then.  What will you do at the end of your time?  Will you be looking up or will you be looking down?  If you want to be looking up, now is the time. 


** A modern language quote is provided for readability together with the accompanying KJV version which is believed by many to be a more accurate representation of the original scripture.

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