Consider for a moment Ephesians 5:16, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” How do we read this passage? The apostle Paul was calling the Ephesian Christians into action because “the days are evil”. Many believe this to mean that we are to use our time wisely because the days are short. By saying, “the days are evil,” Paul was communicating a sense of urgency. You might be asking the question, “Why so serious, Paul?” The answer is simple: because of evil’s persuasiveness and the fact that our days are full of trouble and difficulty.
Isn’t there a blessing to us somewhere in all of this? Absolutely! Evil days are days where we have ample opportunity to that which is good in the sight of God. We see how culture and society are become much more evil. Therefore, the opportunity to do God’s work increases by the year. We will have more opportunities to preach the gospel and bring someone to Christ.
When Paul was preaching on Mars’ Hill he said in Acts 17:26-27, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.” The story of Jesus spans time and history is the story of providing salvation for a world lost in sin and pointing people to the cross of Christ. What is involved in that history is the scheme of redemption along with the gospel plan of salvation. Even the forces of evil are used in such a way that the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 37:20, “Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD, even thou only.”
We see how God is holding back His judgment for just a while longer, allowing evil tyrants to have their time in the spotlight, upsetting the lives of people, giving them problems that they can’t fully comprehend nor understand.
Evil can and does bring pain, but God has a great mind to bring what is good and pure out of evil. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God works in “all things” – not just isolated incidents – for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill to make us happy. This promise is claimed only by those who love God, obey Him, and called according to His purpose.
Therefore, we are not to be afraid of those “evil times”. They are times of unparalleled opportunity. That’s why we must use our time wisely. Remember that opportunities come from God changing our difficulties.
May God bless you and give you peace,
Russ Vickers is the minister of the Middle Fayette Church of Christ, Fayetteville, Ga. The church building is located in the Glynn-Hood Plaza at 372 North Glynn St. across the road from La Hacienda Restaurant. They invite you come and visit them on Sunday for Bible study at 9:00 a.m. and worship at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday evening Bible Study at 7:00 p.m. They also offer a free of charge DVD based Bible Study at their church building. Just call to make an appointment. Visit them on the web at www.mfcoc.org for the plan of salvation and other information.