Keeping Watch for Jesus’ Return

"Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame" (1 Corinthians 15:34).

January 27, 2022

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."

Romans 13:11

“And that, knowing the time.”
Believers should have a good value of time (“knowing the season”).  We understand that time is valuable and fleeting.  We know why God has given us time; He made time for humans, for He is not bound by it.  And we know that time is rapidly coming to an end (this season is ending soon); we are in “the last days.”  We are fortunate in that we live in “the day of grace,” during the time of “the gospel,” and we have “the light” and “the truth.”


“That now it is high time to awake out of sleep.”
These days in which we live are not the appropriate time for believers to be asleep.  These times are dangerous, and we need to have our full attention on what is going on around us.  If a believer has been sleeping, it’s now time for them to wake up!  Paul said it’s “high time.”

“literally, “the hour has already come” [1] (JFB).

“It is high time to awake out of sleep.”

“[The sleep]—of stupid, fatal indifference to eternal things” [2] (JFB).

“Indicates awareness of God and sensitivity to His concerns…” [3] (FSB).

As Paul was writing to the Romans, he was not speaking in platitudes about time in general.  He wrote about the end time when the Lord Jesus Christ will return for believers.  This is not a time to be sleeping but for believers to watch vigilantly for Him.  This idea of believers being awake and watchful is expected behavior in the New Testament.

“Yes, everything is made clear by the light.  This is why we say, “Wake up, you who are sleeping!  Rise from death, and Christ will shine on you” [4] (Ephesians 5:14, HSB).

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

“Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).


“For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
What a glorious thought!  Dear believers, take heart, the Day of Christ’s second coming, when the process of our salvation will be completed, is close!

“This need for alertness is because our salvation (ultimate or final salvation realized at the return of the Savior;… Romans 8:23; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:5) is nearer now than when we first believed (… James 5:8).  Each passing day in the faith brings final salvation and deliverance closer” [5] (BKC).

Wake up, Christians!

“Christians live between the ages.  The old age is passing, and the new is dawning.  We long for the new age to fully come, and we recognize that our salvation will soon be completed.  We have been “rescued … from the domain of darkness Colossians 1:13) and from the night of sin into a new realm of light.  We need to wake up from spiritual lethargy” [6] (CSB).


Quote:  “It is time to get ready to meet Christ.  The darkness of this world and its ways are not for us.  Wake up!  Live in the light of His coming!” [7] (TBG).




[1] JFB, Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997).  Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 254).  Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[2] JFB, ibid.
[3] FSB, Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., Whitehead, M. M., Grigoni, M. R., & Bomar, D. (2012, 2016).  Faithlife Study Bible (Ro 13:11–12).  Lexham Press.
[4] HSB is the Harvest Study Bible from Harvest Ministries in Guam.
[5] BKC, ibid.  The emphasis is theirs.
[6] CSB, Patterson, P. (2017).  Salvation in the Old Testament.  In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1802).  Holman Bible Publishers.  The emphasis is theirs.
[7] TBG, Knowles, A. (2001).  The Bible guide (1st Augsburg books ed., p. 573).  Augsburg.