What IS time?
In this world, we see Time as Past, Present, Future, but is that a “manufactured” system that’s built only into the physical universe but not the larger, spiritual Reality? Did the Big Bang start our clock ticking?
Is there a Yesterday and Today in heaven?
“With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
The Bible seems to indicate that believers’ names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world.
Did God mark us as His before He even created the universe?
The flip side of the Time question is Revelation 6:9, where we see souls who’d been killed for their faith, huddled under an altar. “How long, Sovereign Lord, before we’re avenged?” The answer: “Hang in there, guys! More martyrs still to come. Vengeance is Mine! It. Will. Happen!” This seems to indicate Time, though perhaps from an earthly perspective.
Is Time simply a matrix, ushering us into a better system? Is life here only a prelude to what’s to come—new bodies in an awesome, never-ending, holy Present?
Which brings up the subject of death—or at least in Time as we know it.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day. (Isaac Watts)
A.W. Tozer has this to say:
“The days of the years of our lives are few, and swifter than a weaver’s shuttle. Life is a short and fevered rehearsal for a concert we cannot stay to give…. How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. Eternal years lie in His heart. For Him, time does not pass; it remains, and those who are in Christ share with him all the riches of limitless time and endless years.”
Here’s my own, made-up theory: Everyone throughout history arrives at the throne at the very same instant, in heaven’s way of keeping time—sheep go to the right in welcome, goats go left for judgment.
Then let the worship begin!
What are your “timely” thoughts ? Please comment below, or email email@example.com
Your posting awakened the scientist in me. Newtonian physics stood the test of time (no pun intended) for centuries. Newton’s three laws were absolute truth, tested over and over again. Only a fool would dare question them but then in the early twentieth century this guy with a fuzzy, unkempt hairdo came along and blew the status quo to smithereens. Many distinguished physicists were outraged at this disruption to settled science and his crazy theories were labeled “Jewish” physics. It did not take very long however for Einstein’s theory to prove it’s worth, especially when one of the greatest experiments in human history was carried out, the measurement during a total eclipse of the sun in 1919 that showed gravity bends light waves. Not only did Einstein predict this phenomenon but he predicted exactly how much light waves were bent. Much more unsettling however to traditional physicists was the notion that time is not a fixed parameter. As velocities approach the speed of light time slows down and consequently all kinds of weird things will happen if man ever gets to travel at warp speed. Anyway, in my mind this is just another episode in human arrogance. Einstein was a true scientist who begged the scientific community to falsify his theories. That way if they did all in their power to prove him wrong and failed, the theory would have been thoroughly tested and thus supported. Compare that to politician Al Gore who insists that global warming is settled science and the debate is over.
Sorry, I don’t have time to write a thoughtful comment like Richard’s.
But this I wonder:
How can I prioritize my time, if I don’t know what time is?
Why am I in a rush?
The issues behind time are intriguing too.
To the LORD, God, the Almighty, Time is a vast, serene, boundaryless lake . To me, time is a rushing stream. No way for me to compare, I’m finite, He’s infinite. Think of God as the Being for which everywhen is now.
I love the new word, John–EVERYWHEN. A great concept. Thanks!
Time is etched into our bones and brains at the beginning of our embryonic journey, first by our mother’s heart beat and then by our own. When I try to think about eternity, concepts bump into each other, questions climb up the walls and I end up disconcerted and unanswered. I have to admit sometimes thinking of living forever is so repellent only remembering I’ll be with the Lord saves me from saying, No, no! Don’t make me! Other times I think, I’ll have forever to learn everything I ever wanted to learn! Assuming, of course, that everything I wanted to learn is relevant in heaven. What does eternity mean? How can we tell when we’re anchored right down to our mitochondria in time? Maybe the best we can do is say eternity, whatever that means, is being in God’s presence.
AMEN, Debby! I don’t think Time itself will be relevant in heaven. Being surrounded by pure love will be more than enough to keep us totally “busy,” if you can even be busy outside of Time, or even remember the concept of “busy.” Thanks for the good comment!.
Wow, interesting topic. I have 3 thoughts: time flies, chronos vs kairos, and the ownership of time.
I have often said, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” and I usually mean it sarcastically when I am in an unpleasantly long wait or situation. But time truly does fly when I am lost in a creative project, daydreaming, or having stimulating conversations with friends.
The Greeks differentiate between chronos and kairos time. Chronos is chronological, sequential, quantitative, whereas kairos describes a proper, opportune time for action and is qualitative and of a permanent nature. (In a sermon last December, Kris Vallotton said that God is moving at a speed that is creating kairos conditions/moments).
Finally, we own the present and the future, but God owns the past! The past was purchased and covered in the blood of Jesus, and we have NO legal right to it. It is out of our reach except as a testimony of success or breakthrough! (from Bill Johnson sermon, Easter 2020).
Thanks, Ellie. Love, Jeanne ♥️
I’m learning stuff through all these comments. I did not know about chronos and kairos, at least enough to define either. Thanks much for helping us all to think more deeply.
May I quote from Jeff Benner, who has studied Hebrew for many years? He wrote:
“The Hebrew word olam עולם means in the far distance. When looking off in the far distance it is difficult to make out any details and what is beyond that horizon cannot be seen. This concept is the olam. The word olam is also used for time for the distant past or the distant future as a time that is difficult to know or perceive. This word is frequently translated as eternity or forever but in the English language it is misunderstood to mean a continual span of time that never ends. In the Hebrew mind it is simply what is at or beyond the horizon, a very distant time. A common phrase in the Hebrew is “l’olam va’ed” and is usually translated as “forever and ever” but in the Hebrew it means “to the distant horizon and again” meaning “a very distant time and even further” and is used to express the idea of a “very ancient” or “future time.”
Time and Space – I’m still trying to wrap my finite mind around these concepts.
Years ago I was whining to God about a complicated task I had taken on at my Bible study. I was organizing and assembling many little pieces of different crafts for about 50 children, making samples of each craft, shopping and organizing, etc.
As I complained about this time-consuming process, I heard the Lord suggest that if I put him first, things would go a lot easier. I procrastinated a while longer until I heard him say, “Poor Sue. I went to the cross for you and now I’m asking you to get out of bed and put 10 Q-tips in a baggie. Do you think you could do that for me?” Haha!
The Lord has been so patient with me and he always seems to use humor to break down my defenses. Now, I check in with him every morning to see how he has rearranged my priorities! It seems to work out very well.
Love you Ellie! Sue
Hey Ellie, I share your theory. I have thought for years that since God lives outside of time, it makes sense that we would all get there at the same time. I can’t explain it but I do think it is true. But even if it is not, God’s in control and I do not need to be concerned. Take care. Love you, Kathy