Romans 13:11 Index
"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."

"And that . . . "

  • Literally, "and this." The expression recalls the preceding injunction to owe nothing but love, which is itself the summary of the Christian duties prescribed in (Romans 12; Romans13). As an urgent motive for the fulfillment of these duties, Paul now appeals to what has always been one of the strongest incentives to Christian living - the belief in the nearness of the second coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 7:29; Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 10:37; 1 Peter 4:7). (6BC 629)

" . . . time . . . "

  • Greek kairos.
  • This term does not apply to time in general but to a definite, measured, or fixed time, or a critical period or season (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 7:29; Revelation 1:3) The believers in Rome could not but be aware of the critical time in which they lived, hence Paul urges them to shake off all lukewarmness and indolence, to put a stop to self-indulgence, and to put "on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14). (6BC 629)

" . . . now it is high time . . . "

" . . . to awake . . . "

  • Literally, "for us to awake." (6BC 629)
  • The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God's people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition and worship they know not what.
    • I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they knew not their great ignorance. And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe; but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. Certain it is that there has been among us a departure from the living God and a turning to men, putting human in place of divine wisdom.
    • God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold. God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God so that when the testing time shall come and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear. (5T 707-708)

" . . . out of sleep . . . "

  • The preparation needed for the great day of God demands of Christians a wakeful vigilance. Compare the parable of the Ten Virgins, who "all slumbered and slept" (Matthew 25:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:6). (6BC 629)

" . . . salvation nearer . . . "

  • By "salvation" Paul evidently means the coming of Christ in power and glory, and all that he has already described as taking place at that time: "the manifestation of the sons of God" (Romans 8:19), "the redemption of our body" (Romans 8:23), and the deliverance of nature "from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21). (6BC 629)
  • The coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. Every report of calamity by sea or land is a testimony to the fact that the end of all things is at hand. Wars and rumors of wars declare it. Is there a Christian whose pulse does not beat with quickened action as he anticipates the great events opening before us?
    • The Lord is coming. We hear the footsteps of an approaching God, as He comes to punish the world for its iniquity. We are to prepare the way for Him by acting our part in getting a people ready for that great day. (The Review and Herald article "Preparing for Christ's Return," November 12, 1914)
  • Living power must attend the message of Christ's second appearing. We must not rest until we see many souls converted to the blessed hope of the Lord's return. In the days of the apostles the message that they bore wrought a real work, turning souls from idols to serve the living God. The work to be done today is just as real, and the truth is just as much truth; only we are to give the message with as much more earnestness as the coming of the Lord is nearer. The message for this time is positive, simple, and of the deepest importance. We must act like men and women who believe it. Waiting, watching, working, praying, warning the world—this is our work....
    • All heaven is astir, engaged in preparing for the day of God's vengeance, the day of Zion's deliverance. The time of tarrying is almost ended. The pilgrims and strangers who have so long been seeking a better country are almost home. I feel as if I must cry aloud, Homeward bound! Rapidly we are nearing the time when Christ will come to gather His redeemed to Himself. (The Review and Herald article "The Blessed Hope," November 13, 1913)
  • The preaching of the gospel is God's chosen agency for the salvation of souls. But our first work should be to bring our own hearts into harmony with God, and then we are prepared to labor for others. In former days there was great searching of heart among our earnest workers. They counseled together and united in humble, fervent prayer for divine guidance. There has been a decline in the true missionary spirit among ministers and teachers. Yet Christ's coming is nearer than when we believed. Every passing day leaves us one less to proclaim the message of warning to the world. Would that there were today more earnest intercession with God, greater humility, greater purity, and greater faith. (5T 87-88)
  • As I hear of the terrible calamities that from week to week are taking place, I ask myself: What do these things mean? The most awful disasters are following one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces, but in them God's purpose may be read. They are one of the means by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.
    • The coming of Christ is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. The judgments of God are in the land. They speak in solemn warning, saying: “Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).
    • But there are many, many in our churches who know little of the real meaning of the truth for this time. I appeal to them not to disregard the fulfilling of the signs of the times, which says so plainly that the end is near. Oh, how many who have not sought their souls’ salvation will soon make the bitter lamentation: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved”! (Jeremiah 8:20).
    • We are living in the closing scenes of this earth's history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time—not a moment—to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works: “My Lord delayeth His coming” (Matthew 24:48). Let the message of Christ's soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation, for we little know what is before us. Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields to tell the unconcerned and indifferent to seek the Lord while He may be found. The workers will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the forgotten truths of the Bible. They will find those who will accept the truth and will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ.
    • The Lord is soon to come, and we must be prepared to meet Him in peace. Let us be determined to do all in our power to impart light to those around us. We are not to be sad, but cheerful, and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us. He is soon coming, and we must be ready and waiting for His appearing. Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim. If we can but see the King in His beauty we shall be forever blessed. I feel as if I must cry aloud: “Homeward bound!” We are nearing the time when Christ will come in power and great glory to take His ransomed ones to their eternal home.
    • And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).
    • Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. (Isaiah 62:10). Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him (Isiah 62:11). And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken” (Isaiah 62:12).
    • In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with; but let us not forget that the three great powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His promises to pass. He will gather from the world a people who will serve Him in righteousness.
    • ***** “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3.
    • Long have we waited for our Saviour's return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.
    • “The light of the knowledge
      of the glory of God in the
      face of Jesus Christ.”
      2 Corinthians 4:6. (8T 253-255) *****

" . . . we believed . . . "

  • That is, we first believed. The tense of this verb in the Greek points back to the first acceptance of the Christian faith (Acts 19:2; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 15:2). The constant expectation of the coming of the Lord is the attitude of mind that Christ Himself enjoined in His repeated warnings (Matthew 24). This expectation had from the first been qualified by the caution, "of that day and hour knoweth no man" (Matthew 24:36), and Paul was not unmindful of this caution (1 Thessalonians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:2). Nevertheless, his anticipation of that great day was none the less vivid (1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Corinthians 15:52). Other New Testament writers shared the same mood (1 Peter 4:7; 2 Peter 3; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 22:12; Revelation 22:20; Ev 695; AA 265). (6BC 629)
  • The fact that time has continued longer than was expected does not mean that the word of God had failed. There is a work to be done and there are conditions to be met before Christ can come. In the meantime, for the individual believer, a continuing and vital sense of the shortness of time and the imminence of the return of Christ is an indispensable motivation to complete the necessary work and meet the required conditions. For it remains ever true that for those who sleep in lukewarm self-indulgence the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, and "they shall not escape" (1 Thessalonians 5:3). (6BC 629)
    • Deferred in Mercy:
      • The long night of gloom is trying, but the morning is deferred in mercy, because if the Master should come, so many would be found unready. God's unwillingness to have His people perish, has been the reason of so long delay. (2T 194)
    • The Work Might Have Been Done:
      • Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving to the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God. (6T 450)
      • I know that if the people of God had preserved a living connection with Him, if they had obeyed His Word, they would today be in the heavenly Canaan. (The General Conference Bulletin, March 30, 1903)
    • Satan Has Stolen a March on Us:
      • If every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us. (9T 29)
    • No Failure of God's Promises:
      • The angels of God in their messages to men represent time as very short. Thus it has always been presented to me. It is true that time has continued longer than we expected in the early days of this message. Our Saviour did not appear as soon as we hoped. But has the Word of the Lord failed? Never! It should be remembered that the promises and the threatenings of God are alike conditional.
      • God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth. The third angel's message was to be given, the minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people. The Sabbath reform was to be carried forward. The breach in the law of God must be made up. The message must be proclaimed with a loud voice, that all the inhabitants of earth might receive the warning. The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming.
      • Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward. But in the period of doubt and uncertainty that followed the disappointment, many of the advent believers yielded their faith.... Thus the work was hindered, and the world was left in darkness. Had the whole Adventist body united upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, how widely different would have been our history!
      • It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in “because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19). Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them.
      • For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years. (Manuscript 4, 1883).
    • Charge It Not to God:
      • We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel; but for Christ's sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequence of their own wrong course of action. (Ellen G. White, Letter 184, 1901)
    • We May Hasten the Day:
      • By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord's return. (DA 633)
      • It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come togather the precious grain. (8T 22-23)
    • When the Message Is Finished:
      • It [the coming of the Lord] will not tarry past the time that the message is borne to all nations, tongues, and peoples. Shall we who claim to be students of prophecy forget that God's forbearance to the wicked is a part of the vast and merciful plan by which He is seeking to compass the salvation of souls? (The Review and Herald article "A Message for Today," June 18, 1901)
  • We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life. When the message of truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed. How often was the voice of intercession heard in the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard, or the grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer, two or three together claiming the promise; often the sound of weeping was heard and then the voice of thanksgiving and the song of praise. Now the day of God is nearer than when we first believed, and we should be more earnest, more zealous, and fervent than in those early days. Our perils are greater now than then. Souls are more hardened. We need now to be imbued with the spirit of Christ, and we should not rest until we receive it. (5T 161-162)