Does God Wear a Watch?

2 Peter 3:8- 15

December 1, 2019

What does it mean when the preacher takes off his watch and lays it on top of the pulpit before his sermon? Usually nothing. 

Time is relative. We never seem more aware of it than when we are in church. I’m aware of it because I know you are aware of it. If I can’t say it before noon, I know you aren’t likely to hear it. 

Time is relative. How often do you look at your watch when you attend a ball game? Not one time. You watch the game clock but never your watch. You are there for the experience, and time is of no essence.

The truth is, if the message is good, if the worship experience is a good one, the preacher will get to the end of the message you’ll realize you were so engaged that you lost track of time.

Or, as some of you say, “Preacher, the message was so good today, I didn’t go to sleep.”

So, it is a good thing or a bad thing to lose track of time? 

Teenagers are out together on a date. They are caught up in an evening of fun, and the enjoyment of one another’s company. They are not into anything sinful; they are simply having fun, and enjoying each other’s company.  But they lose track of time and one of them says, “Oh, no, look at the time; it’s 12:30 A.M! I’m already 30 minutes past curfew.  My parents will ground me for a month.”  They lost track of time. That’s a bad thing!

It wasn’t that they did anything deliberately wrong, but on the other end of this are anxious parents imagining all kinds of possible scenarios: a wrecked car or a teenager in some kind trouble.  They are saying, “She has a cell phone, why didn’t she answer or call?”  They ask with concern and reserved anger. Consequences await.

Have you experienced the joy of losing track of time? How about when you have time off from work or school? Perhaps during the holidays or maybe while on vacation when each day feels like a Saturday?

Isn’t that called retirement?  

I’ve ministered to people in the hospital who have been in the Intensive Care Unit for an extended period of time, and have lost track of time. 

They develop a form of delirium that happens because patients are put in a room with no windows for long periods. They don’t know if the sun is up or down. Their biological clock gets out of rhythm. 

Losing track of time is a matter of perspective. It could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing. 

Time is relative. It’s a deep subject when you began to analyze it. 

The first three words of the Bible describe time: “In the beginning.”

In the beginning, what? “In the beginning God.”     

Wow! There is a lot of profound theology in those first four words of the Bible. 

“In the beginning God…” God was present in the beginning.  We can also say, “Before anything was, there was God.” 

Our minds cannot comprehend the depth of those words. How could there be a time when there wasn’t time? What was God doing before there was time? 

Before anything was created, there was God. This is where our minds fail to comprehend the magnitude of God. We cannot understand God apart from creation, which is the beginning of time. Yet before there was anything, there was God. 

If you try to comprehend anything about God prior to the existence of time, you will be frustrated. 

God has always been, even though the heavens and the earth have not always been. God existed before time.

It seems that before the earth, there was no time.  Time was created along with the creation of the heavens and the earth. We find this in the first chapter of Genesis. 

In verse three, it says: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day.” Genesis 1:3-5    

The word “day” is actually measure of time.  A day is the amount of time it takes for the earth to make one complete revolution on its axis.  

But a question long debated is whether this “day” spoken of in Genesis chapter one is a literal day as we know it, a twenty-four hour period of time, or whether this “day” is a time that is unlimited in years.  

It’s a question which the Bible does not answer.

Many believe that God created the earth in six 24-hour days. This view takes the Hebrew text of Genesis as a literal account. 

Young-earth creationists see the earth as being only about 10,000 years old. But the scientific world is in agreement that the universe is approximately 4.5 billion years old and that life appeared on the earth at least 2.5 billion years ago.

It has always been a great challenge to wed our faith with our science.  

Science is a threat to some people’s faith, but it shouldn’t be. 

Many times people reject science because they’ve been taught that to accept it, it means that you have to reject the Bible. 

Where science is based on proven fact and discovery only reveals how God did His work. The veil has been pulled back enough for us to see how God did what he did. 

Where science is theory, it should be made clear that what is being taught is theory.  It has not been proven.  It’s just a best guess about how things happened.  Sometimes, theory is taught as fact. We should be clear about the difference between the two.

We should study the Bible, embrace the Bible, and always proclaim the Bible as truth, allowing the Bible to speak for itself and embrace as truth whatever the Bible says clearly and plainly.  We should understand that the Bible, first and foremost a book of faith and not a book of science.  

For example, in Genesis 1:5, the word “day” is defined as “light.” 

“God called the light “day” and the darkness he called “night.”  

Verse five makes it sound like the sun rose and the sun set, because it says, “There was evening and there was morning, the first day.”  

However, if you want to be a literalist, the sun wasn’t created until day four.  

While the earth takes no more or less time to make a full rotation on its axis, in the most technical sense, without the sun and the moon, it’s challenging to have a literal day and a literal night. 

But it’s really a moot point because God had yet to create us and without us, did it really matter how much time went by?

Here’s a more profound question for you? Why would God have been working under the restraints of a clock anyway?

Does God wear a watch? Does God have to punch a time clock? God was the one doing the creating. And sure, if God wanted to create the world in six, 24-hour days, God could have done so.  I have no problem with it. God is sovereign. And if God wanted to take a few billion years to create the earth and the galaxies, God would be no less God, and the Bible would be no less the word of God.

Peter wrote, “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.” 2 Peter 3:8

Time is relative to God. God lives outside of time. Time does not constrain God, bind God, commit God, obligate God, or age God.  God is infinite.

God existed in the beginning. So why is God concerned about this one planet, this one little speck within his Cosmos being marked with seasons, and days, and years? Why is there so much focus on the first page of the Bible about time?

It has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do you and me. 

We are the ones bound by time. When God created the earth, God created a place where time is measured. Time is measured for our benefit, not for God’s.

God is not wearing a watch, but God is aware of time, not for His sake, but ours.

The Apostle Paul notes this to the churches of Galatia: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” Gal 4:4- 7 ( NIV)

“In the fullness of time,” is how one translation reads.  God chose the perfect time in history to come to us through Christ to show us a better way to live and a path to eternal life. 

Our time on this earth is limited.  If we do not remind ourselves of that often, we will not make good use of the time that we have here.  We will allow time to slip by and miss out on the most important time, the time that is yet to come.

Jesus also promised that he would return one day. This would be his Second Coming. This would be a time at the end of the age when Jesus would rapture the church and claim those on earth who are his followers and usher them into his heavenly presence to join those who have already died as his followers. 

Peter reminds us that the Lord hasn’t forgotten about that time. “The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.” 2 Peter 3:9

So what’s holding back the Lord’s return? His patience. 

Peter says Jesus wants everyone to come to repentance. Once he returns, it will be like the days of Noah when the door of the ark was closed.

It will be like the night when the death angel passed over Egypt, sparing only the firstborn of those who had the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts of their homes.

It will be like the day when the Hebrews took the city of Jericho and only those of the house of Rahab the prostitute were saved because she had asked for mercy and displayed the scarlet cord in the window of her home.

It will be like the day of Sodom and Gomorrah when only the those of Lot and his family were saved as the city was destroyed and they were warned not to look back. 

Jesus said: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 24:36-43 (NIV) 

We might not all agree whether the earth was created in a literal six days or whether those days were long extended periods, but we can all agree that God was present in the beginning, and it was God who did the creating.  I hope that we can all agree that God will be at the end doing the judging through his son Jesus.  He is the Alpha and the Omega. 

We might not all agree on exactly how God is going to bring to the world to an end, but we can all agree that when the world ends that God will be on his throne, God will be in control, and Christ will come and gather his church, and not everyone will be going to heaven. 

My friend, the time of my sermon is quickly coming to an end. I cannot say anything truer words than these:  You do not know how much time you have left in this life. Most of us live as if we will live forever, and we put off decisions until tomorrow that need to be made today. 

But on this question, it makes no difference what anybody else says because you are the only one who can answer. 

“When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more/ And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair/ When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore/ 

 And the roll is called up yonder/ Will you be there?

We need to keep watch because we do not know on what day the Lord will come.

He may come for any one of us today.

If your heart isn’t right with the Lord, if you don’t know whether you will be with the Lord, with that time comes, now is the time to make things right, not tomorrow, not next week, but right now. Now is the time.

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