Word of the Month

The days are evil

March 2004

When Apostle Paul advised the Ephesians to redeem the time because the days are evil (c.f. Ephesians 5:16), he was not referring to wars, diseases, oppression, hunger, poverty, misery, and distress—although man has unfortunately seen more than enough of this in the course of history. What he was referring to and warning the people of were the dangers threatening their faith, because as long as Satan exerts power and lures people the days are evil.

What is so evil about our time? With increasing iniquity love grows cold. (c.f. Matthew 24:12). Where the love for the Lord diminishes, where the first love dies down, there will no longer be any corresponding works. Our disposition changes and our thoughts begin to rove so that the completion of the work of God is no longer our first concern. But this does not have to be. Paul writes: "The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (c.f. Romans 5:5). We have the capacity to persevere in our love for the Lord!

Something else that is characteristic of this time is the danger that we become tired and fall asleep. The Lord Jesus warned his listeners of this in the parable of the foolish virgins. What helps to preserve our faith is the word of God in the services, the strength that we receive in the Holy Communion, the forgiveness of sins, and the sincere fellowship in the congregation.

Superficiality and indifference are also characteristic of the evil days. If we attach equal importance to those things that are of no use for our completion as we do to the salvation work of God, if God's offer leaves us cold, and if we no longer believe in the return of Christ, we will succumb to the threats and dangers of the evil days.

Still, as evil as the time may be it is nevertheless the time of grace, the time in which the work of God will be completed. That is why Paul admonished the people to redeem the time. Let us do likewise and accept God's offer of grace, grasp the word of the Lord in faith and put it into practice, and single-mindedly pursue our goal.

Apostle Paul admonished: "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." It is the will of God that we are sanctified through His word. It is His will that we are saved through the grace effected by Christ's sacrifice, and it is His will that our soul is prepared for the day of the Lord through the work of the Holy Spirit. Let's accept these offers of love and redeem the time, because "he who endures to the end shall be saved". (Matthew 24:13).

(From a service by the chief apostle)