‘“In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).’
How do we understand ‘now’? Most dictionaries define it as the ‘present’. That doesn’t really tell us much. ‘Now’ is a specific moment in time, and as I’ve mentioned previously in my article about *time, time is part of God’s creation of the universe. I suggested there are various ways of measuring and understanding time, but eventually God will bring it to an end (2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12). Immediately afterwards He will re-form us by giving us spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) and incorporate us into His eternal system of time (2 Peter 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
People say they live for the present, i.e., the ‘now’ (Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13). They say the future is uncertain, and many believe there will never be a future for them after death. They believe they will not exist in a tangible, animate form. They insist they will become nothing more than inanimate elements – dust and ashes without cognisance. They dismiss God and deny that He exists. So they live for the present.
The seventeenth century French philosopher René Descartes is famous for saying, “I think, therefore I am.” The lesser known assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Arnapurna Rath, puts a different slant on existence. She says, **“I feel, therefore I am.” I would add, “I know, therefore I am.” We know of our existence through our five senses which are intrinsically linked to the cerebral cortex, the seat of our rational being.
Existence is very real when one experiences extreme pain. It can be so severe for the sufferer, that he or she would gladly die to be relieved of the agony. Paul the Apostle pleaded three times with the Lord for Him to remove a ‘thorn’ in his flesh, but He replied that His grace was sufficient for him (2 Corinthians 12:9). Perhaps not in the same context, Paul said, “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).” His life was so dedicated to Christ that the closer to Him he could get, the more real would be his existence with Him, and the happier he would be. In Christ he truly existed (John 14:20). In God he had eternal life (John 3:16).
Existence is more than the present, i.e., the ‘now’ – for existence is in the ***mind, the body and the soul. In our mind we are cognisant of the present, and we can prognosticate, i.e., consider prospects of the future. If we are sensible we will prepare for what may be ahead. Our five senses inform our mind regarding our physical state, and the mind is programmed for our survival. Our soul is eternal, for it never dies. If we are born-again Christians our souls dwell in the eternity of Christ, i.e., we are in Him; but if our souls have never been enlivened by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-6) we are in satan, dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1).
How real is the present? – our ‘now’.
‘Now’ is very real. It is tangible, significant and precious. The reality of ‘now’ is experiential. It is significant; for in the present we [Christians] can make a difference for good. We can please God by doing good (Ephesians 2:10) to others while in His service and to His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), but those who are in the flesh cannot please Him (Romans 8:8). ‘Now’ is precious, as life is precious; for without life (John 1:4) there can be no experiential ‘now’. Moments can never be retrieved; therefore ****procrastination is a real evil, and a tool of satan.
Let us make good use of every waking moment.
‘Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).’
**I feel, therefore I am
***Mind, Body and Soul
****Procrastination – a Tool of Satan