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"There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens." —Ecclesiastes 3:1
In the Old Testament, God appointed a time for everything, and we had very little to say about it. There were exceptions to the rule, such as Hezekiah getting fifteen more years to live (Is 38:5, 8) and Joshua making the sun stand still for a day (Jos 10:12-13). But generally the timing of events was set and we couldn't do much about it.
In the New Testament, the Lord has given us much greater authority over time. He has delayed His second coming for almost two-thousand years to maximize our opportunities to repent. We can hasten the time of His coming by repenting and leading others to do the same (2 Pt 3:12). The Lord has told us we can pray for some tragedies to be cancelled, delayed, or at least not to occur at the worst time (see Mk 13:18). For our sake, the Lord has shortened the time of the final tribulation (Mk 13:20). We as Christians can sometimes move the hands of the clock of time.
Prayer: Lord, may I speed up the time of Your final coming.
Promise: " 'But you — Who do you say that I am?' He asked them. Peter said in reply, 'The Messiah of God.' " —Lk 9:20
Praise: St. Vincent was able to combine his ministry among the very rich and fashionable with his absolute devotion to the oppressed and the poor.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Interpreting the Present Time on audio AV 81-1 or video V-81.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002