It has been my opinion and commentary for many years that there is only one “time” that exists. And that time is “NOW”.
The word “Now” is used frequently throughout the Bible, carrying various degrees of significance depending on the context. While the exact count may vary across translations, “Now” appears numerous times in the biblical text and in some cases well over 1000 times. Many theologians suggest that God is outside of time or that He created time, but I see that the only time that exists or ever has existed is “Now”, if that is not the case, what does “Now” actually mean, both to God and His creation?
The importance of “Now” lies in its connection to time and the sense of immediacy it conveys and our relationship to the Divine. “Now” emphasizes the present moment or the current state of affairs, prompting a response or action. Consider the possibility that “Now” is the time for you to know God and to know the truth.
For example, in Isaiah 1:18, the Lord invites His people, saying, “Come now, and let us reason together.” Here, “now” signifies an immediate call to dialogue and reconciliation.
In 2 Corinthians 6:2, the apostle Paul writes, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” This highlights the urgency of responding to God’s grace and the opportunity for salvation in the present moment.
Moreover, “now” can denote a turning point, a moment of decision, or a divine intervention. In Acts 17:30, Paul declares, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” Here, “now” signifies the present moment as a critical juncture for repentance and turning to God.
While “now” typically aligns with our common understanding of the word as meaning “at this moment” or “immediately,” its usage in the Bible carries deeper theological implications. It signifies divine invitations, calls to action, or moments of decision that have spiritual and eternal significance.
Understanding the contextual use of “now” helps us appreciate its multifaceted meaning within the biblical narrative and encourages us to respond to God’s promptings in the present.
In the realm of Christian theology, numerous perspectives and interpretations exist, giving rise to diverse understandings of God’s nature, His interaction with humanity, and the unfolding of His divine plan throughout history.
Two significant theological frameworks within Christianity provide a reason to believe in “Now” as background for understanding our temporal relationship with the Lord.
Open Theism and Dispensationalism provide a potential synergy that can emerge from their integration.
Open Theism, also known as Openness Theology or the Open View of God, is a theological viewpoint that posits a dynamic relationship between God and humanity, allowing for genuine human free will and the capacity for God to experience and respond to the choices made by individuals. Open Theists emphasize that God’s omniscience does not entail exhaustive foreknowledge of future events, suggesting that the future remains partially open and determined by human decisions. While God possesses perfect knowledge of the past and present, the future remains open and contingent upon human choices.
Dispensationalism: An Overview
Dispensationalism is a theological framework that seeks to divide human history into distinct eras, known as dispensations, in which God interacts with humanity in different ways, often characterized by distinct divine covenants and redemptive plans. According to Dispensationalism, God’s purposes are revealed progressively throughout history, culminating in the future return of Christ and the establishment of His millennial kingdom. This perspective emphasizes a clear distinction between God’s plans for Israel and the Church, believing that God’s promises to Israel will ultimately be fulfilled in a literal and earthly sense.
Integration of Open Theism and Dispensationalism
While Open Theism and Dispensationalism are distinct theological perspectives, their integration can offer valuable insights and a more comprehensive understanding of God’s relationship with humanity. Both perspectives recognize the significance of human free will and the role it plays in shaping future events. Open Theism, with its emphasis on human freedom, aligns with Dispensationalism’s recognition of the importance of individual choices in the unfolding of God’s plan. One common agreement with these two perspectives is known as Pre-Tribulation. The link above provides access to a great deal of commentary on these views.
From an integrated perspective, believers can understand that while God has overarching plans and purposes, the precise details of their fulfillment may be contingent upon the choices made by individuals and nations. This dynamic view emphasizes the significance of prayer, intercession, and cooperation with God’s will as believers actively participate in the outworking of His redemptive plan.
Implications for the Christian Faith
The integration of Open Theism and Dispensationalism offers a balanced and nuanced approach to understanding God’s relationship with humanity and the unfolding of His divine plan. It encourages believers to embrace the tension between God’s sovereignty and human free will, recognizing that God invites us to participate in His redemptive work while respecting our capacity for choice.
Furthermore, this integrated perspective emphasizes the importance of a personal relationship with God, guided by the Holy Spirit and grounded in the study of Scripture. It encourages believers to discern God’s leading in their lives and to actively engage in bringing about His kingdom on earth.
As Christians seek a deeper understanding of God’s nature and His purposes, exploring different theological perspectives can be enriching and enlightening. Open Theism and Dispensationalism offer unique insights into the dynamic interplay between God’s sovereignty and human free will. While distinct, the integration of these perspectives allows believers to appreciate the vastness of God’s plan while recognizing their role as active participants in His redemptive work. By embracing these theological frameworks, Christians can cultivate a faith that is informed, engaged, and responsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.