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The Right Time!

Galatians 4:1-7

"Well, it's about time!"
How often have you heard that?

Many parents will hear their children say: "Well, it's about time you got up, now can we open our presents?"

We say this when we have been waiting for something good to happen in our lives.
We say this after waiting for someone for a long period of time.
When something we have looked forward to becomes a reality, we will often say: "Well, it's about time!"

Life is filled with waiting.

And when our waiting is over, we say, "Well, it's about time!"

There are those who are waiting for freedom, and some are waiting for justice.
Millions are waiting for just one good meal, and millions more are waiting for peace

What are you waiting for? How many of you are waiting to meet God? If you have never met God personally -- the right time is now!

When our Scripture says that Jesus was born in the "fullness of time," it is telling us
that He came at exactly the right time.
In all of human history it was exactly the right time.

Before the world was created God planned the exact time for Jesus to be born.
For the first time in history Europe and the Mediterranean basin were controlled by one dominant culture
and one dominant language.

The Roman Emperors took control over much of the world.
They built good roads from one end of the territory to the other.
Roads and peace led to travel and commerce.
These new roads were used by the missionaries of the early church to spread the gospel.

Wayne Meeks of the Yale University Press has said: "The people of the Roman Empire traveled more extensively
and more easily than anyone before them did or would again until the nineteenth century."

All this travel and trade created a new level of communication, cultural exchanges and networks
of interpersonal relationships based on kinship, friendship and commerce.

But this period was characterized by its spiritual restlessness.
Cults created by the people had proven useless to meet life's deepest needs.
The way was open for Christianity by the dispersion of the Jews and their monotheistic belief.

The setting for the birth of Christ was a time of peace.
So there was a freedom of movement, and there was a spiritual readiness.

All these things help us to understand what Paul meant when he said "the fullness of time" had come. Here at last was a faith that broke all the usual social, cultural, linguistic and ethnic boundaries of the current religions.
"In the fullness of time" ... exactly at the right time ...
Roman peace, roads, culture, language, spiritual hunger -- all combined to prepare for birth of Jesus.
The old mythological gods were losing their influence, and people were looking for something better.
This was the exactly the right time chosen by God for the birth of His only Son.

"When the fullness of time had come, God sent his son, born of woman, under the law,
in order to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as children of God
."

He came to redeem us from our slavery to sin and adopt us as God's own children!
Wow!
Nothing could be better than that!

Recently I read about a man whose son had lost his hand in an accident and refused to go out in public.

The father asked his pastor to visit his son, but the boy was very reluctant for a visit.
Finally he was persuaded to come into the room to meet the pastor, the first thing he noticed
was that the left sleeve of the pastor's jacket was hanging limp and empty.

He had no arm.
The boy and the pastor talked all afternoon.
He found someone who understood his loss.
The pastor and the boy shared the same disability.

Christ was born of a woman. Christ was born so that he could deliver us from slavery to sin and adopt us as children of God.
Being God's children, we are heirs of all the promises of God's kingdom!
If it was exactly the right time when Jesus was born,

Our world is so similar to the world in which Jesus was born: There is also a spiritual restlessness all around the world. One pastor has said: "Our world is so backward we think it is forward."

An individual wrote to a help column asking:
"Dear Sir: Where can I buy aluminum Christmas-tree needles to spread on the carpet
under my aluminum Christmas tree?
I want it to look natural, as if they'd fallen off the tree in the old-fashioned way.

Signed Sentimental
"

The answer came back:
"Dear Sentimental:
They aren't available right now, but a satisfactory substitute is to buy a few boughs of natural evergreen,
allow the needles to dry and fall off and then spray with aluminum paint.
They look like the real thing!
"

Our world is so upside down we think it's right side up!
Watching the movies and videos of our culture, one might conclude that it is now good to be bad and bad to be good!

We have a lack of moral standards in our world.
Many feel alienated from society and all alone, and many feel they can rely on no one, but themselves.
It's about time we came to see that what God gives us in the birth of Jesus is exactly what we need. Paul Tournier, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, tells about an old professor who came to Christ when he was 80 years old.
He kept repeating, "I'm but a little child, my life has just begun." Do you think that God might have said about the professor's conversion so late in life: "Well, it's about time!"
It is exactly the right time for you if you are still without Christ!

Receive the greatest gift that has been waiting for you!
Receive Jesus now as your Lord and Saviour!

It's is about time!
It is exactly the right time!

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@aol.com