Are You Redeeming the Time?
Part 1

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
September 5, 1999

Last Updated :
January 22, 2022

J. R. R. Tolkien And Fiction Novels, Redeem The Time, Do All To The Glory Of God, Building On The Right Foundation, Lives Built Upon Christ, Treasures In Heaven, Work With All Your Might, Priority Of My Writing Ministry, Personal Work Habits, Seek First The Kingdom Of God, Exciting Life Of The Spirit, Sword Of The Spirit, There Are None Righteous, My Lost Wasted Years Of Compromise, We Are Not Of This World, No Fellowship With Darkness, Heavenly Vision, We Can Be Shining Lights Or We Can Be Ashamed At Jesus' Coming, Becoming One To Win Some, Overcome By The World And Backslidden, Israelites Backslide, False Gods And Ancient Idol Worship, Our Modern Golden Calves

Some time ago, while engaged in an online conversation with a Christian friend, he remarked how he occasionally enjoys reading works of fiction in which good overcomes evil. As an example of such books, he mentioned J. R. R. Tolkien's much loved and widely-read novels "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Upon expressing my personal disapproval of Christians reading such questionable tomes, my friend then responded further by stating that, being as such novels are merely works of fiction, they are not meant to be taken seriously by anyone. He explained that he reads such books simply for the enjoyment with which they provide him as a good story.

From my perspective, this is really a double-sided issue. It involves personal priorities, as well as guarding ourselves from contamination from spiritually unhealthy "foods". Going by my friend's comments, it appears that he and I value our time differently. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul's words of advice which he gave to the Church at Ephesus. He wrote:

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:16, KJV

It is my firm belief that being as we are the children and the servants of the King, we are each under obligation to the Lord, to use any free time that we may possess, as wisely, as effectively, and as efficiently as possible for His Glory. As the Apostle Paul also informs us:

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31, KJV

"But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
2 Corinthians 10:17, KJV

In other words, we each need to make sure that we are wisely following the Biblical counsel, by building our lives upon the right foundation. That foundation, of course, is none other than Jesus Christ, who the Scriptures inform us is the chief Cornerstone of our worldwide spiritual temple, as we see by the following verses:

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:11, KJV

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded."
1 Peter 2:5-6, KJV

Only by spending our time wisely, building our lives upon this Foundation, and upon His Holy Word, and obeying the mandates of His Word, will we each reap sure and lasting rewards in Heaven. If any of us fail to do this, then we will suffer loss. For as Jesus and the Apostle Paul also tell us:

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matthew 6:19-21, KJV

"If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
1 Corinthians 3:14-15, KJV

For these reasons, by God's Grace, I have chosen to dedicate the remainder of my mortal life, to doing the Lord's Work to the best of my ability. I am reminded of the following words which were written by the wise writer of the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes:

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
Ecclesiastes 9:10, KJV

At this current time, I am convinced that the most important work which the Lord has given me to do is this instructive writing ministry, which I strive to perform regularly. But, of course, sometimes my age and health slow me down. But by God's Grace, I continue to pump out new and updated material every year, as I have been doing for the past twenty-eight years. As some of my regular readers will already know, all of my articles are freely available in various formats on the Bill's Bible Basics website. The BBB ministry is my top priority in life. I take it very seriously; and over the past few decades, literally thousands of hours have been dedicated to it. Obviously, it is a lot of work, but I do it joyfully as unto the Lord.

Perhaps you may be wondering exactly how devoted I am to this writing ministry. Well, it may interest some of you to know that I never go to the movie theater. I do not watch television. I do not listen to the radio, except when there is a power outage and a storm is passing through our area. I never indulge in any kind of time-wasting game such as board games, card games, or the multitude of other silly and quite often evil and violent games which have become so popular in our modern day, particularly with the younger generation.

Furthermore, I never attend any kinds of sports events. Nor do I spend my weekends engaged in the customary routine of sitting relaxed in a lounge chair with a beer in my hand, as I watch football, basketball, baseball, or whatever weekend sport event may be airing. I haven't read a book in decades, and most of the reading which I do outside of the KJV Bible -- such as reading the daily news or Wikipedia articles -- is related to online research work for my articles, so that I can write more intelligently. Sometimes I also read other Christian writer's commentaries -- although not often -- or watch YouTube videos which may in some way be related to our Christian faith, Bible prophecy or other areas of interest.

My social life is nonexistent, as I really do not have time for women and personal relationships. I am simply too busy for the Lord. I am focused on my mission, and I just strive to seek first the Kingdom of God, as the Lord commanded us to do in the following verse:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Matthew 6:33, KJV

For a more in-depth look at this topic, you may want to read my article entitled "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God".

No doubt, some people who read the previous paragraphs will say to themselves, "Wow, what a boring life you must lead!" To those of you who may possibly think this way, allow me to inform you that my life is anything but boring. However, if you do not possess God's Spirit, it may be difficult for you to understand this. As the Apostle Paul wrote:

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
1 Corinthians 2:14, KJV

While I do live a rather quiet, private life, I also live an exciting life in God's Spirit. I am happy. I feel fulfilled. I believe that I am accomplishing God's current Will for my life. Believe me; it gives me no greater pleasure than to sit here, inspired by God's Spirit, writing these articles which feed, inspire, encourage, convict and motivate God's hungry sheep around the world. It thrills me when the Lord reveals a new mystery to me in His Word through a Scriptural link which I have never seen before. It amazes me, and I am happy when I am able to share it with everyone through my articles!

Please do not think that I am sharing any of these things in order to condemn anyone. My intention is not to condemn, but rather to convict the hearts of my Christian brethren who may be reading this; and to cause them to stop and consider how wisely they spend their free time. I would like to ask each one of you to honestly ask yourselves these questions:

"How much of my time do I truly dedicate to glorifying and serving the Lord, as opposed to simply satisfying the worldly needs and desires of my flesh? How much time do I waste each day doing things which do not contribute to the furtherance of the Gospel, or to my Eternal Destiny?"

If the previous questions make you feel uneasy and convict your heart, then I have accomplished my purpose; for as the Apostle Paul also wrote:

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV

In like manner, neither are my words intended to impress any of my readers with how righteousness, spiritual or holy I am. Be it far from me to ever make such a proud, foolish boast. I readily admit that just like everyone else, I am an imperfect and lowly sinner who desperately needs our Savior. I have no righteousness of my own. My righteousness only comes through the Blood of Jesus Christ; for as the Apostle Paul wrote:

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one . . . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:10, 21-23, KJV

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Titus 3:5, KJV

I will be the first person to confess, that before the Lord sobered me up a number of years ago, I too dedicated a lot of my time to doing foolish and wasteful things which were meaningless and of no value from a spiritual perspective. I was backslidden. I was becoming very worldly. At my place of work, I was trying my best to blend in with all of the other children of the world, by acting and talking just like them. I no longer wanted to be different; I wanted to fit in. But God obviously had other plans for my life; so He began to shake up my comfortable little world.

I look back now, and I can honestly say that I feel ashamed of some of the things that I said and did back then. I know that I could have been a better Christian example to my boss and coworkers. Even though I have believed in the Lord since I was a young boy, at that particular time in my life several decades ago, I was building upon the wrong foundation. I was in a state of compromise with the world, and acting just like a child of the world.

It may surprise some of you to know that even though a person believes in Jesus Christ, he can still be building upon the wrong foundation. He can still be a part of the world, and he may still be fellowshipping with the children of darkness. As I point out in other articles such as "The Children of Light: Are You One of Us?", God's children are to have no fellowship with the children of the world, and we are not to desire the things of the world as they do. We are the Children of Light. Therefore, we must not walk in darkness. These truths become quite evident by the following group of verses:

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Matthew 6:24, KJV

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 15:19, KJV

"And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away."
1 Corinthians 7:31, KJV

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:18, KJV

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
2 Corinthians 6:14, 17, KJV

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Colossians 3:1-2, KJV

"I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
1 Timothy 6:13-14, KJV

"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:4, KJV

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4, KJV

"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."
2 Peter 3:14, KJV

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
1 John 4:4, KJV

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."
Romans 13:12, KJV

"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
Ephesians 5:8, 11, KJV

"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"
Colossians 1:13, KJV

"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5, KJV

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
1 Peter 2:9, KJV

"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:"
1 John 1:6, KJV

In short, rather than act like the children of the world who walk in spiritual darkness, and who waste so much of their time engaging in foolish, worldly things, we Christians must keep the Heavenly Vision, and we must walk as true Children of Light. That Heavenly Vision is revealed in the following set of verses:

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Hebrews 11:13-16, KJV

Rather than compromise our lifestyle and blend in with the children of the world, we are supposed to stand out from them as shining lights in this world, and as beacons of truth. But tell me; how can we possibly do that when we spend so much of our time talking just like them, dressing just like them, and doing the same things that they like to do? As I point out in other articles, if we are ashamed of Jesus, if we are so weak in our faith that we are even afraid to let others know that we are the Lord's children, if we are ashamed to stand up and contend for our faith, then He will likewise be ashamed of us. Consider the following group of verses:

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
Philippians 2:15, KJV

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16, KJV

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Mark 8:38, KJV

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Romans 1:16, KJV

"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
2 Timothy 1:12, KJV

"For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,"
Hebrews 2:11, KJV

To add a degree of balance to my previous statements, allow me to say that the Apostle Paul also writes about becoming one with non-believing people, in order that we might have a better opportunity of winning some of them to Jesus Christ. In other words, sometimes we have to be willing to do a bit of "undercover work" for the Lord. We aren't really becoming a part of them, we are merely giving the appearance of doing so, in order to win their confidence, so that we might gain an opportunity to witness to them. In his first Epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul discusses this issue in the following verses:

"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
1 Corinthians 9:19-22, KJV

Unless we are strong Christians who are grounded in the Word, using the "become one" approach can be dangerous. The problem occurs when rather than assimilate ourselves into the world in order to win more souls to Jesus Christ, we do it because we are ashamed of our faith, and because we are backslidden in our hearts. We allow ourselves to be overcome by the world instead of overcoming the world through Christ. Consider the following two verses:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33, KJV

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
1 John 4:4, KJV

So because of our backslidden condition, we bow to political correctness and peer pressure. We hide our spiritual light under a bushel. We abandon talking about Jesus. We begin to act just like the children of the world, and waste our time on foolish, worldly things, instead of wisely redeeming our time for the Lord's Service. We must not forget that Jesus said that we are in the world, but we are not of the world. Let me share that verse with you again:

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 15:19, KJV

As I explain in a few other articles, such as "The Children of God and Politics" and "The Fruits of Disobedience", the ancient Israelites made the same foolish mistake. When they backslid from the Lord, they backslid with full abandon. In fact, the Old Testament inform us that they adopted some of the very same wicked practices as the pagan cultures which surrounded them. One way in which the Jews manifested their backslidden condition was by desiring to have a king rule over them just like the heathen nations, instead of honoring the Lord as their one true King in Heaven. As the Scriptures inform us, God eventually granted them their desire, when He gave them rebellious King Saul.

In fact, the Bible tells us that the children of Israel were so backslidden in heart, that they worshipped the false gods while still in Egypt. Is it any wonder then that Moses had a serious problem with the Golden Calf only a few short months after their liberation from Egyptian bondage? Or is it any wonder that several hundred years after they had wandered in the wilderness for forty years, the children of Israel were still idolizing the serpent of brass called Nehushtan, which Moses had ordered them to make? Thankfully, King Hezekiah eventually had it destroyed. Or is is any wonder that when King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem hundreds of years later, some of the Jews fled into Egypt where they once again began to worship the Egyptian gods? Consider the following verses which verify these points:

"Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD."
Joshua 24:14, KJV

"And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger."
Judges 2:12, KJV

"And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil."
1 Kings 9:9, KJV

"And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."
1 Kings 12:26-28, KJV

"And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
Numbers 21:9, KJV

"He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan."
2 Kings 18:4, KJV

So you see, there is a very big difference between becoming one with non-believers in order to win them to Christ, and being so totally backslidden in our heart, that we act and think and behave just like the children of the world. While we may self-righteously convince ourselves that we no longer worship idols in our modern day, in my view, this is a lie and a devilish deception, which is fostered in part by our own unwillingness to recognize our spiritually-backslidden condition.

The truth of the matter is that anything in our lives which we place before our time with the Lord, and our study of His Word, is an idol. If that football game is more important to you than spending time with the Lord, then it is your idol. If reading that fiction novel is more important to you than studying your Bible, it is your idol. If you prefer cruising around with your friends in your brand new car acting "cool" instead of witnessing to others, that is your idol. If you waste hours of your time downloading porn from the Internet, that is your idol. If you spend hours of your time each day online playing games and engaging in Social Networks, that can be your idol as well. Concerning the latter, it really depends on why you are doing it.

Idols can simply be our uncontrollable addictions. So you see, we may have a lot of idols in our lives which we don't even recognize as such. Those time-wasters which steal our time away from our fellowship with the Lord, and our study of His Word, may very well be our modern Golden Calves. Wow! That really cuts to the heart, doesn't it?

Please go to part two for the conclusion of this article.

⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .

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