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"In The Fullness of Time"

"In The Fullness of Time"

by Scott Smith

Published in
The Christian Informer
April, 2001

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Last updated:
May 13, 2001.

THE APOSTLE WROTE IN EPHESIANS 1:9-10, "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him."

When we consider this passage, we think about how Jesus remained in control of every event in his life, including his death and resurrection. Nothing happened until it was the proper time. He was not born prematurely, but in the fullness of times. He wasn't late arriving to see his dead friend Lazarus, but he arrived in the fullness of times.

The soldiers did not take him until he decided it was the right time, the fullness of times. Everything was to happen according to His timetable. In studying these passages, we appreciate even more a Savior who is still in charge of time.

N.I.V. - "And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth under one head, even Christ." In the dispensation of the fullness of times From verse 9, we gather that God revealed the mystery of His will to us. He wants us to know His desire. It should not remain a mystery. Over the history of man, God revealed parts of His plan to His people. He dealt with His people in different ways in different periods of time. We refer to these different ways of dealing with his people as dispensations. Vine's dictionary defines the term from the Greek "oikonomia" or a management of household affairs. "A dispensation is not a period of time, but a mode of dealing, an arrangement or administration of affairs. " In Ephesians 1:10 it is used of the arrangement or administration by God, by which in the fullness of times (or in due seasons) God will sum up all things in the heavens and on earth in Christ. When the proper time came, God sent forth His son. When the proper time came, Jesus began His ministry (Mark 1:14-15). He might gather together in one all things in Christ God's purpose was to head up all things in Christ. He wanted to bring all things in heaven and earth under one head, even Christ. God wanted Jesus in charge of all things in heaven and earth, except the Father (1 Corinthians 15:27-28). Scripture tells us Jesus was made "Lord of lords and King of kings" (Revelations 17:14; Acts 2:36; II Corinthians 15:27-28). Luke proclaims "the word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)" (Acts 10:36 N.A.S.B).

"In our text, Paul uses a significant term that not only has the idea of leadership, but also was often used of adding up a column of figures or numbers. A modern way of saying it is that in a world of confusion, where things do not add up or make sense, we look forward to a time when everything will be brought into a meaningful relationship under the headship of Christ. " For the believer, that is the present time. Everything comes together in Jesus Christ. (Read Ephesians 1:18-23).

What about the ones who reject Christ and say he is not their Savior? What about the chaos & confusion of the world? Is Jesus really in the authority role He said He would be in? (Hebrews 2:5-9 through verse 16). Even though Jesus possesses reigning authority over all things, some rebel and refuse His salvation. Just because there are those who do not submit to Him, does not mean they are not under His authority. Have you ever heard a child in school say, "I don't have to do what that teacher says? I'll do whatever I want to." He probably says it under his breath so the teacher can't hear him - only his friends. Any competent teacher will either have the unruly student repent of his ways and follow the rules (repent & obey) or they will be punished (judgement). Grown-ups do the same thing. People break the laws of the nation and state and thus feel they are not subject to them, but they are. Should a judge and jury act righteously on the facts of one committing a crime, a punishment or judgement is meted out. As citizens of our state and Americans, we are under the laws of the state and the nation. If you try to rationalize breaking the law, whether it's running a red light, stealing your neighbor's television or stealing from your employer, you deserve punishment. Sadly, there is so much lawlessness today that there are not enough policemen and judges to administer the measure of the law.

The same is true of the one who says, "I am not subject to Christ." My Lord is Lord of ALL. Jesus must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy abolished is death - when all things are subjected to him, then the Son Himself will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all (I Corinthians 15:25-28 N.A.S.B.). Those in Christ's church are those who, through obeying Christ have chosen Jesus as their lord; and they have Jesus as their Savior. Even though Jesus is Lord of all, He is not Savior of all. He is the "Savior of the body." He wants to be Savior of all but many people refuse to permit this in their own lives. Just because people do not allow Christ to rule them does not mean they are not under His authority and therefore accountable to him. Both which are in heaven and which are on earth even in him. Colossians 1:19-29 tells us that it is God's will that Christ reconciles, or brings together, all things on earth and in heaven to Himself.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Do not worry that it seems that Satan is winning the war against Christ. We are living in the fullness of times, the dispensation of grace, the church dispensation. Let us notice Philippians 2:5-11. All intelligent beings will one day acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord. If they did not do it willingly in their lifetime, they will do it unwillingly at the end of this dispensation. They will do it whether they want to or not. After this dispensation of grace and the church, will be judgement. After that, eternal life or eternal damnation. Summary God has revealed to us the mystery of His will, the things he purposed to do in the long ago. When the time was right, he would bring everything to Himself in Christ. Friends, it is my belief that we live in the fullness of times. We live in the last dispensation before judgement and eternity. Under this dispensation of grace, everything in my life is under Christ. When he comes for me, I won't need to fear Him. I'm ready. He's in charge of everything in my life. He made me promises that I trust. He has gone to prepare a place for me where His father and my father live. He will take me there one day, when he is ready for me.

Don't be disturbed by those who reject Him. They are ignorant. They don't realize they are already subject to His sovereign will. They just THINK He's not in charge.

Wouldn't you rather accept Jesus today, while you can be blessed? It will be much better to confess the name of Jesus now than to have to do so when all of creation does. YOU ARE GOING TO CONFESS JESUS ONE DAY WHETHER YOU WANT TO OR NOT! That confession will not be unto salvation, but will be in submission to Christ's final reconciliation. He will put the exclamation mark on this dispensation and banish Satan and evil to the depths of Hell for eternity's ages. Please accept him now! Believe on Him as God's son, repent of your sins, confess Him as God's Son, be baptized for remission of sins.