God’s View of Time – Kairos and Chronos

Inasmuch as time and space define each other God made space and therefore He also made time. There is an end to time and also an end to space. We don’t usually think of space ending but it does, or otherwise it can’t be space. Time defines it, and time will end. Time had a specified beginning which we refer to as The Big Bang, and due to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it will also come to an end as the planets waste away.

Isaiah 51:6 “Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die [d]in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not wane.

The Lord throws in there a reminder that while even the earth will wimp away, all people will continue to live on.

Time is divided by hours, days, weeks, months, years and seasons. Of this list only man has control of days. Minutes are never mentioned. God determines the rest. Of both David and Job it is said they died “full of days.”

Job 42:17 And Job died, an old man and full of days.

A shortened life was not considered to be as honorable.

Weeks are given special status as festival times. God governs seasons; they will change whether you approve or whether it is convenient to you or not. Most people do not plan for the bad times; others delay, but times of inflation and recession and of prosperity are built into the system. See “The Mystery of the Shemitah.”

Many seasons are predefined. Most people, even if they have no Biblical information, have heard of this passage.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
9 What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? 10 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.

11 He has made everything appropriate in its time.

Human Beings set unrealistic goals for themselves – a life based on enjoying a euphoric status quo. And it never happens because this entire list is the inheritance of mankind. I am also royally annoyed when one of the celebrity TV hosts says Starlet so-and-so mourns the tragic loss of her father. Tragic maybe if he was 50, but the old guy was 82. That is called a time to die. Tragic nothing. Learning to live with both loss and gain is part of our earthly assignment, and the rest of the list as well.

God knows everything about time, before, during and after. He is totally outside time and we are inside, for the time being.

An MIT scientists explains the difference between chronos and kairos in this video. Diagram of How God Exists outside time (kairos) and the universe inside time (chronos)

This helps us to define omniscience, His knowing everything. Where people get off base is thinking God has His thumb on the scale. He doesn’t. You were born with a plan for your life; some people locate it, many do not. God is rooting for you and motivating you into that plan; but He never takes away your free will.

Back in the 1980’s there was a Broadway show “Fame” with a popular song “I’m gonna live forever,” as though this was special. Of course you will! Everyone lives forever, it just depends on where one lives. Everyone has eternal living, but not everyone has eternal life. You can live in an eternity of misery too. It’s called hell. And Your free will is what gets you to where you are going.

You have freedom in the context of the season when you were born. I was born into a world at war. It was a season of war. I had no ability to extricate myself from that. It was being fought, bravely and finally, by others. I could be a flaming pacifist if I chose but it would not take away that war. God had a great purpose in World War 2; He got the Jews out of Europe and into the very homeland He had promised two thousand years before. The way He managed this is the stuff of miraculous history.

Against All Odds Video Series If you have a chance, see this series.

God warned the Jews they were be in bondage for 70 years because they had violated the law of the Shemetah. They did, and He did. To the very 70th year they stayed as slaves and then were released. But God was not a tyrant. He did not extend the punishment beyond the stated years. Let us say you were born in the middle of those slavery years; you’d be chafing against the bit, thinking God had it out for you, But no, your parents and their parents generations previously caused this breach in their happy life in their home country and consequently also in yours.

Knowing God helps us to adjust to the life we have. I was an abused child, isolated from other people for most of my childhood. I hardly knew who I was or anything about the world. I could not imagine this being from God but I later saw how this prepared me for the life I now lead. Yes it was a tough assignment but those days are behind me, and I am more than able to handle where I am now.

2 Corinthians 6 (NKJV) Marks of the Ministry
6 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Now, since all humans will live in eternity we need to define it. There is nothing in the Bible to verify the annihilation of humans. This is a popular theory to rid believers of a sense of responsibility for their own future. But, God’s word doesn’t go away. Another theory is reincarnation which says we’ll be born at another point in time. This also permits believers to assume they can get away with anything on earth in this life and not pay the price. Again wrong. If Jesus died for your sins, He died for the sins of the present not of the past or the future. You can see more on this topic at http://wp.me/p1otAF-1a.

TIME VS. ETERNITY

Genesis 1:1 starts chronological time. It says, “In the beginning” meaning the temporal beginning. The Greeks called this time “chronos.” We get many English words from this word. At the same time the Greeks recognized that there was an eternity outside time and independent of it. So John begins his gospel with these words, “Before the beginning began” meaning that there was an eternity prior to creation. There is an eternity after creation ends, as we have noted. John uses this to describe where Jesus was at the time of the creation. Here is the whole passage.

John 1:1-30 The Voice (VOICE)This Gospel begins not with Jesus’ birth or John’s baptism but with a deliberate echo of the creation story in Genesis. It takes us back before time began to the moment when God interrupts the silence and speaks the cosmos into existence. Only John’s Gospel names Jesus as the Logos and declares that He existed long before time was measured. This Greek word carries a variety of meanings, all relating to the act of speaking. It could be translated “word,” a thought that comes to expression, message, declaration, reason, or the content of preaching; most are found in various translations. It is clear that John means that logos is declared to all creation

The Greek word indicating timelessness or eternal time is Kairos. This separation of the two elements of time is seen in the Old Testament as well.

Ezekiel 10:9-13 And then I saw four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub. The wheels radiating were sparkling like diamonds in the sun. All four wheels looked alike, each like a wheel within a wheel. When they moved, they went in any of the four directions but in a perfectly straight line. Where the cherubim went, the wheels went straight ahead. The cherubim were full of eyes in their backs, hands, and wings. The wheels likewise were full of eyes. I heard the wheels called “wheels within wheels.”

Truly this confuses even the best of us. But the picture is of outside wheels moving seamlessly through space and the wheels inside moving very quickly. This is a picture of God’s time: Eternity (kairos) on the outside and chronos on the inside.” As eternity moves forward the time/space we live in is moving inside eternity. Most of the images on the internet were more confusing that the Bible!!! No wonder it’s been co-opted by New Age stuff. At the very least the images should be 3D. Seeing it without diamonds or mini-angels makes it easier to comprehend.

These 2 are a poor representation but a start.wheels2The Chronos wheel inside the Kairos wheel

At least this one is poised in space with God looking on.wheels3Outer wheel kairos; inner wheel chronos

Eventually chronos will go away and we all live somewhere in kairos.

What is the meaning of this lesson? Frankly, life is not to be wasted. There are consequences for frittering away your time, or that of others. There are consequences for failing to support The Lord and His word. God has made a way for all men; His eyes look to and fro across the earth to see who is looking for him.

2 Chronicles 16:8 The Message – God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.

You are not being ignored.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s