When Paul encountered the scholars at Athens, he said they “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). They wasted away their time on human reasoning. God’s truth, to them, was a curiosity. It certainly wasn’t something to be taken seriously. It wasn’t important enough to actually change the way they spent their time!
In Romans 13, Paul admonishes us to awake out of sleep—because we know the time! Time today is much shorter than it was two or three years ago—or two or three months ago. Whether we are alive and remain when Christ returns from heaven, or we die a few years before that, in either case, our salvation is nearer than what we once thought. Because we know the time, Paul says, we must strive to live as Christ lived in these urgent days (verses 12-14).