Easy question. Easy answer, assuming you’re wearing a watch or have a cell phone. If someone asks you this question, you may indeed have the time to give to them. But do you have the time?
We recognize that this question has different meanings. Almost everyone has the first “time” (i.e., they know the time of day). But do they have the time to spare, even to give someone the time of day? Let me answer that question for you: No! Nobody seems to have the time these days!
In reality, we all have the time to give, if we choose to give it. It simply boils down to the question of priorities. Do I want to give you the time? And again, the answer is usually “no.”
We could give lots of examples of this. However, the gist is that, in our “timeless” society today, with all the tragedies this attitude brings to our personal relationships for which we refuse to have the time, the most tragic of all is that nobody seems to have any time for God!
The lost don’t have time for your efforts to evangelize them. There’s virtually no way they’re going to take time to sit down to a traditional Bible study, actually opening our Bibles and reasoning from the Scriptures to the logical conclusions that will save our souls (remember, Peter made the point that “words” will save—Acts 11:14).
The average “believer” usually isn’t any better. For example, he seems to have little concern for the proper worship of God. Not only is he uninterested in studying the Bible with you, but when it comes to worship, he’s simply looking for the quickest way to get in and get out. Time is precious, and he has other things to do. Of course, he’s also looking for entertainment; this is the sole purpose of “worship” for many people and for this they will be willing to give their time.
The Lord’s church isn’t immune to this lack of time problem. Do we have the time to read and study God’s word? How much time do you spend in this noble, God-pleasing pursuit of Divine knowledge that can save your soul and enrich your earthly life? Do we have time to worship God acceptably? How concerned are we with the length of the sermon, or if the song-leader leads one more song than he normally does (or even one more verse)?
Faithful brethren aren’t affected by a lack of time for worship, Bible study, or evangelism. However, we are affected by those people we long to teach and save. It’s heart-breaking to watch a lost soul continue in his destructive path when we know that we have the words that can save his soul—if he will just take the time to listen. The same could be said of how we feel when trying to help weaker brethren who don’t have the time for God.
If you are someone whose time is more valuable to you than God is, please consider your priorities. Give time to those things which matter most. Think about the things in your life that get the most of your attention. Will those things save you? Will they even be a topic of conversation on the day you kneel at the judgment seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10-11)?
To the faithful, keep trying! Never give up! We still have the gospel treasure they need, regardless of whether or not anyone recognizes this. So, keep offering it. You never know when you’ll find someone who will take the time to hear it.