The answer depends on which clock you check.
If you check the U.S. Debt Clock, you might think it’s time to tighten our fiscal belts. According to that clock, the U.S. National Debt has grown $1.48 billion per day since September 29, 2006. That puts our debt at over $9 trillion. Some organizations, including one who counts among its members the former Chief Financial Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, says U.S. debt calculations should include expenses like social security and government pensions. When these are included, the U.S. Debt Clock reads $55 trillion!
If the Debt Clock doesn’t make you nervous, maybe the one maintained by the Board of Directors of the Bulletin for Atomic Scientists will. According to their Website, their clock “…conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction—the figurative midnight—and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself.” In January 2007 that clock was moved forward to five minutes to midnight. The statement about this change included the following sobering comments:
“We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices. North Korea’s recent test of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a renewed U.S. emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials, and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia are symptomatic of a larger failure to solve the problems posed by the most destructive technology on Earth.”
Before you dismiss this as hyperbole, consider a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin made less than two weeks ago: “A new round of the arms race is developing in the world. Russia will start production of new types of arms, with the same or even superior specifications compared to those available to other nations.” The Bulletin for Atomic Scientists reports that “50 of today’s nuclear weapons could kill 200 million people.” What possible use could anyone have for weapons that are “superior” to these?
The Bible foretells of a time when such weapons will be used. It will be a time of “…great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
But when will this happen? God, in His wisdom, has not told us. But despite the fact that we don’t know the exact time—or perhaps because we can’t know it—the Bible gives us an urgent or persistent admonition to watch. We see this in Mark 13:33: “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.” In Revelation 3:3, we are warned: “…if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief…”
What time is it now?
Now is the time to watch and be ready. Now is the time to be zealous and repent.
Now is NOT the time to forsake God’s way of life or His people, but to draw close, to stir up love and good works. Now is high time for us to be fully awake, for our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
Now is the time–with all of our heart, our mind and our strength–to make our calling and election sure. If we will do this now, then “…an entrance will be supplied to [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11).