Our Father God expects believers to understand the times and seasons of His plan of redemption because it is found in His Word. Acts 17 says we should be in the know. Verse 29 tells us we shouldn’t be duped by the vain plotting of the earthly kings/leaders. “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.” That includes the physical idols of materialism, occult religions, and the ideological idols of humanism.
Verse 30 continues: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent...” With the first coming of Christ, mankind no longer has an excuse for their fallen ways. Salvation is available freely to all who will believe. Verse 31 gives us the urgency of that command. “…because He has appointed a Day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.” That pivotal Day is the Day of the Lord, the Last Day in God’s great prophetic week.
Which brings us to our title question. Since God is the Almighty One, why does it take 7,000 years to end the cosmic conflict with Satan? And for that matter, why does it take 3½ years and 7 trumpet and bowl judgments to crush Satan and the Beast?
We know that the great Week follows the divine pattern established in the 7 literal days of creation. Why did it take God 7 days? I mean, He is God after all. He could have done it in a nanosecond. Since God is all-knowing, He knew how long it would take mankind to reach the fullness of their evil ways. Along the way, He provided a road map in the Bible detailing God’s ways. That road map foreshadowed Christ’s redeeming work on the cross and the power of resurrection.
The answers have to do with His nature. He is perfectly loving and He is perfectly just. I know, that doesn’t jive with the so-called progressive Christianity or the woke secular culture. But that is because they have rejected absolute truth, including what is just and what is loving. Everything is based on fleeting feelings and what feels “right” at the moment (relativism).
When the heavenly hosts witnessed Lucifer’s Fall, they had no concept of sin. They didn’t know it’s devastating consequences. It didn’t take long, though. By Genesis 6 we find that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (vs. 5). The Old Testament testifies to the wayward nature of even God’s own people due to their fallen nature. It was a vicious cycle of complacency, compromise with the ungodly nations around them, experiencing the consequences of their own choices, being delivered by God, only to become complacent again.
With Christ’s first coming, salvation was made possible. Through the testimony of Christ’s Body, the Church, His loving desire is that every person comes to see the true Light of the world. Yet He will not violate their will. He knows that it will take the full 2,000 years of the Church Age for humanity to see the full impact of rejecting God and choosing Satan’s evil ways instead.
For those who have eyes to see, this has become so clear over the last couple of years. Still, many cling stubbornly to their hardened hearts and deceived minds. Amazingly, Revelation 9:20 tells us that even after the initial plagues of Operation Consume and Destroy during the 3½-year war, “the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands.” The bottom line is this: God is both patient and merciful. He has determined the beginning from the end.