26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (ESV)
1 Corinthians 7:26-31
Time Is Short. Eternity Is Near. (Part 1)
Our time in this age is nearing an end, and the concerns of the age will pass away.
We see this truth specifically emphasized in verses 29b and 31c of 1 Corinthians 7. We know from the book of Matthew that many people will not be ready (24:38-39). These realities should deeply moderate our emotions and approach to all areas of life.
In the context of the below arced passage, Paul gives extended attention to the topic of marriage. It is good, morally and practically, for people to stay as they are. The married should not seek release, and the single should not seek a spouse. If the single marry they have not sinned, but they should know that marriage will bring ‘trouble’. The word used for ‘trouble’ is elsewhere translated ‘tribulation’ and ‘affliction’–this sounds like real pain. Paul knows this, despite not being married himself, and would spare the unmarried from it. Marriage should not be the focus of our lives (v 29d-e), and those with wives should live “as though they had none”.
You have a certain amount of time remaining in this life. Seek to approach all of your affairs in such a way that their joy and pain do not distract your heart or mind from impending Eternity. Know that the affairs of this age will soon pass away. Whether your marriage is hard or easy, or your work stressful or light, do not let them cause you to forget that your time is short, and eternity is near.
(This was originally posted on the Biblearc blog by Robert Elphick on November 5, 2014.)
This is so helpful. Thank you so much.