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Time no More?

Posted by Matt Postiff November 19, 2022 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology  Bible Texts 
Does the Bible teach in Revelation 10:6 that time will cease?

I noted an article by Gitt in 2013 cites Rev 10:6 to support the end of physical time.

This interpretation is highly suspect. Here is why. First, in Revelation 10:6, "time" (KJV) should be translated "delay." (See the third definition in the BDAG lexicon.) It refers to the fact that there will be no more delay until the mystery of God is finished. The end times will now fully unfold without further delay.

Second, in the context of the eternal state, Revelation 22:2 says that the tree of life which bears 12 fruits, will yield its fruit every month. Evidently the passage of time must occur for this to happen on a monthly basis. Therefore, time seems to continue in the eternal state. Someone might object that in eternity there is no need for the sun or moon. Perhaps those heavenly bodies cease to exist, and so the times they mark (days and months) cease as well. But note that months can be marked without the moon—in fact today we have months that do not correspond precisely to the lunar cycle.

Third, and more philosophically, I doubt that finite creatures can exist in a completely timeless way, for a movement from one location to another would take some time. What transpires as the creature is chewing the fruit of the tree of life? Being time-bound is a feature of finite creatures which distinguishes them from the only infinite being, God.

Fourth, the passage of time is not a negative feature in the heavenly state. Since time existed during the open days of the creation week prior to sin, and the passage of time did no harm to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there seems to be no reason that it could not exist in the heavenly state.

There are parallels to this. Humans existed in physical bodies in the pre-fall state, and they will exist in physical bodies in the heavenly state. There are three-dimensional objects in the present existence, and there is no reason to suppose that this same sort of thing will exist in the future. After all, the three-dimensional human body of Jesus is approximately the same as the one He had post-resurrection. It exists in Heaven today, and is coming back the very same way (Acts 1:11). The heavenly state boasts a new heaven, earth, new city called Jerusalem with foundations, walls, and gates, a river, and a multi-fruited tree. Such things are similar to the 3-D kinds of things that exist today. I see no reason that time should have to disappear in the future.

Finally, when God created all things, including time, in Genesis 1:31 he said that it was "very good." There is no indication that time was bad, nor became bad simply because sin entered the world. Time is certainly used for sinful purposes, just like our human bodies may be used for sinful things. But time itself is not bad, and this is no reason to suppose it necessary to eliminate time in the eternal state.

I wrote on this subject a few years ago.

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