The Time Has Come


There are songs that every person has in their memories that define moments, memories, relationships and periods of their lives. Then there are those songs that transcend time and place and define the core of who you are. For me, Keith Lancaster’s “The Time Has Come” has been that song. The first time I ever heard that song, I was a teenager in a church basement Acappella concert (now there’s no basement big enough for the crowd they draw) on a Sunday night. That song did to me what Peter’s message did for the folks on Pentecost. I was cut to the heart. I’d grown up in a Christian home and was already a Christian myself. I had been blessed, and this song made me aware, more than any sermon I have heard before or since, of both the need and a strong desire to share the gospel with those who had not yet heard of the saving grace of Jesus.

To this day, it touches me to a depth that nothing else does. Its message reflects what drives me to do what I do, why I would move so far for the sake of ministry. I do not know why or how, but God uses these words to remind me: “Freely you have received, freely give.” That is why I’m renaming my blog after this song. It will be a quick explaination of who I am for you, and a quick reminder of why I am when I see it.

There is another song Keith wrote a my graduating year (from high school): “Fallen Walls and Open Doors”. That song is almost as defining for me as “The Time Has Come”. I remember hearing it for the first time live (it was the first time, he said that night, it had ever been publicly performed). It was very soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall was down, glasnost and perestroika were pulling back the Iron Curtain, and new fields were opening up for the Gospel that had been religiously oppressed for most of the century. A palpable sense of the working of God was in the air. Big Don Williams and a group of Pepperdine students had just come back from Berlin and shared what they had seen as the Wall was dismantled. If I recall correctly, teenagers at that rally gave enough that night to send about 10,000 Bibles to Eastern Europe–teenagers–who says they’re totally selfish?! What a time to be graduating and heading off to Adventures in Missions!

I did not get to go to East Germany as I’d hoped. There was not yet a missionary there that was settled enough to host an AIM team. But, as God would work His plan we would eventually end up a few years later serving the Lord in the former Soviet Union…not only that, but a formerly closed military city. We got to march beyond those fallen walls, and meet, serve, and befriend some very, very special people we can now call brothers and sisters.

Looking back at all that has happened almost feels like I’m looking at someone else’s life. So much has changed. But, one thing has not. The time has come…

The time has come to tell the masses
That Jesus Christ our Savior lives-
Of how he loves us like the Father
And of the Spirit that he gives.
The time has come to take the message
To those who’ll never be the same-
To many bound by false religion,
To those who’ve never heard his name.

The time has come to tell the nations;
The time has come to spread the word.
In every town we must confess it;
We must reveal our precious Lord.
The time has come; we must not waste it.
The time has come to sound the news.
It is for every single nation.
We cannot wait- the time has come.

From Macedonia, the call is sounding.
In Istanbul the people wait.
The countless children in Peking, China;
The thirsting souls of Uruguay;
The time has come to go to Boston,
Salt Lake, Nashville, to Abilene.
Yes from L.A. to New York City
And every county in between.

The time has come to tell the nations;
The time has come to spread the word.
In every town we must confess it;
We must reveal our precious Lord.
The time has come; we must not waste it.
The time has come to sound the news.
It is for every single nation.
We cannot wait- the time has come.
–Keith Lancaster

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