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Modern technology has given us a very practical device that has numerous applications. It’s called the proximity switch (or sensor), which makes a wireless contact when two elements are within a certain distance of each other. Proximity switches are used in wireless home security systems to detect when a window is open that should be closed. They’re used in motion detectors (e.g., front porches) to turn on a spotlight when movement is detected within a certain distance.
The biblical adverb “nigh” speaks of things in ‘close proximity’ to each other. Its applications include the chronological (the time drew NIGH), the physical (Jesus drew NIGH) and the spiritual (draw NIGH unto God). James 4:8 admonishes us: “Draw NIGH to God, and he will draw NIGH to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
In another proximity passage, Paul admonished hearers on Mars Hill: “That they [all nations of men] should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be NOT FAR from EVERY ONE of us” (Acts 17:27). Keep in mind Paul was addressing the heathen, idol-worshipping intelligentsia of his day. As deep in the tall, dark weeds as these folks were spiritually, Paul said God was in close proximity to them (NOT FAR) and was eminently FINDABLE by them. Paul added: “For IN HIM we [humans] live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (17:28).
From the earliest days of fallen man, God has made it his business to get into close proximity with sinners even though the last thing they desired was to be in close proximity to him. He came looking for Adam in the Garden. He sought out Cain, and reasoned with him before he killed his brother Abel.
In Ephesians 2, Paul set forth these truths: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were FAR OFF [Gentiles] are made NIGH by the blood of Christ” (2:13). And again: “And came and preached peace to you [Gentiles] which were AFAR OFF, and to them that were NIGH [Israel]” (2:17).
Inasmuch as ALL men were the subjects of Christ’s atoning blood, ALL men by virtue of that blood are made NIGH unto him, NOT FAR from him. Salvation from sin and eternal life is obtainable by ALL men when by simple faith they appropriate what God provided for them in the death and resurrection of his Son.
Perhaps the most agonizing aspect of the Lake of Fire, where unbelievers will suffer physical torment forever, will be the mental anguish of knowing they were in such close proximity TO him before death and now eternally separated FROM him due to their unbelief and love of darkness.
The practical side of these theological truths has to do with the current American culture and all the dark elements that exist within it—ANTIFA, BLM, Sodomites, transgenders, Communists, Socialists, atheists, the amoral and a cadre of corrupt, truth-hating politicians on every hand.
The great need of revival in America seems SO FAR AWAY amidst all the darkness. Yet the scripture teaches us that God is NOT FAR away. Therefore revival is no farther away than God himself!
The city of Nineveh was darker than America. Yet God was NOT FAR away. All he needed was a spokesman to deliver his message of repentance. He finally got a reluctant prophet named Jonah to do his bidding. When you think of the darkness engulfing America at this hour, think ‘Nineveh’. The God that drew NIGH to them in his mercy is NOT FAR AWAY from every one of us. And if God is NOT FAR from us, then a revival is not as far away as we might think.