Once when Alexander the Great laid siege to a city, he had a great lamp set up, and he kept it burning night and day as a signal to the besieged. He sent word to the people in the city that while the lamp was burning, they had time to save themselves by surrender. But when the lamp was extinguished, the city and all that were in it would be destroyed without mercy.
So God has set up His light — the cross — and waits year after year, inviting people to come to Him so that they might have light and salvation. Jesus Christ was the embodiment of that light as He called himself “the light of the world” (John 8:12). That light continued to be spread in Christ’s gospel. Proverbs 6:23 says, “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Christ told Paul, through his preaching, “… to turn them from darkness to light …” (Acts 26:18), and Paul put it in a wonderful way as well: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6; cp. Isaiah 8:20; 60:1-3).
Will you exhaust His patience? Paul wrote, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:16-17). Everyone has a premium on the precious commodity of time. As was discussed in Oren’s article on the seven churches, the Laodiceans were impressed with the need for action. Revelation 3:20-21 says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”