9. For the time is near, signifies that the state of the church is such, that it cannot endure any longer as to its conjunction with the Lord. There are two essentials by which conjunction with the Lord, and thence salvation is effected, the acknowledgment of one God, and repentance of life; but at this day, instead of the acknowledgment of one God, there is an acknowledgment of three, and instead of repentance of life, there is repentance of the mouth only that one is a sinner; and by these two there is not any conjunction; therefore unless the New Church should arise, which acknowledges these two essentials, and lives accordingly, no one can be saved; on account of this danger the time is shortened by the Lord, according to His words in Matthew:
For then shall be great affliction, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, nor shall be; yea, except those days should be shortened, no flesh should be saved (Matt. 24:21-22).
That near or nearness of time is not meant, may be seen below (n. 947).