Today is the Day

In Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, he wrote these words that are recorded at the beginning of the sixth chapter:

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

“Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation”

I am very grateful to God that my life did not end before I came to know Jesus Christ as my savior. Looking back on my life, it gives me chills to think what would have happened if I had lost my life in a car crash or as the result of illness or of an accident of some kind. It gives me chills because when I was young, I was one of those people who said, “I’ll wait until I’m older before I dedicate my life to Jesus.”  Had my life ended prematurely, I would have ended up condemned to hell for all eternity.

Mind you, I wasn’t living wild like the prodigal son or anything like that. In fact, I lived a fairly quiet life. I was one of those people who said to himself, “I’m a good person. I’ll be okay” So it was really more a matter or procrastination. “I will follow Jesus wholeheartedly……..someday……..but not now. I’ll read the Bible……….someday………. but not now.” That was me. I regret that now and that’s a regret I’ll have to live with.

I heard a pastor tell the story one time of a man with whom he was sharing the gospel, trying to win him to faith in Christ. After he had finished telling this man all about Jesus and God’s plan of salvation, the man said to him, “Pastor, I believe everything you said. I believe God is real and that Jesus is real. But I plan to wait until the 11th hour before I accept Jesus as my savior.” The pastor replied, “What if you die at 10:30?” 

I’m glad God didn’t take me at 10:30. Like I said, inviting Jesus to come live in my heart was something I was going to do………someday. And it pains me now when I realize that there are many people who still think that way. Accepting Christ is something they plan to do……….someday. It’s something they’ll get around to when they’re older. One of the most damning lies that Satan tells people is, “There’s no hurry.”

And of course, there are those people who ARE indulging in a lifestyle of wild living, and they don’t want to give it up. They live for pleasure, and you all know what I’m talking about. I don’t need to go into graphic detail. To them, Christianity is something that’s dull, boring, and unexciting. Being a Christian would spoil their fun. I know of a young man who said  that he wanted to get all that out of his system first, and once he had done that, then he’d follow Christ. I hope his lifestyle doesn’t kill him first and I don’t mean that facetiously in any way.

I’ve also heard people say they have to get their lives right before coming to Jesus. “I have to get cleaned up first.”   I mentioned the prodigal son and that story gives us a clear picture of God’s unconditional love. When father and son finally came face to face, the father gave orders for his son to be dressed in his finest robe. Remember, the boy had been living in a pig pen and he must have stunk to high heavens. He had to have been covered with filth. That didn’t matter to the father. He didn’t make his son take a bath before putting on the robe. Likewise, it doesn’t matter to God if a person is dirty. It doesn’t matter how a person looks when he or she humbly enters into His presence. God gives His finest robe, the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

I heard someone say not long ago that he had to get past some crisis he was going through before giving his life to Christ. Listen, if anyone waits until they get some crisis resolved before coming to Christ, they will never come to Christ because the next crisis is always lurking around the corner. Our lives are a series of challenges, some good, some bad. The good ones are the goals we set for ourselves. The bad ones are the trials we face in life. There will rarely be a time when we we’re not faced with some sort of challenge and it’s really counter intuitive for someone to suggest that they have get past a crisis before turning to Christ. If only we could get such people to understand that Jesus wants to walk with them THROUGH that crisis. He wants us to bring our burdens to Him and lay them at the foot of the cross.

Those are just few of the reasons that people put off their salvation until……someday; for waiting until some unknown day in the future that they may never see. Of course some of them are just making excuses. They don’t have any intention of embracing Jesus, ever. Others believe their reasons are legit. Twice in the book of Proverbs the Bible tells us there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Waiting till someday to follow Jesus might seem right to some, but if they die while they’re waiting, their fate is sealed. Eternity is an awful long time to have to pay for that mistake.

We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. We’re not even guaranteed our next breath, or next heartbeat.  The day of salvation is today. That someday…..is now!

There is an answer

I live in the Dallas Fort Worth area and actually work near downtown Dallas at Love Field. I’ve watched the news all evening as the evil and violence in downtown Dallas continued to unfold. Several reporters from the local news stations got caught up in all of this tonight. They interviewed many of the witnesses who were on the scene and I was struck by one comment I heard time and again. “We don’t know what the answers are.”…”There are no answers.”…”I don’t know what the answer is.”

I do know what the answer is: The answer is Jesus Christ. For the past 50 years, our nation has slowly but steadily turned away from God. America has been telling God to go take a hike. We have told God, “We don’t want you. We don’t need you. We can take care of ourselves. We’re just fine without You.” We’re reaping the consequences. God will honor the request of any nation that tells Him to shove off.

What happened tonight in Dallas is nothing but pure evil. But this evil did not start tonight and it did not start here in Dallas. However, this will only get worse unless this country gets on its knees and returns to Jesus Christ. America must acknowledge its need for Christ.

I’m well aware of what took place in Louisiana and Minnesota. I’m not ignoring that. I understand there’s anger and outrage over what happened in those places. But the answer for the anger and outrage is the same as the answer for the evil that drove these thugs to shoot 11 Dallas Police Officers, killing 4. It’s the answer for all the evil in the world. The answer is Jesus Christ.  As a nation, we must return to following Jesus Christ. This nation is under judgement, and tonight’s display of evil serves as a reminder that God is removing His blessing and His hand of protection. God will not protect a nation that spits in His face. The history of judgement upon nations that’s recorded in the Bible bears witness to that.

God is faithful. His promises are true. And God has promised us this:

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Pray tonight for all the officers and their families. This is absolutely heartbreaking.

Pray for our nation. America’s repentance and restoration as a nation begins with prayer, one person at a time.

Don’t tell me there’s no answer.

 

Prayer request update

Now the news media is saying 11 officers shot in Dallas, 4 dead. This had been a peaceful protest. Some of the officers were seen cutting up and joking with people in the crowd, taking selfies. And then all hell broke loose… It’s still going on. Please pray and ask your friends on social media for their prayers…

Please Pray

I’m sure most of you have heard about what’s happened in downtown Dallas. It’s still ongoing as I’m typing this. 10 police officers shot, 3 are dead. Pray….please pray tonight.