FIVE IMPORTANT DAYS
Scripture Text: Psalms 51:5 "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."
In the existence of each of us, there are days that we consider very significant. However, there are 5 extremely important days in the lives of everyone of us, regardless of who we are, where we are, or what we do in life. Two of these days are known to us, and three are unknown to us, but they are all known to God.
Chronologically, the first day which is known to us is the day of our birth. The second day, also known to us, is the day of salvation. The third day is appointed by God, but unknown to us, and it is the day of our death. The fourth day, likewise unknown to us but also known and appointed by God, is the day of judgment. And finally, the fifth day, known but to God alone, is the day when His Son, Jesus Christ, will come back again.
I might add that each of these five very important days can be scripturally prefaced by the word "Behold". And we know that the word "Behold" means that God wants our undivided attention to that which follows.
(1) In Psalms 51:5 David said words which are true of every one of us, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Yes, each of us was born with a sinful nature contrary to God. Proof of this statement can be found in the fact that regardless of the ideal hereditary or environmental condition under which a baby is born, it doesn't take that baby long to prove the truthfulness of our text. The Psalmist puts it this way in Psalms 58:3, "they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies."
We've often seen babies crying in their cribs, or play pens, and the parents hastily respond to their cries, thinking the child may be hungry, in pain, or require a "change". But as soon as the child is picked up, the crying stops when the hugging or coddling begins. Yes, even a baby can have a deceitful heart, but we love them just the same.
The prophet Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 48:8, that man is "a transgressor from the womb." And the question is asked in Job 14:4, "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." Friends, we're all the same. We've all been born sinners. And it is just as natural for you and I to sin, as it is for a fish to swim, or a dog to bark. And furthermore, you who take pride in the day of your birth and long line of outstanding ancestors in your "family tree", remember this, if you trace your ancestry back far enough you'll find out that two of them, Adam and Eve, were the first people to bring sin into this world. Yes, our noble ancestors were the cause of all the sin, sorrow, sickness, separation, pain, misery, anxiety, despair, and death we have in the world today.
Friend, don't get the idea that your ancestry, or present station in life, will merit you any special favor with God. In Romans 2:11 we're told that "there is no respect of persons with God." In Romans 3:23 we read that there is no difference, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Yes, and if you die unsaved, you will curse the day you were ever born. Isn't that what Job tells us in Job 10:19, "I should have been carried from the womb to the grave?" I also think of what the Lord Jesus Christ said about Judas in Matthew 26:24, "It had been good for that man had he not been born."
This leads us to the reason why the Lord Jesus Christ told the religious Pharisee, Nicodemus, in John 3:3, "Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God." And we're told quite clearly in I Peter 1:23 that we are "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth forever." In other words, we must believe the word of God which says that we're sinners and therefore must repent of our sin. We must also believe that same word of God which says that we can't do anything to either merit or inherit God's salvation. And we must believe God when He says that there is only one way for us to get to Heaven, and that is through faith in the sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, ALONE ! In Acts 4:12 the Apostle Peter tells us exclusively that, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Friend, the very moment you or I, as lost and Hell-bound sinners, believe these truths with all of our hearts, we are immediately "born again," this time, into the family of God. Yes, we become children of God; and once a child of God, always a child of God. And we are as sure of Heaven as though we were already walking the street of gold. Let me ask you, dear reader, have you ever been "born again"? If not, why not?
Is it possible that someone reading this message is depending upon their so-called "good works", or "religious activities" to get them into God's Heaven? If so, then let me remind you that there is not one verse in any Bible on earth that would substantiate such a diabolical belief. No, the word of God makes it quite clear in Ephesians 2:8,9 that, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." Again in Titus 3:5 we read, "NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but according to His mercy He saved us." Friend, if we could work our way into Heaven, then tell me, why did the Lord Jesus Christ suffer that cursed, shameful, and agonizing death on Calvary's cross? Yes, He was the Just One dying for we, the unjust, so that He might bring us back into a new and proper relationship with our Creator, God.
(2) Let's look at the second most important day in our existence, the day of salvation. We read in II Corinthians 6:2, "Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation." Here we're told that the salvation being offered to the unsaved is a present salvation. There is absolutely no guarantee that you'll have an opportunity to be "saved", or "born again", tomorrow, or any other time in the future. Twice over in the verse we are told that the "accepted time", or "day of salvation", is NOW.
Elsewhere, the word of God is quite clear insofar as the day of salvation is concerned. In Job 22:21 we read, "Acquaint NOW thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." In Isaiah 1:18 God says, "Come NOW, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." In the Lord's parable of the great Gospel Supper, He told His servants in Luke 14:17 to invite the people to, "Come; for all things are NOW ready." Yet again, we read in Acts 17:30, "God ... NOW commandeth all men every where to repent." You'll notice that God didn't command them to be educated, cultured, moral, religious, baptized, sing in a choir, or to join a church. No, He commanded them to "repent". When? NOW ! Not tomorrow, next week, or next year, but NOW !
I honestly believe that there are billions of souls in Hell today who had expected to get saved "someday", but their "someday" never came. They were cut down in their sinful condition, and for all eternity they will weep and wail and gnash their teeth in the place that Jesus Christ calls "Hell." Friend, please don't let the Devil rob you of God's salvation. Remember that "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions."
Back in Proverbs 27:1 we read, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." In that same book of Proverbs we're warned in Proverbs 29:1, "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." Finally, the solemn warning is repeated in Hebrews 4:7, "TODAY if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts."
(3) Now our third most important day is that of which we read in Deuteronomy 31:14. And again God wants us to pay strict attention because He says, "Behold, thy days approach that thou must die." Now I realize that the subject of death is the most repulsive subject to talk or to think about, but Friend, I must be faithful to the word of God. After all, doesn't God tell us in Hebrews 9:27 that "it is appointed unto men once to die"? Then why should we hide our heads in the sands of unbelief? Sin is real! - and so is death! In Ezekiel 18:4 God says, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die."
In II Samuel 14:14 we're told, "For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither does God respect any person: yet doth He devise means, that His banished be not expelled from Him." Yes, every day, in the obituary columns of the newspapers, we read of people dying at various ages. And regardless of the great advancements in prescription drugs and organ transplants, the fact remains that people are dying at the rate of over 100 every minute, 6,000 every hour, 144,000 every day and 52,000,000 every year. I might add, that if you are unsaved, it is only the grace of God that doesn't yet count you among those dread and solemn statistics.
Friend, Adam lived to be 930 years of age, but he died! Noah lived to be 950 years of age, but he died! Methusaleh lived to be 969 years of age, but he died too! And the reason we have death is because of S-I-N. In Romans 5:12 we read, "Wherefore, as by one man(Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Yes, it all began back in the Garden of Eden when our first parents rebelled against the word of God and they partook of the forbidden fruit. No wonder the Apostle Paul informs us in I Corinthians 15:22 that "in Adam all die". We're also told by Paul in Romans 6:23 that "the wages of sin is death." And let me remind you that the wages of sin have never been reduced. It is still death!
Friend, have you ever stopped long enough in your daily activities to think about where your soul will be for all eternity? Have you? Well, God says that you would be wise if you did. In Deuteronomy 32:29 we read, "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end !" If today's date were to appear on your tombstone as the date of your death, tell me Friend, where would your soul be? Would you be in Heaven above - or would you be down in Hell? It's a very solemn thought, is it not? That's the reason you should stop right now, in your journey called life, and "consider your latter end!" Where will you be 5 seconds after you die?
I believe that most of us would agree with the truth revealed in James 4:14, "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." We sometimes sing in our Gospel meetings:
Yes, you who are still unsaved should realize where you are headed, and you must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour while you still have a chance to do so. Now for those of us who are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and His precious blood that flowed for our sins at Calvary, if we were to die today, we would be "absent from the body and present with the Lord." (II Corinthians 5:8) We would be in the presence of the One Who loved us unto death, even the death of the cross. We would be in the place where there is no more sin, no more sorrow, no more pain and suffering, no more darkness and despair. We would be in Heaven, and forever with the Lord. Friend, I'd rather be torn limb from limb by a roaring lion, than to miss my place at the "marriage supper of the Lamb." And I hope I'll see you there too!
(4) That leads us to the fourth important day, and that is the day of judgment. In Malachi 4:1 we read, "Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." The third day told us that "it is appointed unto men once to die," but the remainder of the verse reminds us, "but after this the judgment."
Friend, death is not the end of our existence. Ah No! After death comes judgment! For those of us who are saved, we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and be judged on the basis of our life since being saved. Our actions, motives, and even our thoughts will be exposed. The judgment will determine our rewards, or lack of rewards. We are still sure of being in Heaven, but our Christian life will be valued as either "gold, silver and precious stones," or "hay, wood and stubble". (I Corinthians 3:11-15)
On the other hand, the judgment of the unsaved will be sure, solemn and separating. It will be sure because we're told in Amos 4:12, "Prepare to meet thy God." Are you prepared to meet Him? Well, you may not be prepared to meet Him, but He is prepared to meet you. In Psalms 9:7 we read, "He hath prepared His throne for judgment."
And to you who are young today, and who feel that death and judgment are very remote, let me tell you of what God says in Ecclesiastes 11:9, "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." Here we have God telling the unsaved that they can do what they want to do, go where they want to go, see what they want to see, BUT know thou that for all these things, I will bring you into judgment !
Over in the book of Revelation chapter 20, verses 11-15, we read how the unsaved will stand before God, where the books will be opened and "whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the Lake of Fire." Friend, is that going to be your eternal destiny - a Lake of Fire? Well, it will be unless you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour. We're told in John 3:36 that "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Yes, it's an "abiding wrath" - forever, and forever, and FOREVER!
Friend, today you may be too proud to look by faith to Calvary, and see the Lord Jesus Christ dying for your sins, but there will be a day when you will see Him face to face. In John 5:22 Jesus said, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." Yes, He will either be your Saviour - or your Judge! The decision is yours. And don't forget that it makes a difference for all eternity - what your decision is today ! May you be wise and choose Christ as your Saviour!
(5) The fifth important day is the day when the Lord Jesus Christ comes again. In the book of Revelation chapter 22, and in both verses 7 and 12, we read these same words uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ, "Behold, I come quickly." At the end of that same final chapter of Revelation, we have the last recorded words of the Lord Jesus Christ in verse 20, "SURELY, I COME QUICKLY."
Friends, every indication in the world today points to the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. There need be not one prophecy fulfilled before He returns to take His blood-bought people back to Heaven with Him. Yes, whether dead or alive, those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour will be caught up to meet Him in the air. And we'll be with Him, and like Him, throughout the endless ages of all eternity. Yes, we who are saved are not looking for the undertaker, we're looking for the UPPERTAKER, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
In John 14:2,3 the Lord proclaims,"In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Yes, every true Christian is looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In James 5:8 we read that "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." Oh, what joy and peace it brings to we who are saved. We'll soon see Him and say, "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." (Revelation 1:5) Yes, we'll join that innumerable throng and sing, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."(Revelation 5:12)
Friend, if you're unsaved when the Lord comes again, you'll be left behind for the divine judgment of a Holy God. The day of God's grace, as far as you're concerned, will have ceased to exist. And you'll have nothing to look forward to but endless suffering in Hell and the Lake of Fire. So please make today's date the most important day of your life by accepting God's greatest Gift - His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Saviour and Lord. Friend, if you'll do that right now, you'll never regret it here in time - nor in the vast eternity ahead!
If you would like to be saved, and thus ready for either death or the Lord's return, then just acknowledge that you're a lost, guilty and Hell-bound sinner who can't do a thing to save your own soul, then simply trust in the precious blood of Jesus Christ alone to cleanse you from all your sins. Yes, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour, and Friend, if you do, according to God, Who cannot lie, you'll be saved for time, and thank God, you'll be saved for all eternity. AND REMEMBER, MY FRIEND, THIS IS FOR ETERNITY !
Evangelist: Minor C. Hawk