GOD SAYS "NOW," "TODAY," NOT "TOMORROW"
Scripture Texts: Isaiah 1:18, "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." Hebrews 4:7(b), "TODAY if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." Proverbs 27:1, "Boast not thyself of TOMORROW ; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."
Today, I want to direct my message to someone who, whether they realize it or not, may be exposed to the Gospel of the grace of God for the very last time. Yes, you've heard the Gospel many, many times in the past, and you've been spoken to by the Holy Spirit of God through God's word, the Bible. At various times in your life, you've been really concerned about your soul's salvation. Perhaps you've even stood at the very "Door" of salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ; but at the last moment, you refused to take that step of faith, and TODAY, yes, right NOW, you're further away from God than you've ever been before. And sad to say, you've hardened your heart.
But listen my friend, a loving, gracious, and patient God has made it possible for you to read this Gospel message TODAY. Sure, He knows how often you've rejected His offer of salvation, and eternal life through faith in His Son. And He knows how often you've chosen the carnality and pleasures of this world, instead of sweet fellowship with Him, and His blood-bought people here on earth; but friend, God loves you. And even though you've turned your back on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, He has decided to give you one more chance, NOW, TODAY, to accept His Son as your personal Saviour. So friend, if you end up in Hell, you'll have no one to blame but yourself, because you are making a decision for, or against God's Son, Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you've been basking in the sunshine of God's love for many years, and you're still only a heartbeat from eternal torment. And furthermore, it is only the love, mercy, and grace of God that has caused you to log on to this web site today. In II Peter 3:9 we read that God "is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Well, here it is friend, perhaps your last chance to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and I wonder if you're going to be so foolish as to tell God, by your actions, that you don't need a Saviour; or perhaps you'll be even more foolish, and say that you don't want a Saviour.
It's bad enough to hear people say that they don't need a Saviour, but it's far worse to hear them say that they don't want a Saviour. And yet, whether they realize it or not, that's what people are doing when they resist the pleadings of the Holy Spirit of God. They're telling God, by their actions at least, that they're willing to go on in their sinful condition, and take a chance that they'll get saved later on in life. Listen my friend, Hell is filling up fast with people who thought that they would get saved later on in their life. Yes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
NOW let's take a brief look at some scriptures which warn against delay, when it comes to accepting God's salvation. First of all, in our third scripture text for TODAY'S message, Proverbs 27:1, God warns, "Boast not thyself of TOMORROW; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Oh, how true that is! YESTERDAY, there were at least 130,000 people on earth who expected to be alive TODAY. Most of them were probably in fair health, and some of them, just like you who are reading this message TODAY, had heard the Gospel; were convicted by the Holy Spirit and word of God; and had expected to get saved "SOMEDAY". Unfortunately for them, their "SOMEDAY" never came.
These people remind me of Governor Felix, in Acts chapter 24, who was privileged to hear the Gospel, and was so convicted of his need for a Saviour that he actually "trembled", but what did he do? He procrastinated, or he "put it off", and he told the Apostle Paul in verse 25, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." Friend, we never read where Governor Felix ever had "a convenient season", or another chance to get saved. No, his chance for salvation had come and gone, and TODAY, even as you read these words, Governor Felix is suffering in the eternal flames of Hell. Tell me friend, are you going to join Governor Felix? Are you going to reject the Lord Jesus Christ, and eventually drop into Hell? Oh, I hope not, my friend. No, I hope you'll not continue trifling with your soul's salvation, because you may never see the light of another day. In James 4:14, we again are reminded of the brevity of life, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the MORROW. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, then vanisheth away."
Friend, please don't be like the rich and foolish man in Luke chapter 12. He was so blessed by God that he didn't have any more barn space in which to store his fruits, so he decided to tear down his barns, and build larger barns to replace them. He says in verse 19, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Then we read in the next verse, "But God said unto him, Thou fool, THIS NIGHT thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" Yes, my friend, this may be the last day of your life on earth, and you'll never be able to say truthfully, that you haven't been warned.
In Ezekiel 33:7, God says, "warn them from Me", and that's what I'm doing TODAY. In fact, that's what I've been doing since March 4, 1956, when I first started "The Voice of the Gospel" radio ministry. I've brought before people the fact that we're all "born in sin and shapened in iniquity." I've shown them in the Bible where God says that we can do absolutely nothing to save our own souls, and if we could, then there would have been no need for His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die His sacrificial death on Calvary's cross. Yes, we are "saved", or "born again", the very moment we stop trying to save ourselves, and begin trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, alone. And friend, I believe that some of you reading this message TODAY are procrastinators, those who know that they're not saved, but who are "putting off" their decision to accept God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as their own and personal Saviour. Well friend, I can't save you, but I can predict your future if you continually reject the salvation being offered to you TODAY. Yes, you'll be in Hell FOREVER, and when you get there, you'll remember me telling you that you would be there!
Let's look at another scripture to prove that God wants you to get saved TODAY, while we're still living in the day of His love, and marvelous grace. In Hebrews 4:7(b) we read, "TODAY if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." Friend, is it possible that you are someone who is "Gospel hardened"? You've said "No" to God so many times that the love of God, the death of Christ, and the pleadings of the Holy Spirit through God's word, have little or no effect upon you whatsoever? If so, then tell me, what if God would take you at your word? What if God would say, "Well, I've given you many opportunities to get saved, and every time I do, you reject my Son as your Lord and Saviour, so I'm going to take you at your word? I'll withdraw my offer of eternal life for you in Heaven, and I'll let you drop into Hell with all of its torments. No, I won't bother you anymore." What then, my friend? What then?
Over in Genesis 6:3, God says, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man", and neither He shall. Furthermore, if the Holy Spirit of God should stop striving for your soul TODAY, you would be as sure of being in Hell FOREVER, as though you were already there! No, you would NEVER have another opportunity to get saved; and as far as you're concerned, the door of God's grace would be shut, and you would have nothing to look forward to, but the terrible wrath of a sin-hating God, FOREVER.
Still another warning given by God is found in Acts 17:30, where we're told that God "NOW commandeth all men every where to repent." When does God want "all men every where to repent?" N-O-W, NOW! Not TOMORROW, or NEXT WEEK, or NEXT YEAR, but NOW! Again in Luke 14:17, God is inviting the sinner to the "Gospel Supper" and He says, "Come for all things are NOW ready." Yes, and even though all things are NOW ready, people TODAY, like those in that parable, give every possible excuse for not coming to God's only Son and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. What's your excuse for not being saved NOW, TODAY ?
Listen my unseen friend, if you don't come to Christ by faith, and accept Him as your personal Saviour NOW, TODAY, it is simply because you don't want to come. You'd prefer to live in sin, under the condemnational wrath of a Holy God, and hopefully, have a chance to get saved later on in your life. Friend, God has done all that He can do to save your soul. Yes, He sent His only Son into the world to die on the cross for your sins, and mine too; and all we have to do is to believe that God-given fact, right NOW, with all of our heart. Is that too difficult to do? No, of course not !
Sure, I'll admit that it sounds too simple, because basic secular logic tells us that anything as precious as eternal life in Heaven, must be difficult to attain; or must require considerable effort on the part of the individual sinner. But listen my friend, believe God, don't believe your own finite reasoning, or the natural way of looking at things. And furthermore, don't believe what your religious leaders tells you either, unless they can show you "chapter and verse" from the Bible, for their statements.
In that regard, I believe that it is a disgrace the way that many so-called "clergy" are leading their congregations astray. I would guess that the vast majority of them are telling their congregations that they can reach Heaven by their "good works", "religious rituals", or trying to keep the "10 commandments" and the "golden rule". This is very sad, and unfortunate for the parishioners, because these same clergy cannot find even one verse in the entire Bible to substantiate their preaching such non-scriptural theories. And because of such conditions which exist in so many churches TODAY, I don't hesitate to say that most ministers are leading their congregations down to the place that Jesus Christ called "Hell". They've never been saved themselves, and I don't care how educated they may be, or how eloquent their oratory may sound, they are "blind leaders of the blind."
Friend, they may have the initials "D.D" after their name, indicating that they are a "Doctor of Divinity", but if they've never been "born again" through faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ at Calvary, those initials "D.D." will mean "Doomed and Damned." And I'm not trying to be smart about this, my friend; and I'm not vilifying all so-called "men of the cloth"; but I could weep when I think of the millions of poor souls who attend spiritually-dead churches, and who listen to spiritually-dead clergy. I know this to be a fact, because I've been there, and done that ! Yes, I often preached in churches, long before I was saved. Furthermore, had I dropped dead in the pulpit, my soul would have been in Hell before my body hit the floor. And I don't doubt that there are probably some preachers who are reading this message NOW, and you too, are spiritually dead, and still preaching in a spiritually-dead church. Wise up, my friend ! Don't let your false sense of pride keep you from Heaven.
And now getting back to you who are neglecting your soul's salvation, I'm reminded of what we read in Hebrews 2:3, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" The salvation provided by God, through the sacrificial death of His Son at Calvary's cross, is a matter of believing what God has told us in His infallible word, the Bible. Yes, it's a question of having simple faith in what God has told us about His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And friend, if you die, having neglected or rejected God's great salvation, you are calling God a "liar." Proof of what I've just written can be found in I John 5:10-12, "He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
We read similar remarks in John 3:36, "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." Everyone in the world is mentioned in this verse of scripture. Tell me friend, in which part of the verse are you; the first part, or the last part? The choice is up to you. In Joshua 24:15 we read, "Choose you THIS DAY whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Again in Deuteronomy 30:19 we read, "I call Heaven and earth to record THIS DAY against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Friend, if you don't get saved, the likelihood is that your "seed", or offspring, may never hear about God's salvation which yields eternal life, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, alone.
There are many other scriptures which focus on the fact that TODAY, yes NOW, is the time to be saved, why? because we have no guaranty of TOMORROW. I'll mention two scriptures which may be quite familiar to many of you. The first is found in II Corinthians 6:2, "Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the DAY of salvation." The second scripture is found in Romans 5:8,9, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being NOW justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Well friend, whether you realize it or not, you are making a decision, actively or passively, which will determine whether you spend eternity in the glories of Heaven, or down in the place of suffering that Jesus Christ called "Hell". The decision is entirely up to you. I can't make it for you, but as I've often said, "Destiny is determined by decision !" What is your decision NOW ? Heaven or Hell ?
In closing, once more I plead with you, in love for your never-dying soul, and in view of eternity, to acknowledge that you're a sinner who can't save yourself; then repent of your sins, and trust in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that cleanseth from all sin. Yes, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour, and friend, if you'll do that right NOW, the word of God, which cannot lie, says that 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