“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
– 2 Corinthians 6:2b
In Scripture, the word “now” is always significant. It signals a sense of urgency and stimulates a growing awareness of God’s will. “Now”, is intended to be a “wake-up” call. This spiritual awareness creates the desire to act! Remember that life’s journey is at best brief, so without this awareness, valuable years can easily be wasted. The many uncertainties of life leave no room for procrastination in establishing one’s relationship with God.
The Bible states that God is merciful and “…not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9), yet tragically, because of unresolved deliberation, vast numbers have forfeited their opportunity to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! Robbed of life’s best by apathy, many have sadly chosen to face physical death alone. Even worse, they have ended their earthly existence totally unprepared for the next. They put off salvation too long and finally sinned away their day of grace. They died having squandered life’s greatest privilege!
For all mankind, seizing the opportunity to repent and follow Christ is life’s defining – decision. Yet because of our Creator’s incomparable wisdom, He watches over us but never forces anyone to make the right decision against his or her will. This is why our freedom to choose is a double-edged sword. Freedom provides the opportunity for anyone on earth to experience heaven, but it also allows for salvation to be eternally missed and rejected! The Bible explains that “all have sinned” – so procrastination is in effect Satan’s subtle tactic designed to keep mankind unredeemed and confined to regret (with him) estranged from God – forever! There is an inescapable downside to being created in the image of God, and that is being responsible for our own actions. Mankind wants God’s grace but without the need for faith in Christ or repentance. This is truly the exact opposite of what God has taught us to do. This is why we are called to Christian missions!
The pathway to Heaven is well marked and it allows for each and every person to respond to the exact same truth – the gospel. No one anywhere on earth is unloved by God. John 3:16 makes it clear that God loves the entire world and His grace is totally inclusive; however, the Bible also reveals that no form of sin or impurity will ever be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God. This is why we are called and empowered to be Christ’s witnesses. Only those who have willingly accepted His grace and been cleansed through Calvary’s sacrifice can receive the undeserved gift of eternal life. The Bible speaks of this reality, explaining that:
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)
Because of mankind’s universal propensity towards sin, as Christians, every place we live is in reality our mission field. As Christ’s disciples, our prayers, spiritual gifts, and calling to serve continually remind us to share the gospel! The cross is the global symbol of salvation, but multitudes without number still do not understand its message. This morning, as you prepare for today’s ministry, pause to quietly meditate on the verses below.
“…Jesus Christ, the Righteous One is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world…God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son does not have life.” (1 John 2:1b; 5:11-12, NIV)
Remember that wherever you go today, you are already on your mission field, so begin praying right now for those whom you will encounter during the day. Remember that accepting God’s love demands – a choice!