NOW is the day…
“Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
In Kentucky, people still go to the grocers, take their kids to school or get them ready for a school-bus; they attend church meetings and school assemblies for their kids; city councils still meet and debate whether to widen a road or how to change the construction code; my neighbors hired guys to put in a new fence and I am going to the garden center to discuss what to plant in front of my house to replace the yews I may remove tomorrow.
In fact, life in these United States and most of the world still plods on for most of us without houses crumbling in from missiles nor energy plants being shelled. No convoys of invading tanks, only a peaceful bunch of truckers who want to protest vaccines and masks that are about to be ended so the politicians will face less voter wrath next year. (I was told that state legislatures are considering bills to order men in city subdivisions to pair up with each other and go get a coffee or beer together once a week; but they are not going to call them laws… they’re going to call them man-dates. 🙄)
See, we even make lame jokes here, while an entire country is evacuating except for those willing to put their lives at risk and kill invaders from the neighboring nation. Some are kneeling in public squares to fast and pray for safety. Reports of deaths range from a couple hundred to a few thousand when you include invaders that have been crushed. Nuclear arms stand ready for a diabolical finger to push a button and blow an entire city off the map in a nation that does not have nuclear weapons.
Digression: On July 28, 1914, Serbian puppets of Russia assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, in Sarajevo. Exactly one month later, August 28, with German support the Austrian emperor declared war, followed by Russian retaliation and World War 1 began, eventually leading to over 100 countries from every continent becoming involved.
“The War to End All Wars?”
Only in 21 years, in August of 1939, Hitler’s Germany amassed troops on the border of Poland and demanded a meeting in Berlin with the Polish ambassador (a plenipotentiary). His feet were hardly warmed at a fireplace when Germany invaded Poland on September 1 with a “blitzkrieg” to begin World War 2. This time 191 nations entered the war! (There are only 195-199 in the world, depending on who is counting.)
In the meantime, WW2 resulted in changes in China that culminated in Mao Zedong claiming the founding of the PRC, chasing his opponents (about 3 million) to Taiwan.
And the world has been at war ever since, whether in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Kashmir, “Kurdistan,” Iraq, Iran and much of Africa and the Mideast.
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:6-8)
Back To The Point: All this is to say “the end is still to come!” And the question on everyone’s mind is, WHEN? With a conflict that could easily erupt into World War 3, which a Russian spokesman says will be nuclear, this is not a time to play games with life and with The God Who Is. Such an event would happen so suddenly, that while diplomats try to lie and say it is unlikely, most of the world will be shocked and caught off-guard.
So the question that should be on everyone’s mind is not when the end will come, but “Will I be ready if it happens tomorrow?” You can know that you are ready, and such knowledge removes the fear that is motivating so many political debates and military discussions. Knowing Jesus is not just knowing about Him, like reading a biography (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and getting the facts together.
Knowing Jesus is to meet Him. Granted, most of us will not have visions or dreams in which we actually shake His hand or see His face. But by praying and inviting Him to come into your life, if you ask with belief that He will answer, He will come into your heart. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
This invitation is to you. No matter where you have been, what you have done; there is no ethnicity, color, language group or nationality that is excluded. You can come to Jesus just as you are. Simply repent (i.e. turn away from your selfish choices and anything opposed to godliness) and ask Jesus to come and live in you by His Holy Spirit. And HE WILL! Invite Him to lead your life from this day forward and be submissive to what He tells you.
He will usually speak first through the Bible. Read it! It is not a single book, but a collection and there are tons of helps for reading and studying it, to understand the basics of what it means to become a disciple of Jesus.
He also speaks through your conscience, if you have not seared it with persistent sin or disobedience to what the Bible teaches.
Be open to instruction by followers of Jesus who have been following Him longer than you. They are not “the last word” on how you should live for Jesus, but rely on their wisdom to begin to consider how you should live.
Even if a world war is not imminent, no one gets a guarantee of tomorrow. “Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” (Isaiah 46:10, New Living Translation) And He is not telling most of us how many days we have left on earth. And even if you are younger than 70 years old, no one here gets out alive!
So do not wait. Do not hesitate. Do not say, “l’ll do it tomorrow.” Do not put it off for “a more convenient time.” “Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NLT) Do not let anything stop you. Trust in Jesus today.
Email me (email@example.com) if you want to connect to Christ-followers in your city or discuss anything else about this decision.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
Where Is The Promise Of His Coming – Part 3
“They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’” 2 Peter 3:4
As I noted in Part 1 of this series (initially titled, “The Lie, The Truth, The End and Your Choice”) we humans are a short-sighted race. Peter realized this when he penned the words in his letter about the question that would arise in a few years. Even in that first century that was as yet to be marked by the life and death of Jesus dividing between B.C. and A.D., philosophies of life already abounded that said nothing ever changes.
From the various human origin stories of ancient times, the central idea of all false religions is that we somehow have to please a god in order to arrive at a state of perfection. Most people live their lives with no hope of eternal life, but simply anticipate that when you die, you no longer exist or get recycled for another try. The Great Deluge (whether in the Hebrew tradition or religious myths about a local flood) is now considered an old wives’ tale, so most think the world will simply continue as it has since they were born.
In the case of the Hebrew story of Noah (see Genesis 7–11), only eight people survived to repopulate the earth. By the time Abram arrived on the scene, many had already forgotten the Creation and the Flood story. Myths about the beginning of human history began to evolve and people began to worship “gods” that had nothing to do with the creation of the world. Noah and Shem had recently died and language had been confused at Babel, so their story was not getting much traction in the widening world. Only in Abram’s ancestry was the story of Creation and the Great Flood still told accurately. Noah’s grandson and Shem’s son, Arphaxad, born two years after the Flood, was the most reliable source for history, although all the generations between Noah and Abram had known Noah before he died, including Terah, Abram’s dad.
Now, removed from the Flood by more than 3000 years, we have come up with new stories to explain human origins apart from any divine power or design. Who would have thought that a first century prophet like Peter could have foretold of Darwinian evolution and its deceit of the entire world? Even among many Christ-followers, excuses are made for accepting a directed, but billions-of-years process of selection of microcosmic changes, that have resulted in humans, butterflies, whales and cattle.
Scientific establishments are often the last to continue fighting scientific discoveries. Copernicus and Galileo were denounced by both the Church and scientists of their day for proposing that the sun was the center of the universe and not the earth. Louis Pasteur was ridiculed by “modern medicine” for claiming that disease could be spread by bacteria too small for the eye to see. And in our generation Stephen Hawking and populists like Richard Dawkins refute the evidence for Intelligent Design (ID) that would destroy their ideas that the universe is a self-directed (i.e. NON-directed) cosmos with no Designer. (Not to mention, more general acceptance of ID would put a damper on their book sales.)
This is in spite of Darwin thinking that cells were self-contained and very simple machines that could replicate themselves. Now we understand that the complexity of the machinery, even in parts of a cell, are so extreme as to be unimaginable that all the pieces needed could somehow come together at once, by chance, to make a living thing. Leave any one item out (of the thousands to millions in each part of the cell), and all you get is a non-living blob that cannot reproduce. But, of course, the scientific community continues to deny the obvious that the earth revolves around the sun . . . I mean, that life is too complex to have evolved, even over the billions of years that they fabricate to claim that this is exactly what happened.
Most important is the focus of Peter’s argument. The idea that everything continues as it has invokes the concept that it will keep on continuing, at least for the next few billion years. Therefore, they reason, there is no need to fear an end of all things the way burlap robed hippies and crackpots warn, carrying signs, “The End Is Near.”
So at the risk of sounding like a burlap robed hippie, I will assert again that the end IS near. “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11 If this was true in 55 A.D., how much nearer is it today?!
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord WILL come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” 2 Peter 3:10
Jesus is coming soon, and in order to be saved all one needs to do is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of sin and be baptized for the removal of your sins. Then you can begin living a life filled with God’s provision for every need, protection from every danger, and recovery from every disease, even death! You can live forever, and that will be with Jesus, who loves you so much He would have gone through all those miseries of His crucifixion and lousy Easter dramatizations (😉), even if you were the only one who needed Him.
It is my sincere hope that someone will read this and follow the links and consider that the truth of the Bible will lead to the only life worth living, actually the only life that will live, and that will be forever.
If one refuses, against all evidence, to believe in the Name of the Son of God, they will not stop existing. For that person, God who IS love, has reserved a Final Mercy, the topic of next week’s blog and the last in this series, .
Maranatha. Even so, come Lord Jesus, come.