GOD SAYS “NOW”
READ IN THE BIBLE (Isaiah )
There is a tendency in all of us to procrastinate, to put things off, to postpone something or some activity for what we believe may be a more convenient time. Many times we get away with our procrastination. Sometimes we get into trouble. GOD SAYS “NOW” regarding a number of issues that are of the up most importance to every man, woman, boy and girl. In the dictionary, the word “now”, means, “at the present time”, “at the present moment”, or “at once”. The word “now” can also be used as an exclamation, expressing a warning. GOD SAYS “NOW” regarding responsibilities YOU have. GOD SAYS, “NOW” regarding your eternal destiny and related issues that has to do with the eternal well being of your soul. As a result, when God says NOW, it should be received as a warning regarding things you should deal with without delay. GOD SAYS “NOW” regarding opportunities YOU must take advantage of. And, GOD SAYS “NOW” regarding blessings YOU can receive. “NOW”, may be the only opportunity YOU have to consider these issues so that you might be saved from your sins.
In this message we want to consider six particularly important scriptures where GOD SAYS “NOW”. We will consider these scriptures by way of the following outline:
1. GOD SAYS, COME NOW TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUE OF YOUR SIN’S (Isaiah )
We read of the Lord’s
invitation in, (Isaiah ) “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.” God says, NOW is the time to come to Him
regarding the matter of YOUR SINS. Dear
reader, what have YOU done about the matter of YOUR SINS, and YOUR SINFUL
condition, before a holy God? This
scripture is first and foremost for the nation of
The essence of sin is seen in the Word of God as the whole mind, heart, and will of man set in active rebellion against God. It says in, (Jeremiah 17:9) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately (incurably) wicked”. This shows the deep seated, corrupting, and concentration of sin in man. The Lord Jesus Christ said, (Matthew ) “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies”. The awful truth is that we are not just one-time sinners but sinners by nature and by practice. Man is totally depraved before a holy God. Because sin exists within the nature of man, outward acts of sins soon manifest themselves.
The entrance of sin into the world was the result of the fall into sin by our first parents, Adam and Eve. This is recorded in the Word of God in Genesis, chapter 3. Mans fall into sin was catastrophic. God’s perfect creation was blighted. The earth was cursed. Man was ruined. His relationship with God destroyed and death passed upon all. As a consequence of Adam’s sin, ALL HUMANITY FELL; for Adam not only acted for himself, but also for the whole human race, of which he was the head. We read in, (Romans , 19) “By the offense of One (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation”. “For as by one mans (Adam’s) disobedience many were made sinners”. We read also in, (Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.
The consequence of sin is death. As noted above, “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. It says in, (Romans ) “The wages of sin is death”. God says in, (Ezekiel 18:4) “All souls are mine, the soul that sinneth, it shall die”. God is holy. He cannot tolerate sin or compromise with it. He cannot overlook it or pass it by. God’s law demands the death and judgment of the sinner. The debt must be paid. Sin’s penalty must be endured. God has declared in His Word, (Hebrews ) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but AFTER THIS the judgment”. Death is not the end for there is an after life. God will bring into judgment all that die in their sins. Following death, the body of the person is buried (sometimes cremated). The unsaved person, will however, awake to conscious torment in hell, there to await the judgment of God. This judgment, at the “great white throne, “(Revelation -15; 21:8), will result in eternal banishment from God and confinement in the “lake of fire”. This is the destiny of all who die in their sins. The Lord Jesus said in, (John ) “If you believe not that I am (a term expressing His deity, His eternal being), ye shall die in your sins”. Dear reader, do YOU believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?
Continuing on with our consideration of (Isaiah ), the “scarlet color of sin” has another typical meaning. This was a fast, or fixed color. Neither dew, nor rain, nor washing, nor long usage, would remove it. It reminds us therefore, of the fixedness and permanency of sins in your heart and life. No human means will wash them away. There is nothing you can do to remove or improve your sinful condition before a holy God. No effort of man, no external rites, no tears, no sacrifices, no prayers, are of themselves sufficient to take them away. They are deep fixed in your heart and life, as the scarlet color was in the dyed cloth. Only God can deal with your sinful condition and provide forgiveness of sins. YOU cannot save yourself. Your so called “good works” cannot save you. God says in His Word that salvation is, (Titus 3:5) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done”. It says in, (Ephesians 2:8, 9) “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”. The situation however, is not hopeless, for God has provided salvation through His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice these wonderful words, found in, (John ) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved”. Dear reader, do YOU believe in Him? Have YOU accepted Him as YOUR Lord and Savior? If not, NOW is the time YOU can be saved. We also read in (Isaiah ) “Your sins can be “white as snow”; they can be, “as wool”. “White” is the emblem of innocence, of purity. Your sins “as wool” means as “wool not dyed”, or from which the color has been removed. The deep fixed stain of sin in your life, which no human power can remove, can, by the Lord, be taken away. Your can receive forgiveness of sins. This leads us to the next point we want to consider:
2. GOD SAYS, SALVATION OPPORTUNITIES ARE NOW (2 Corinthians 6:2)
We read of God’s invitation in, (2 Corinthians 6:2) “Behold NOW is the day of salvation; behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation”. Early in the public ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is recorded that He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. It says that He opened the book of the prophet Isaiah and read the following words concerning Himself; (Luke 4:18-21) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, TO PREACH THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD. And He closed the book. And He began to say unto them, THIS DAY IS THIS SCRIPTURE FULFILLED IN YOUR EARS”. He stopped His reading in the middle of a scripture verse, (Isaiah 61:2). He did not read the rest of the sentence which said. “The day of vengeance of our God”. The “day of God’s vengeance” will have its fulfillment in a soon coming day. It will occur in the time the Bible describes as, “the day of the Lord”. It will be the time of God’s judgment upon this world and upon all who reject the gospel of the grace of God. But, today is the “accepted time”, the “acceptable year of the Lord”. NOW is the time that God will ACCEPT all who come to Him by way of belief in His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. NOW is the time that men can find acceptance with God. Twice in (2 Corinthians 6:2) we read the phrase, “NOW is the day of salvation”. It must be important for God to repeat it twice in one verse. The word, “NOW” covers this entire dispensation of God’s grace. It began with the first coming of Jesus Christ and will end with His second coming in great power and glory. This “day of salvation” is characterized by God acting in longsuffering with men and not dealing with them in His wrath as He will do later. In this “day of salvation” when men and women, boys and girls, have an opportunity to be saved, God, through the gospel, is bidding all to come unto Him that they might be saved. It says of Him in, (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. O, how “long suffering” God is, how patient He is. This “day” of salvation has lasted for 2000 years at this point in time. Salvation is God’s free gift by grace but it has been made available at a great cost. God’s beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, left the glory of heaven and came down in condescending grace. It says of Him in, (2 Corinthians 8:9) “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich”. He was rich in heaven, in His eternal dwelling place, at the right hand of God. He was rich in power, glory, and majesty. This vast universe, brought into being by His mighty power, is part of the riches that are His. We read in, (Galatians 4:4,5) But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive adoption of sons.” He laid aside His preincarnate glory and came down to this world in condescending grace. He became poor. Deity took on humanity. (1 Timothy 3:16) “Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh”. We are partakers of flesh and blood. We have no choice in the matter. But, of Him it says, “He took part of the same” (in a voluntary manner). (See Hebrews 2:14). He became poor. His earthly sojourn was marked by poverty, from the commencement of His life to its conclusion. (Philippians 2:8) “He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”. There on the cross, (1 Peter ) “He suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”. There on the cross He took upon Himself, YOUR SINS and my sins. There on the cross, (Hebrews 2:9) “He by the grace of God tasted death for every man”. He was rich. He became poor. Why did He do it? It was for, YOUR SAKE. Dear reader, consider all that He did FOR YOU. Think of the great sacrifice He made in order to provide salvation for you. Have YOU, will YOU come to Him in believing faith that you might be saved from the judgment to come? Please do not procrastinate. I strongly urge YOU to take advantage of this present time to be saved.
3. GOD SAYS, REPENT NOW (Acts )
It says in, (Acts 17:30, 31) “God NOW commandeth all men every where to repent: Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead”. Notice that God NOW commands ALL men EVERYWHERE to repent. This commandment is urgent. This commandment is binding on every person. “Repentance” forms the vital bridge between sin and forgiveness. Many in our society commit sins without any regard for a holy God. People feel no accountability towards God for their sinful life. But, there is no way to obtain forgiveness for sins other than by repentance. “Repentance” is essential to forgiveness, so a person must accept God’s demand for it and the Bible’s definition of it. “Repentance” is a change of mind with regard to sins. It is a change of mind that leads to a definite change of attitude and action. Repentance is the sinner’s renunciation of his sins. The Lord Jesus Christ said in, (Luke 13:3) “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish”. It is a very simple yet serious truth; a person must either repent or perish. In order for a person to be saved, repentance must be coupled with faith. There must be a turning to Christ in faith. We read in, (Acts ) “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”. Dear reader, have YOU repented of YOUR sins? Have YOU put YOUR faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation? Notice also, from our verse in (Acts 17), God has appointed the Day of Judgment and He has appointed the Judge for the judgment. It is His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the one whom He has raised from the dead. We read in, (John ) “The father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son”. GOD IS READY FOR YOUR JUDGMENT. ARE YOU READY TO MEET HIM?
4. GOD SAYS, YOU CAN BE JUSTIFIED NOW (Romans 5:9)
For connection, we will also quote, (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”. God has clearly demonstrated His love for fallen sinful man. While we were sinners, Christ died on the cross for us. “He bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter ). Through His finished work on the cross and the shedding of His own precious blood, YOU can NOW be saved from the wrath to come. All who believe in Him, and are “born again”, are even NOW justified by His blood. “Justification” means the clearance of the guilty in God’s court of justice. It means the believing sinner is declared righteous, and brought into a new and right relationship with Him. “Justification” is the legal and formal acquittal from guilt by God as Judge. Dear reader, have YOU been justified.
5. GOD SAYS, YOU CAN BE FREE FROM CONDEMNATION NOW (Romans 8:1)
We read in, (Romans 8:1) “There is therefore NOW no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus”. Dear reader, it would be profitable to ask yourself, “Am I in Christ Jesus or am I still in my sins”? YOU are either in one or the other. It says in, (John ) “He that believeth on Him (Jesus Christ) is NOT CONDEMNED: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”. Those who are saved are said to be, “in Christ”. To be “in Christ” is to be in the place of safety. It is like Noah and his family who were safe in the ark when God brought the flood in judgment upon the earth.
6 GOD SAYS, YOU CAN BE INCLUDED AMONG THE PEOPLE OF GOD NOW (1 Peter )
We read in, (1 Peter ) “Which in times past were not a people, but ARE NOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD: which had not obtained mercy, but NOW HAVE OBTAINED MERCY”. From this verse we learn there are two kinds of people. On one hand, there are those who have not obtained mercy and who are not included among the people of God. They remain unsaved and are still living in their sins, unpardoned and unforgiven. They are among the many that are still on the broad way destined for hell and a lost eternity. They have either not heard or have heard and rejected the gospel of the grace of God. On the other hand, there are some who have obtained mercy and are numbered among the people of God. The people of God are those that have “obtained mercy”. They have received the mercy of God in their life because they have heard and believed the message of the gospel. They have believed that, (1 Corinthians 15; 3, 4) “Christ died for their sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. Thus, when a person gets saved, they become a child of God. They are then placed into the family of God, and become part of the people of God. God says of them in, (2 Corinthians ) “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE”.
In closing, let me ask you dear reader, which group are YOU in? Can it be that YOU have not yet obtained God’s mercy and thus are not included among God’s people? Or, have YOU been saved which means you have obtained mercy and are part of the family of God? If YOU remain unsaved, it will not be because God does not love YOU or because God’s Son did not die for YOU, but, it will be because YOU have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. You are traveling the “Highway of Life”. Now that YOU have read this message, YOU have come to the “crossroads”. The “crossroads” are the place where a decision has to be made. Which way will YOU go? Will YOU continue to procrastinate and reject the Savior and God’s free gift of salvation? To do so, is to remain on the broad way to eternal destruction.
I urge YOU to take advantage of this present time called “NOW” and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as YOUR personal Savior. Please give this matter your most serious attention. Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.