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The Peril of Deferring the Gospel

October 8, 2022

times-upThe buzzer is going off. It’s loud. Seriously loud. You open your eyes and realize that time is up! Wow, that went fast. You look around you a bit mystified by what you see. Your whole life whips through your mind. One minute you’re on the playground with friends from your school wondering if today was “pizza day” for lunch in the cafeteria. And the next thing you know you’re standing before God Himself giving an account for your earthly life that has just concluded.

You’re thinking hard. What was the last thing you remember? You were driving home from a friend’s house. Even though you had just left their house, you were still talking to them on the phone — hands free, of course, through the car’s on board system. Safety first was what your mom would always say before you left the house. But that was a few hours ago. You had just glanced down to see how fast you were going. You didn’t want to explain another speeding ticket to your dad. Then you looked back up just as some headlights veered into — oh, my.

God just asked you a question. Your chest is tight, your head is pounding, and your panicky trying to find the right answer needed. You have no more lifelines, no phone-a-friend, and no clues to help with the answer to His question.

“What did you do with My Son in your life?”

At the end of this life, that question will be asked. And no, I’m sure I don’t have the exact wording correct, but I’m confident of the context of the inquiry. It won’t be the amount of good you did in this life. Nor will it be how those good things balance against your bad. There won’t be a comparison of your life versus Hitler’s. It will all be whether you placed your trust in what Jesus did on the cross and in His resurrection and if you repented. Did you bow the knee of your heart to Him while you were alive here, or did you wait to bow your knee there (and only there)?

Romans 14:11
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall give praise to God.” (NKJV) [emphasis added]

It’s not a question of whether you will bow your knee, but when. Timing is crucial in this equation. Whether you bow your knee here or there; whether you confess Jesus is Lord here or there does not change one iota of Who He is or your ultimate response to Him. But the timing of those actions will be the preeminent factor in your eternal destination. Many fear the day our eyes finally close, but they will. We all will die (unless the Lord returns and you are His).

Watching the last two years of the covid-19 pandemic has been obvious of the amount of fear people have at the thought of death. Two years after the vaccines started and then the myriad of boosters, people still live in terror afraid of dying. Watch those who drive in their cars, by themselves, with their mask on. Watch those at the beaches walking and sometimes swimming with the face-diaper in place. For so much fear of a sickness that rarely takes your life — a life which will someday cease with or without covid — and you wonder why they run in denial that the expiration date of their life is coming closer with each passing day.

People feel they should work out more, take better care of their bodies, eat better, get more rest but not too much, then work out some more. All for a few extra days, months, years added to their lives, but still death chases them as it does us all. This is not fear mongering, but a realistic observation of the inevitable for every person alive. Yet people will live in denial of death and do anything they can to keep their mind off our collective future. BUT THERE IS HOPE! His name is Jesus! And His love for you is beyond comprehension because we could never and would never love another person as He loves us.

Hebrews 9:27
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (NKJV)

There are those, like me, who are eagerly awaiting His appearance. Salvation is already mine because of His promise to me. The Lord is faithful, unable to lie and has promised me eternal life in Him. So yes, I’m waiting for the day of His return with great expectation! And as much as those who are eager, there are those who are not. Those who have no relationship with Him; those who have yet to bend their knee or their heart; those who think they still have time left to make that decision later all the while growing colder and more hard-hearted to the gospel.

Why is it that Pharoah would be so callous after seeing all the plagues brought on by his hardness of heart? Even after losing the first born among all males and evicting the Israelites from Egypt he had a change of mind; a hardening of heart and then pursued them to his own demise and the destruction of the Egyptian army.

The truth is God, in His goodness and mercy draws people towards repentance. But He does not force them to turn. Instead, He gives them free will to accept His invitation of salvation. Sin, our sin, hardens our heart as it did Pharoah’s. The more you say ‘no’ to Jesus, the harder your heart becomes. No one is ever out of reach of the Lord until they die. At that point He will judge you based on your relationship with Jesus Christ. In Him you can stand forgiven and freed of the bondage and penalty of your sin OR you can stand on your own merits before God and will be condemned for your unrighteousness. There are no other options.

The Old Testament provides the ten commandments. The priests then added another 600+ laws on top of what God gave. We hate laws but come up with more and more all the while trying to break most of them in our own level of rebellion while still considering ourselves to be “good”. We’re so good at deception we deceive ourselves. and some to the ultimate degree of eternal death and separation from God who loves us.

Many in the evangelical world point to Four Spiritual Laws

  1. God loves you and has a plan for your life.
    (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:10, John 10:10)
  2. Everyone has sinned and we’re separated from God.
    (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Psalms 14:2-3)
  3. Jesus is the only way to salvation.
    (Romans 10:9-10, John 14:6)
  4. You must receive the gift — knowing about it isn’t enough.
    (John 1:12, Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8-9)

The day is coming, we’re all going to face death and God on that day. You will have to give an account of your life. You either lived it to yourself or hidden in Jesus.

What will your final decision be? Remember, you don’t know when your final breath will come. Don’t wait too late.

— Pastor Rick

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