by Steven Chan
Many live as if they have all the time in the world to make things right with God before they pass on from this world or to devote more of their lives to the service of God before they pass on to meet the Lord. The reality is: no one knows about tomorrow: Let’s consider what the Bible says:-
Prov 27:1: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
James 4:13-15: “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
1 Peter 1:24-25: “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.”
Heb 9:27: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,”
Luke 12:15-21: “And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ‘ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
The truth is that we do not know what tomorrow will bring for us. In fact there is no guarantee that we will still be here if and when tomorrow comes. The Bible declares in James 4:14: “You do not know what will happen tomorrow!” So, it is important for us to know who holds tomorrow and who holds our hands – as expressed in the popular hymn.
Many people struggle with all of their heart, soul and mind to be financially independent so that they can retire in comfort believing that all their future needs will be taken care of by what they have stored up. Unfortunately, as the parable of the rich man in Luke 12:15-21 tells us, at any point in time God can call us home. Firstly, all that we have stored up will no longer be of any use to us anymore as we would no longer be on earth! But more importantly, all that we have stored up is of no use to us where we are going – when we go and meet our Creator when the question is whether we have been rich towards God? Rich towards God in terms of how much time, money and effort we have spent for His service and for His glory. The Bible says to those who have been blessed with possessions on earth in 1 Tim 6:18-19: “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” The key phrase is that of “storing up for ourselves a good foundation for the time to come – to lay hold of eternal life!” Brethren and friends, are we doing that TODAY? Remember that we do not have any promise of tomorrow. So, we need to start TODAY and keep on “storing up for our future” – to lay hold on eternal life which our Lord has promised to those who trust and obey Him.
Brethren, when are we going to START serving the Lord with all of our strength, heart and soul?
The Psalmist declares in Psalms 90:9-12: “For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
We do not really have much time in this world to do God’s Will even if God permits some of us to live up to more than 80 years. We need to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom to live righteously and faithfully before Him.
Brethren, God has entrusted the Word of Reconciliation to us:- 2 Cor 5:18-20: “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”
And God wants us to preach that Word in season and out of season: 2 Tim 4:2: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” So long as it is NOW, it is THE ACCEPTED TIME for SALVATION – for NOW is the DAY of SALVATION! Will we preach the Gospel NOW instead of waiting for a more convenient time?
In Luke 16:27-31 the Bible tells us of the unfortunate situation withy the rich man who realized too late that his brothers needed to be saved from place of torment when he said Father Abraham, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
If you have not obeyed the Gospel as stated in Mark 16:16: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved;” what are you waiting for? Are you waiting for someone to rise from the dead to come and warn you about the fires of hell? The Bible tells us that the Scriptures or the inspired Word of God (i.e. Moses and the prophets) are sufficient for one to be warned of what awaits us after this life. If we reject the testimony of the Word of God, then one will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead. Christ in fact as risen from the dead – yet many still refuse to believe. What do you need to convince you to believe in what the Bible says?
Let us no longer delay our obedience to God as well as our service to Him – while NOW is the Day of Salvation.