Tuesday, January 2, 2018
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It was before Christmas, and I went shopping for toys for my kids. Now you might not think there's anything unusual about that – unless you happen to know that all my kids are grown up now. But that doesn't mean they can't have one little spark of childhood left in them, right? For example, I always buy my daughter a doll for Christmas; I always have, I always will. And we've got one son who for a long time was a big fan of a certain Sesame Street character, and he had a collection of everything Ernie. Yeah, believe it or not! Well, there came a time when this Ernie toy was one of the hottest Christmas items on the market, and I wanted one for my son, the Ernie enthusiast. I discovered the toy in September in a store before it became an officially hot item. I held it in my hand. I could have bought it, but I said, "Naw, Christmas is a long way off. I can always get it later." Wrong! When "later" came, no more Ernies to be found.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "When 'Later' Never Comes."
When it's a toy you miss because you waited – no big deal. When it's God you miss, when it's eternity in heaven you miss, that's huge.
Our word for today from the Word of God, 2 Corinthians 6:2. God says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." God says here there is a time of His favor; there is a day of His salvation. And that's when you need to grab Him. Then He clearly spells out the time we need to respond to Him. God's Word says, "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation."
When God talks about salvation, He's talking about rescuing us from the death sentence that we're all headed for because of our sin, which is basically the self-rule of our own life. A life that was created to be run by our Creator. This 'salvation' came at a very high price for God. See, someone had to die as your substitute to pay for your sin in order for you to be rescued.
The only one who was qualified to pay that awful price was God's one and only Son. That is Jesus Christ. So, believe me, it really matters to God what you do with His Son, because of what His Son gave up for you. The only response that can change a person's eternal address from hell to heaven is putting your total trust in Jesus as your only hope of belonging to God and of being with God forever.
But so many of us are like I was the day I held that purchase I wanted in my hand. We decide to put it off – make it ours later. I chose to get it later, and later was too late. It was no longer available to me. That's the awful risk you take when you put off Jesus one more day.
Maybe you've been around the message of Jesus a lot. Maybe most folks think you belong to Him. But deep in your heart, you know there's never been a time when you've really committed yourself to Him. It could be you've said, "I will give myself to Jesus when I'm ready."
You need to hear the words of Jesus recorded in John 6:44. "No one can come to me unless the Father...draws him." You don't come to Jesus when you're ready. You come when God's ready. It's God who makes you ready to trust Jesus. If you feel that tug in your heart right now, this is the only time you can be sure God is readying you to come. There are no guarantees of one more opportunity. That's why the Bible says, "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near." (Isaiah 55:6) He may not always be findable. He may not ever be this close again.
If you've never had that "Jesus, I'm yours" moment, would you do that now and get this settled? Eternity is nothing to wait on, procrastinate on. This could be your "Jesus day." Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm yours. What you did on the cross is my only hope of rescue."
Go to our website. There's a pathway there that I've tried to lay out as simply as I could that you could be sure you belong to Him before you hit the pillow tonight. Our website is ANewStory.com.
Saying 'later' to God's Son is eternally dangerous, because God says the day of salvation is now. It's almost yours now. But later – later may be forever too late.