THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-20-10
LESSON TITLE: “THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE: THIS IS THE DAY OF SALVATION”
Isn’t it great to know God and to have the privilege of gathering together and praising His name on this wondrous Lord’s Day? Thanks for joining us on this special day. We are so happy to have you this morning for this time of offering to God. How blessed we are in this country to have the freedom to assemble this day and to give this time to our Creator. It is my hope and prayer that we will each do our part to make this time of worship acceptable in God’s sight and according to His Will!
Now as we begin to focus our thoughts on God, will you bow with me before His throne in prayer?
As always, it is our privilege on this program to praise God together in song! So let me encourage you to join in with the congregation at this time as we lift our voices up in the first song of the morning. The name of the hymn, “There’s A Fountain Free!”
(SONG # 1)
There are many beautiful passages in God’s Word, and many are especially good at giving us encouragement and strength. Some which really help me when I am feeling down are those which remind me that God is always with His followers.
In Leviticus 26:12, Moses told the Israelites what God had promised them. One part of this admonition proclaims, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” Wow, what a blessing this is - for God to be among His followers so that they are never alone.
In the New Testament, we also find this same terminology. One such verse is found in Matthew 18:20, where Jesus Himself said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Yes, our God had promised to be with those who follow and obey His Will. In fact, He is with us every step of the way to help us in every facet of life.
A final verse I would like to mention is found in Hebrews 13:5. Here we find the inspired writer of God quoting from a promise of God given to His people, through His servant Moses. However, by reconfirming it here, the writer is reminding us that this is a promise to all of God’s faithful followers of all ages and time. There we read, “…For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Thanks be to God for His love, care, protection and guidance. Furthermore, thank God that as His beloved children, He will never leave us or forsake us. How wonderful it is to always have God by our side. Are you living in such a way that God is able to be by your side? If not, get your life right today, repent and obey the precious truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Today we will be concluding our study together entitled, “This Is the Day That the Lord Has Made.” As far as the specific message of the day, we will be considering this thought, “Now Is The Day Of Salvation.” So please stay with us and after our next song, we will be lead in this study from God’s Word.
We are happy to have brother Brent Green with us this morning to lead our main thoughts from God’s Word. We thank him for joining us and look forward to him leading our main thoughts of the day in just a few moments. Now let’s join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “For The Beauty Of The Earth.”
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
This is the day that the Lord has made. What a great statement that we read in scripture to know that truly God has blessed us with many days, but some of the days that we think about are really unknown. When you think about that coming of the Day of the Lord, well we might know that tomorrow is going to come or the next day is going to come or when are we going to do this, or when are we going to do that, etc. But of that day nobody knows.
There in the New Testament 2 Peter chapter 3 and verse 10 reminds us that “the Lord is coming as a thief in the night.” The same thought, of course, is paralleled there in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and verse 2, and actually the next verse in 1 Thessalonians 5 and verse 3 says that, “The Lord will come as labor pains upon a woman.”
And so nobody knows when the Lord is coming. We may know all sorts of stuff in this life, all sorts of days, but of that day, nobody knows. They say, “Well, what does that produce in some people?” Well some people think, “Well, we simply don’t know. You know it has been some 2000 years since He ascended into Heaven so we don’t know when He is coming back. Therefore we have got a lot of time left in this life to do whatever we want to.” And so in some that does produce complacency.
But in others, they look at that and say, “Well He is coming again and we don’t know when He is coming, so we need to get our lives ready right now, today.” So in others that does produce an urgency. Why is that? Why do some look at verses like that and understand that we don’t know when the Lord is coming again. Why does that produce in some complacency and in others this sense of urgency? Well I believe the answer is found there in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 2, the text for this morning’s lesson. As we read there as the apostle Paul writes to the brethren of Corinth, he actually quotes from Isaiah chapter 49 and verse 8. He says, “In an acceptable time, I have heard you. In the day of salvation, I have helped you.” He expands on that and continues to say to the brethren here, “Behold now is the accepted time. Behold now is the day of salvation.” I believe an understanding of this passage here and the urgency that we see within it is the difference between those who look at the coming of the day of the Lord and say, “We can do whatever we want to. Surely He won’t come back in this life,” and the others who say, “We need to have our lives right before God,” because some understand the urgency that we see in that verse.
And so what do we learn as Christians and as those who are thinking about the scripture, maybe even thinking about becoming Christians about this day of salvation? Well there is one thing we’ve got to beware of and that is this complacency that many have towards this day of salvation which is the here and now to make sure our lives are right this present day. So beware of that complacency that many times characterizes our lives, complacency very much so rooted in procrastination. We make statements all the time like, “Well, I’ll take care of that tomorrow. We’ll do that the next day. Surely there will be time. Oh, I can do that later. Don’t worry about it today. We’ll take care of it next month.” Well that procrastination as we said leads to complacency and really can take us off course from what we need to be doing and thinking about in this life.
Examples of procrastination and thus complacency are really seen everywhere and everyday as we might look around. Ever see those yards where the grass is now 12 inches tall and the trees are overgrown, the hedges need to be trimmed, and animals are starting to burrow in the backyard because it’s just a jungle out there? Well how did it get like that? Well maybe somebody moved and left it that way. But sometimes that happens because somebody said, “Well, I’ll mow the lawn next week. I’ll trim the hedges next week.” A couple months down the road it looks like a jungle. Well procrastination, that complacency, that indifference towards the way it is now, thinking we’ll have time in the future and then time runs out. So make sure we don’t fall into that same trap sometimes as well. We see houses fall apart. The paint comes off and gutters start to sag, and what do we say? “Well, I’ll take care of that next year. I’ll do that next spring.” And before long, we look at a house and wonder how it is still standing. Procrastination. And so complacency is rooted in just that in procrastination. We take examples like that and then think about them in our spiritual life. Are we not guilty of the same sort of procrastination spiritually, the same type of complacency that characterizes our lives?
I want you to think of an example with me in Acts chapter 24. As we read about the life of Paul and some of his travels and journeys, he comes into contact with a ruler by the name of Felix. He begins to talk to Felix here and to talk to him about the scripture. Acts chapter 24 beginning there in verse 24 it says, “And after some days when Felix came with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and a judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now. When I have a convenient time, I will call for you.’” Here Paul stands before this ruler, Felix, and talks to him about Jesus Christ, talks to him about self-control and righteousness, and even judgments, and here we even see that Felix was afraid. Paul got to him. He reached his heart and he touched him with the scripture as he talked to him about the gospel. But what did Felix say? Well he was still complacent enough even though he was touched in the heart by Paul and by the gospel here, he still said what? “Go away for now. I don’t have time right now. Come back at a more convenient time.” That’s what characterizes our lives as Christians sometimes and even as those sometimes thinking about becoming Christians as Felix was here. They’re waiting for another time, putting things off until tomorrow.
Well just as complacency is rooted in procrastination, we also see complacency being produced by longevity. Well what are we talking about? Well I want you to look back to the days of Noah first as we think about the length of lives that people had in those days before the flood. People lived in those days up to 900 years old and so we read there the genealogies there in Genesis chapter 5, and can you imagine those people thinking, “Well I am 100 years old, I’ve still got 800 years of life,” or “I’m only 200, so I probably have got another 700 years to go.” Well when you think of it like that, would that stir within them any inkling, any urge to get their lives right? Even those who were alive on the earth as Noah began his preaching some 120 years a man of righteousness, what do you think people were thinking? Well they might have been thinking, “I’ve got plenty of time left. Noah you are crazy. We’re not going to die. There’s not going to be rain. There won’t be this flood that you’re talking about. We’ve got plenty of time. Why should we change?” The longevity of life that we see in so many produces in the body and the mind that idea that “we are going to live for a long time and we can get our lives right in the future, and maybe on my death bed I will have time to change all those things.” Well some have been converted on their deathbeds. They even had a scare enough to change in the very end.
But we can’t fall into that trap. We read about life after the flood in Psalm 90 verse 10, “If seventy years we might live by strength eighty years life is much shorter.” Well we say, “Surely we don’t have that problem today.” Well still today on a different scale, do we not say the same thing? We say, “Well I am 20 years old. I have another 70 years to live. I’m 30 years old. I’m 45 years old. I’m only halfway there.” We can’t fall into that trap. You see just as complacency is seen in procrastination it is also produced in that longevity of life. Whether real or imaginary, we think we might live as long as everybody else lives. We see on the news those that live to 100 or 110 and we think, “Well, I’m going to live a long time, too.” That’s not always the case. Sometimes we see tragic accidents. Sometimes people have illnesses. Sometimes people die very young in life unprepared and unready because they were complacent. They didn’t think about that day of salvation. We’ve got to make sure that we are prepared for that day of the Lord, when He comes again, that we understand that today we need to get our lives right.
I want you to think as well in terms of complacency about those who are unprepared. Those foolish virgins there in Matthew chapter 25 were waiting for the coming of the bridegroom, a wedding feast, a great feast to come and be a part of. Well what did they not bring? They didn’t bring oil for the lamps and when the cry went out, “Come in. The bridegroom is here. The feast is ready.” They had to go find one. They were unprepared. When they knocked on the door, they said, “Depart, we don’t even know who you are.” They were unprepared. Why? In part, because they were complacent. We’ve got to beware of complacency in relationship as we talk about this day of salvation there in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 2. Don’t become complacent. Jesus Christ is coming and we don’t know when He is coming, but we can’t fall into that trap of being complacent and thinking, “We have all of the time in the world, and we can wait until tomorrow. It doesn’t matter. We’ll get our lives right in the future.”
Do not fall into that trap! Rather have that sense of urgency that we’ve been talking about in this underlying message here. Live with that urgency in your life. Live with that in mind. Know that you need to be aware of these things today so that you can live for the present. To live with urgency in this life. Urgency is grounded in today.
When do we need to obey the gospel? Well if we are not a Christian, you need to think about that this very hour. You don’t know what tomorrow holds. You don’t know if this could be the last day that you live on this earth. Well have that sense of urgency in your life to obey the gospel right now this very day.
What did Felix need in his life? Well in an essence here, a sense of urgency. He said, “Go away for now. Come again at a more convenient time.” He at least was afraid and he at least listened to what Paul had to say, but he still didn’t have that urgency to do it right now.
When you begin talking to those who are considering becoming a Christian as Felix was here and you ask them, “Well if you die today, where would you go?” They understand what sin does to their soul. It will separate them from God for all of eternity. They say, “Well if I die today, I will go to Hell.” Then you ask them and follow that up with another question, “Well when do you want to be immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins so that you can have that foundation which you desire?” Well if they understand that sense of urgency, that now was the day of salvation, what would their response be? “I want to do it right now. I want to be immersed right now for the forgiveness of my sins. I don’t want to wait for tomorrow. I don’t want to wait until Sunday. I don’t want to wait until next week. Right now!”
We can also think about Agrippa a few chapters over there in Acts chapter 26 as Paul also talked with him. What did Agrippa say? “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” What again was lacking? That sense of urgency, the sense of, “I need to do this right now. You almost persuade me. I‘ll think about it. I will get back to you. We will talk about this at a later date.” No, if that urgency is there, we want to take care of it right now.
So think about that urgency in this life. Urgency is produced by brevity. We think about how short life truly is. Think about how short we have on this earth. You see deadlines produce that sense of urgency. When a test comes, the night before there is a sense of urgency there. “I have got to prepare myself for that.” When a project is due on Friday at work, what is there in your life? A sense of urgency! When Thursday comes, you better be ready! That sense of urgency to get those things done.
What about illnesses sometimes? Somebody goes to the doctor and they find out that they have cancer or some other disease that is going to take their life in maybe 4-6 weeks, maybe 4-6 months, maybe they have a year to live. What does that produce within that individual? A sense of urgency. If I am going to do something, I need to do it right now. If we’re going to go on a vacation with the family, if we are going to take time to do this, or if I am going to finish this on my house, I have got to do it right now because my life is coming to an end. Why do we not live like that every single day because we don’t know how long we have? It could be tomorrow. It could be next month. So live with that sense of urgency and make sure we understand this day of salvation that it truly is right now.
We have songs that have lyrics such as “Live like you were dying.” We have clichés like, “Live like there is no tomorrow.” We even have movies that talk about that “Bucket List,” those things that you are going to do before you kick the bucket. Why don’t we live like that in our spiritual lives? What are we going to do for God today because today truly is that day of salvation.
James says there in James chapter 4 and verse 14, “What shall we say then? Life is as a vapor. It appears for a short time and then (what?) it vanishes away.” If we understand that, if we understand if life is short and we understand the brevity of this life, that should produce within us a sense of urgency to live for God today.
What did Jesus say in John chapter 9 and verse 4? Talking about work, He said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. The night is coming when no man shall work.” I’ve got to work for God in the here and now, in the present while I have life and breath in my lungs to do what God has called me to. But so often we bury our talents. We don’t use them today. We let the things go by in the present. We’ve got to live for God right now. That’s the sense of urgency that we need to have in our lives.
We go back there to Matthew chapter 25 and think about those wise virgins who took enough oil, who were prepared. Why? Because they understood the urgency of the situation at hand. When they call we have got to be ready to go to that feast. We cannot be unprepared. We must be prepared in this life. That preparedness produced within them a sense of urgency to make sure that they were ready when the bridegroom came.
Well how do we prepare ourselves? Jesus said there in Matthew 24:42, “Watch therefore for you do not know the hour that your Lord is coming.” He says to watch and keep your eyes open. Matthew 26 verse 41, “Watch and pray lest you fall into temptation.”
How do we prepare ourselves? We watch. Keep our eyes open. We are aware of the fact that we need to live urgently in this life and make sure we live for God right now. So we come back to those verses in 2 Peter 3 and verse 10 that shows us that we don’t know when the Lord is coming, “coming as a thief in the night.” So verses 11-12 tell us that “we need to look forward to the hastening and coming of the day of the Lord to prepare ourselves for that kingdom.”
Beware of complacency. Live with urgency. And remember that today is the day of salvation.
(SONG # 3 - “Alas And Did My Savior Bleed!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Thanks be to God for the opportunity we have of salvation! The question is, have you responded to the gift which He has offered? If not, today could be “the day of salvation!”