WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
April 03, 2023
TOPIC: DON’T REJECT YOUR OPPORTUNITY FOR SALVATION
BY T. O. BANSO
“They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation” (Luke 19:44 New Living Translation).
It was a great sight as Jesus rode on a borrowed colt into Jerusalem. The crowd spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When He got to where the road started down the Mount of Olives, the multitude of His disciples began to shout and sing, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen (Luke 19:36-37).
The multitude said, “‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Verse 38 New King James Version). The Pharisees in the crowd were not happy about this and asked Jesus to rebuke His followers for what they were saying but Jesus replied that if they kept quiet, the stones would immediately cry out or burst into cheers (verses 39-40).
But amid this joyous celebration, Jesus began to weep as they came near Jerusalem and He saw the city. One could say that was His day. Why should somebody that could be regarded as the chief celebrator be weeping while the multitude of His disciples were shouting and singing, praising God?
Jesus didn’t hide the reason for weeping. He said, “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation” (Luke 19:42-44 New Living Translation).
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because of the devastation that would befall her in the future because she did not accept her opportunity for salvation. Note in that passage the phrase: Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation. The New King James Version renders it as: “and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
It is believed that this prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when, following the Jewish revolt of A.D. 66, the Roman army marched on Jerusalem and destroyed it, including the Temple. In the siege led by General Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian, it is estimated that about 600,000 -1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed and the revolt extended to A.D. 73 when it was finally extinguished.
Zechariah 9:9 says thus about the Messiah, a prophecy which Jesus fulfilled: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey” (New King James Version). Note the word salvation. The reason Jesus came to the world and died was for the salvation of the world. But the Jews, especially, the Jewish leaders rejected Him. By so doing, they rejected their salvation.
When Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem, He mentioned the fact that they did not accept their opportunity for salvation. You will recall that prophesying about the destruction of Jerusalem by the enemies, He said, “They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation” (Luke 19:44 New Living Translation). I cannot overemphasize the phrase “because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.” The Living Bible says, “for you have rejected the opportunity God offered you.” Also, the New Century Version says, “because you did not recognize the time when God came to save you.”
God has come to save you by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. What have you done or what will you do about your opportunity for salvation from sin and its consequences? Some people have laughed off the message of salvation. Some ridicule the preachers. They joked about heaven and hell. But their opportunity for salvation will not be available forever.
2 Peter 3:9b says the Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Jesus said He didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance (Matthew 9:13b; Mark 2:17b; Luke 5:32). But nobody can continue to reject God’s offer of salvation and think that he will not end in hellfire even if he doesn’t believe there is hellfire.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). God has done what He should do to save humanity from hellfire by offering us eternal life through His Son. The Apostle John says, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3 New King James Version). According to John, just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life (John 3:14-15). Do you believe in Him?
Don’t reject your opportunity for salvation this season as the Jews did. Accept your opportunity for salvation if you have not received Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Saviour. Are you born again? Do you have eternal life? 1 John 5:13 says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (New King James Version). Do you believe in the name of Jesus?
Don’t continue to reject your opportunity for salvation. You don’t know when you will die or when Jesus will return. When either of these takes place, seeking salvation will be too late. Don’t delay your salvation. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t joke about it. Now is the day of salvation. “For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 New King James Version).
On the Day of Pentecost, after listening to Peter’s sermon, the men of Judea were cut to the heart, and asked Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter told them to repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and they shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. That day, about three thousand souls were added to the church after they had gladly received his word and were baptized. They accepted their opportunity for salvation; they didn’t reject it or postpone their salvation.
In Acts 8, the Ethiopian eunuch immediately seized the opportunity for his salvation after Philip had preached Jesus to him. As they went down the road, they came to some water and he asked Philip what hindered him from being baptized (verse 36). “Then Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God’” (verse 37 New King James Version). He commanded the chariot to stop and after Philip and he went down into the water, Philip baptized him. The Ethiopian eunuch didn’t postpone his salvation or reject his opportunity for salvation.
In Acts 10, Cornelius and his household were saved the same day Peter preached in his house. They didn’t need Peter to visit again before they will make up their minds. They accepted their opportunity for salvation (verses 34-48). In contrast, instead of Felix, the Roman governor of Judea, accepting his opportunity for salvation, he told Paul to go away and that he would call for him when he had a convenient time. He was also expecting a bribe from Paul to release him and kept sending for him more often and conversed with him. He didn’t accept his opportunity for salvation or release Paul until he was succeeded by Porcius Festus two years later (Acts 24:25-27).
Your salvation is the most important thing to you on earth. Don’t reject God’s offer for salvation. Accept your opportunity for salvation now. Come to Jesus today. Delay is dangerous.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I pray that this season, sinners will be convicted of their sins and surrender their lives to Jesus. They will stop procrastinating and laughing at the message of salvation. They will confess with their mouths the Lord Jesus and believe in their hearts that God has raised Him from the dead and be saved. They will accept their opportunity for salvation today in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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