WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 4, 2022
TOPIC: NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION
BY T. O. BANSO
“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).
Shortly before the Crossover Service on 31st December, I phoned someone to greet him before the year ended. He didn’t answer my call. I called two times thereafter, and then he picked the call and answered me hurriedly that he would call me back later. He didn’t call back until we have entered the New Year and the call didn’t last long. He told me he was in the Emergency Unit when I called.
He is a medical doctor and was attending to an emergency case brought to the hospital. That patient never knew he was going to become an ‘emergency’ on 31st December. He didn’t know he would do his Crossover in the hospital.
He was fortunate to have survived. There were people who were rushed to the hospital but never made it. They were either brought in dead or died in the hospital. They didn’t cross over to the New Year; they crossed over from the land of the living to the land of the dead. Some have passed since we entered the New Year. Probably you know one or two persons like that.
Nobody knows tomorrow. The only time we can be sure of is the present moment. Why then do people find it convenient to defer their salvation? Why do people postpone till another day the salvation of their soul? They don’t know what is going to happen in the next couple of minutes let alone tomorrow. Unfortunately, many such procrastinators have died suddenly without eventually giving their lives to Jesus. They went to a Christless eternity.
Paul wasn’t joking when he said, “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). He was quoting from Isaiah 49:8.
Now is the best day for you to be saved if you haven’t. It is not wise to postpone till another day. You don’t know what can happen to you at any time. You don’t know when Jesus will come and it will be too late to give your life to Him.
If you die without Jesus, the consequence is grave: hellfire. Unfortunately some joke with hellfire. Some people say they don’t believe in hellfire. They consider it as the figment of the imagination of some Bible authors. They regard it as the illusion of some preachers. Some even said they would not believe there is hellfire until they see it. But it will be too late for them to do anything about it for there shall be their eternal abode. If they eventually confirm that hell is real, they cannot avert eternal pain and sorrow that would be their lot.
You may procrastinate about anything but not your salvation. You can die any time or Jesus can come any time. Don’t go to a Christless eternity where there is an endless conscious punishment. Jesus said, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— where ‘Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’” (Mark 9:43-48 New King James Version).
Matthew 5:29-30 and Matthew 18:8-9 say a similar thing. In other words, sacrifice anything to avoid hellfire. Jesus says in Luke 12:5 that we should fear Him who after He has killed, has the power to cast into hell. He is referring to God.
The apostle Peter says, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:4-9 New King James Version).
Hell is not a place that someone goes and returns. Those who end there will suffer forever. In Luke 16, when the rich man who was in torments in Hades, asked Father Abraham to have mercy on him, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool his tongue because he was tormented in the flame, his request was denied (verses 23-26).
Verses 27-31 says, “Then he said, ‘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’” (New King James Version).
It was too late for the rich man to do anything about his discovery. No sinner should wait till he sees hellfire before he believes. Such a confirmation would be useless. The destination of the five brothers of the rich man was the place of torment unless they repented.
If you have not given your life to Jesus, stop procrastinating. You don’t know tomorrow. Give your life to Jesus now. Proverbs 27:1 warns human beings not to boast about tomorrow, for we do not know what a day may bring forth. Take advantage of today; don’t put off your salvation.
Now is the day of salvation, not tomorrow that you’re not sure of. “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” (James 4:13-14 New King James Version).
On the Day of Pentecost, after Peter had finished preaching, the people didn’t ask for permission to go and think over what he had said. No. They acted on the word immediately. The Bible says when they heard Peter’s sermon, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37b New King James Version).
Peter told them to repent and every one of them should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. He said they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the promise was to them, their children, and all who were afar off, as many as the Lord would call. He exhorted them to be saved from the perverse generation. The Bible says those who gladly received his word were baptized, and that day, about three thousand souls were added to them (verse 38-41). These new believers continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. None of them postponed his salvation.
Now is the day of salvation. Cornelius and his household did not postpone their salvation. They were saved and baptized in water the same day that Peter went to honour Cornelius’ invitation and preached there. While he was still speaking, they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit even before they were baptized in water (Acts 10:44-48).
Also, in Acts 16, the jailor and his household were saved the same day that he asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Verse 30 New King James Version). Verses 31-33 say, “So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized” (New King James Version).
Unfortunately, Felix, the Roman governor of Judea described as having a more accurate knowledge of the Way (Christianity), missed a wonderful opportunity to be saved. As Paul, who was on trial over false accusations by the Jewish leaders, talked to Felix with his wife, Drusilla, about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and told Paul to go away for the time being. He said he would come for him when he had a convenient time (Acts 24:25). Apparently, Felix, who had married Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa I, having enticed her to leave her husband, was convicted by Paul’s message. But the Bible adds that he also hoped that Paul would give him money to release him (verse 26).
Though he sent for Paul more often and discussed with him, there is no record that he gave his life to Jesus. He was recalled to Rome two years later and left Paul in prison to please the Jews. Porcius Festus succeeded him.
Delay is dangerous. If you’ve not given your life to Jesus, do so now. Now is the day of salvation.
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 resurrected 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 the palm tree and grow like the 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, let every sinner be convicted by the Holy Spirit to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour today and stop procrastinating or rejecting Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, help every child of God to minister the Word of God in power so that sinners will be convicted and they will surrender their lives to Jesus.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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